Studies Link Porn to Sexual Violence

Media Release 7 January 2016
Family First NZ says that a new study out of Indiana University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa has warned that porn consumption is significantly linked to increases in sexual aggression.

“The latest research is a meta-analysis assessing 22 different studies from seven different countries around the world. This research found that internationally the consumption of pornography was associated significantly with both verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike. This study should be taken seriously in New Zealand as we tackle unacceptable rates of sexual violence and the ‘roastbusters’ mentality,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

The study “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies” published in the Journal of Communication found that “….the association for physical sexual aggression, although smaller than the association for verbal sexual aggression, was still positive and significant. Pornography consumption was associated with an increased probability of the use or threat of force to obtain sex.”

The findings are consistent with an earlier 2002 meta-analysis by the National Foundation for Family Research and Education (NFFRE) at the University of Calgary which found that viewing pornography leads to perceptions of sexual dominance, sex role stereotyping, viewing persons as sexual objects, sexual aggressiveness, and sexually hostility and violent behaviours. And a meta-analysis of eight studies by Seto and Lalumiere (2010) found that male adolescent sex offenders reported more exposure to sex or pornography than male adolescent non-sex offenders.

This latest study from Indiana University says that “the accumulated data leave little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are more likely to hold attitudes conducive to sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression than individuals who do not consume pornography or who consume pornography less frequently.”

“Social scientists, clinical psychologists, biologists and neurologists are now beginning to understand the psychological and biological negative effects of viewing pornography. They show that men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity. Prolonged consumption of pornography results in stronger perceptions of women as commodities or as “sex objects,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“This study adds to the growing evidence that porn harms. If we want to tackle sexual violence, we must first admit the role that pornography plays and the harm that it does to attitudes and actions.”
ENDS

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