Keywords

Pornography, Hooking up, Sexual scripts, Emerging adults

Abstract

The explosive growth in access to the Internet has led to a commensurate increase in the availability, anonymity, and affordability of pornography. An emerging body of research has shown associations between pornography and certain behaviors and attitudes; yet, how pornography actually influences these outcomes has not been documented. In two studies (Study 1N=969; Study 2N=992) we examined the hypothesis that pornography influences potentially risky sexual behavior (hooking up) among emerging adults via sexual scripts. Our results demonstrate that more frequent viewing of pornography is associated with a higher incidence of hooking up and a higher number of unique hook up partners. We replicated these effects both cross-sectionally and longitudinally while accounting for the stability of hookups over the course of anacademic semester. We also demonstrated that more frequent viewing of pornography is associated with having had more previous sexual partners of all types, more one occasion sexual partners (‘‘one night stands’’), and plans to have a higher number of sexual partners in the future. Finally, we provided evidence that more permissive sexual scripts mediated the association between more frequent pornography viewing and hooking up. We discuss these findings with an eye toward mitigating potential personal and public health risks among emerging adults.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

Arch Sex Behav

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

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