Paul Wright: “U.S. males and pornography, 1973-2010: Consumption, predictors, correlates
Today in IU’s Department of Telecommunications brownbag series, new professor, Paul Wright discussed his work on males and pornography. Driving his inquiry were questions about whether there has been an increase in % of adult male consumers over time, whether there are reliable demographic predictors for pornography consumption, and whether consumption is correlated with attitudes/behaviors of concern to conservative moralists and/or public health officials?
He noted that historically there have been three perspectives on pornography in the academic literature: libertarian, moralist and feminist. Today there is also a public health perspective which is concerned about the transmission of STIs and unplanned pregnancies. Most of the literature on the soccializing effects of pornography comes from the libertarian and feminist perspectives. There is relatively little from the moralist or public health perspectives.Wright’s work seeks to help fill this void.
Using General Social Survey data Wright asked whether certain demographic and personal identifying variables, help to predict whether males will be more likely to emulate (or learn) behaviors observed in pornography. Theory suggests that there is a general socializing effect of pornograpy.
Wright reports a .3% increase in pornography consumption from 1973 to 2010. Pornography consumption over time, according to GSS data, has remained fairly constant. Religious people view less porn than non-religous, non-whites consume more (though barely more) porn than whites, education today is not a predictor of pornography consumption, according to Writght.
Males who consume pornography, were more likely to use condoms, engage in paid sex behavior, approve of adult premarital and teenage sex, and approve of extramarital sex.