The younger a boy sees porn, the worse he treats women

Henrietta Strickland
August 4, 2017

Boys who watch pornography from an early age are more likely to grow into misogynistic men who objectify women, a new study has revealed.

Among participants, the average age of their first exposure to porn was 13.37 years old. A 2008 study showed 87 percent of young adult men view pornography and half look at it weekly. 'Men exposed young to these images of women may want this more in their sex lives and real lives.

However, they also found that men who are exposed later in life are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.

Participants were then asked to respond to a series of 46 questions created to measure the two masculine norms.

The study said that older the men were at first exposure the more likely they were to become loose.

They were then asked 46 questions which measured how they conformed to one of two behavioural traits - seeking power over women or sexually promiscuous behaviour and living a playboy lifestyle. Men are not animals, they have an ability to distinguish between right and wrong. More than 43 percent said the first time they saw pornography was by accident, while 33 percent said they sought it out and 17 percent said someone else forced them to view pornography.

Co-author masters student Christina Richardson added: "The most interesting finding from this study was that older age at first exposure predicted greater adherence to the playboy masculine norms".

The researchers were surprised to find that seeing porn later in life was associated with a playboy lifestyle, such as preferring to frequently change sexual partners.

Chrissy Richardson, also from the Nebraska team, said: "That finding has sparked many more questions and potential research ideas because it was so unexpected based on what we know about gender role socialisation and media exposure".

The researchers found no correlation between nature of exposure and attitudes to women, which went against their predictions.

The latter finding was unexpected, the researchers said.

It could be that factors not assessed in the current study - such as the participants' religiosity, sexual-performance anxiety or negative sexual experiences - may help explain the link, the researchers said. Knowing more about the connection between men's pornography viewing and their beliefs about women might help with efforts to prevent sexual assault, the researchers said.

The findings provide further evidence that viewing pornography has a real impact on heterosexual men particularly about their view on sex roles.

The age of exposure had differing effects on the two "norms" - the urge to control women, and "playboy" behaviour.

The research was presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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