Presentation Title

Age and Experience of First Exposure to Pornography: Relations to Masculine Norms

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that the majority of men in the U.S. view pornography and that greater consumption of pornography is related to stronger adherence to traditional masculine norms, such as playboy behavior (i.e., sexual promiscuity) and valuing power over women (Kraus & Rosenberg, 2014; Mikorsi & Syzmanski, 2016; Tylka, 2014). Additionally, younger age at first exposure to pornography has been associated with greater current pornography consumption (Hald, 2006). The goal of the present study was to examine how age of first exposure to pornography and the nature of said first exposure (e.g., intentional, accidental, or forced) predicts conformity to two masculine norms: playboy behavior and seeking power over women. 

Hypotheses
It was hypothesized that age of first exposure will predict adherence to the masculine norms of playboy behavior and seeking power over women. In addition, it was hypothesized that there significant differences in adherence to those same masculine norms will emerge between participants reporting that their first exposure to pornography was intentional, accidental, or forced.

Method
Participants
Participants (N = 330) were undergraduate men at a large, Midwestern university, ranging in age from 17-54 years (M = 20.65, SD = 3.06). Participants predominantly identified as White (84.9%) and heterosexual (92.6). After providing informed consent, participants completed the study online.

Instruments
Age of exposure and experience. Two items were used to assess age of first exposure to pornography and whether the exposure was intentional, accidental, or forced. For this sample, the average age of first exposure was 13.37 years (SD=2.43), with 43.5% of participants indicating that their first exposure was accidental, 33.4% indicating it was intentional exposure, and 17.2% indicating it was forced exposure.
Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory-46 (CMNI-46). The CMNI-46 assesses adherence to traditional masculine characteristics. The measure consists of 46 items with a 4-point Likert-type response format (0=strongly disagree to 3=strongly agree). Only two subscales were used in the current analyses: Power over Women and Playboy. For this sample, the internal consistency reliabilities for the subscales were high ( = .81 ).

Results
Results of two single regression analyses indicated that age of first exposure significantly predicted adherence to both the Power over Women masculine norm (F(1, 311) = 6.656, p < .01) and the Playboy masculine norm (F(1, 311) = 6.835, p < .01). Results of two one-way ANOVAs indicated no significant differences in adherence to the two masculine norms between participants grouped by the nature of their first exposure to pornography (i.e., intentional, accidental, or forced).

Discussion
Results indicated that lower age of first exposure to pornography predicted higher adherence to both the Power over Women and the Playboy masculine norms. Additionally, regardless of the nature of the men’s first exposure to pornography (i.e., intentional, accidental, or forced), participants adhered equally to the Power over Women and the Playboy masculine norm. Various explanations may exist to understand these relationships, but the results show the importance of discussing age of exposure in clinical settings with men. Limitations and future directions will be presented.