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Porn Consumers More Likely to Dehumanize Women, Study Finds

Researchers found that pornography consumers are much more likely to dehumanize others, which is linked to sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors.

Decades of studies from respected academic institutions, have demonstrated significant impacts of porn consumption for individuals, relationships, and society. "What’s the Research" aims to shed light on the expanding field of academic resources that showcase porn’s harms in a variety of ways. Below are selected excerpts from published studies on this issue.

The full study can be accessed here.

Pornography Use, Two Forms of Dehumanization, and Sexual Aggression: Attitudes vs. Behaviors

Authors: Yanyan Zhou, Tuo Liu, (Harry) Yaojun Yan, and Bryant Paul
Published: May 2021

Peer-Reviewed Journal: Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy

Abstract

Sexual objectification is a common pornographic theme. Research shows that sexual objectification leads to the expression of aggressive attitudes and behaviors toward women.

Based on a survey study of 320 male participants, this study re-conceptualizes sexual objectification in terms of two forms of dehumanization. Evidence suggests men’s pornography use is positively associated with both forms, but mechanistic dehumanization of women is more associated with aggressive attitudes while animalistic dehumanization is more associated with aggressive behaviors.

Findings indicate how objectifying pornography use may relate to aggressive attitudes and behaviors and inform the future education campaigns and interventions to reduce sexual aggression.

Methods

A confidential online survey was conducted between October 2018 to March 2019, using Amazon Mechanical Turk…

A total of 320 male participants completed the study. Participants’ ages ranged from 18–35.

Results

Results indicate that the frequency of pornography use is positively associated with both mechanistic and animalistic dehumanization of women.

The more male participants were exposed to pornography, the more likely they mechanistically dehumanize women. Similarly, the heavier pornography users were also more likely to animalistically dehumanize women… The current study shows an interesting double dissociation of the two forms of dehumanization as distinct predictors of both aggressive attitudes and behaviors against women.

Pornography use is associated with both mechanistic and animalistic dehumanization. The two types of dehumanization are also highly correlated with each other.

Consequently, men who use more pornography are more likely to see women as close-minded, impassive, cold, or mechanical, much like instruments or robots. They are also more likely to see women as uncivilized, irrational, unsophisticated, or lacking self-constraint, like animals or beasts.

The two types of dehumanization combine to provide male pornography viewers with a specific sexual script in which women either are denied their full agency and human nature, or only have agency only within the narrow role of a wild sexual creatures that lacks characteristics of human uniqueness.

The full study can be accessed here.

Truth About Porn

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