Early exposure to porn may up sexist attitude in men

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New York, Aug 4 (IANS) Young boys exposed to pornography are more likely to develop sexist attitudes and seek dominance over women, researchers say.

The findings showed that a young male’s exposure to pornography was associated with the need for power over women, while in older men it was linked with promiscuity.

“We found that the younger a man was when he first viewed pornography, the more likely he would want power over women,” said Alyssa Bischmann, doctoral student at the University of Nebraska in the US.

“The older a man was when he first viewed pornography, the more likely he would want to engage in playboy behaviour,” Bischmann added.

For the study, presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington, the team surveyed 330 undergraduate men, aged 17 to 54 years old.

Among the group, the average age of first exposure was 13.37 years with the youngest exposure as early as five and the latest older than 26.

More men indicated their first exposure was accidental (43.5 per cent) than intentional (33.4 per cent) or forced (17.2 per cent). Six per cent did not indicate the nature of the exposure.

While the researchers did find a significant association between age of first exposure and adherence to the two masculine norms, the association was different for each.

The findings provide further evidence that pornography viewing has a real impact on heterosexual men, especially with regard to their views about sex roles, according to co-author Chrissy Richardson from the varsity.

Knowing more about the relationship between men’s pornography use and beliefs about women might assist sexual assault prevention efforts, especially among young boys who may have been exposed to pornography at an early age.

This information could also inform the treatment of various emotional and social issues experienced by young heterosexual men who view pornography, Richardson said.

–IANS

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