Assessment of attitudes toward Internet pornography in emerging adults using the Internet Pornography Questionnaire

Laura K. Noll, Sarah J. Harsey, Jennifer J. Freyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research suggests that Internet pornography (IP) plays an important role in the lives of emerging adults, particularly when it comes to their attitudes and beliefs about sex. However, surprisingly little work has explicitly examined attitudes toward IP among this population. Even fewer studies have assessed the relationship between such attitudes and other aspects of emerging adults' beliefs about sex, especially those that contribute to the persistence of sexual violence. To fill this gap, we investigated the relationship between emerging adults’ attitudes toward IP and rape myth acceptance using the Internet Pornography Questionnaire (IPQ), a new self-report measure designed to evaluate IP consumption patterns, attitudes toward IP, and knowledge about IP in adults. Descriptive analyses indicate emerging adults in this study endorsed diverse and sometimes contradictory patterns of attitudes toward IP. Specifically, participants reported high agreement with both negative and positive statements about IP. After controlling for gender, we found that both positive and neutral attitudes about IP (and not frequency of pornography masturbation) predicted rape myth acceptance, such that more positive or more neutral attitudes were associated with higher rape myth acceptance. Moreover, participants who demonstrated more accurate knowledge about IP endorsed rape myths at significantly lower levels. Study limitation and directions for future research and sexual violence prevention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107231
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Emerging adults
  • Internet pornography (IP)
  • Rape myth acceptance
  • Sexual violence prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology

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