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Socialization & Relationship Outcomes

Pornography and Sexual Behavior: Do Sexual Attitudes Mediate or Confound?

Pornography and Sexual Behavior: Do Sexual Attitudes Mediate or Confound?Full Article Title: Pornography and Sexual Behavior: Do Sexual Attitudes Mediate or Confound?

Open Access: No

Abstract

Using four separate national probability metasamples of adults in the United States, two measures of pornography consumption, two measures of sexual attitudes, and two measures of sexual behavior, this article pits two macrotheories on pornography and its behavioral effects against each other in competing, falsifiable hypothesis tests. Specifically, the article compares the libertarian theory of pornography’s hypothesis that sexual attitudes are a confound of the pornography consumption—sexual behavior relationship, with the sexual scripting theory of pornography’s hypothesis that sexual attitudes are a mediator of the pornography consumption—sexual behavior relationship. No evidence was found to support the argument that pornography consumption—sexual behavior relationships are spurious and due to preexisting sexual attitudes. Alternatively, analyses uniformly supported the conceptualization of sexual attitudes as a mediating link between pornography consumption and sexual behavior.

    Citation

    Wright, P. J. (2020). Pornography and sexual behavior: Do sexual attitudes mediate or confound? Communication Research, 47(3), 451–475. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650218796363