Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Pornography, Pornography-Social aspects, Sexual consent, Realism in motion pictures, Psychosexual development, Psychosexual issues


Over the past few decades there have been contradictory research findings regarding the effects of pornography on attitudes and violence toward women. Researchers have recently found that the more realistic one perceives pornography to be, the more likely one is perceived positive benefits of pornography. As a result, in the current study, researchers explored how one's perceived realism and frequency of viewing impacted attitudes about sexual consent. Participants, who were 18 years and old, living in the United States, and who had viewed pornographic content online in the last 12 months, completed an online survey. T-tests revealed frequency of viewing did not impact attitudes about sexual consent; but perceived realism did significantly impact attitudes about sexual consent. The more realistic one perceived pornography to be: the less behavioral control participants felt they had about sexual consent and the more likely the participants were to rely on non-verbal cues for sexual consent. A linear regression that controlled for age, gender, and socioeconomic status found that perceived realism played a small, but significant role in attitudes about sexual consent. More nuanced research about pornography, including studies that that continue to explore how perceived realism of pornography impacts attitudes about sexual behaviors and beliefs is needed.




v, 43 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 19-25)

Limited Access until August 2018