Adolescents' Exposure to Sexually Explicit Internet Material and Notions of Women as Sex Objects: Assessing Causality and Underlying Processes (2009)

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COMMENTS: Seeing women as sex objects was correlated to watching and liking porn.

Authors: Peter, Jochen; Valkenburg, Patti M.

Source:  Journal of Communication, Volume 59, Number 3, September 2009 , pp. 407-433(27)

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to clarify causality in the previously established link between adolescents' exposure to sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) and notions of women as sex objects. Furthermore, the study investigated which psychological processes underlie this link and whether the various influences varied by gender. On the basis of data from a three-wave panel survey among 962 Dutch adolescents, structural equation modeling initially showed that exposure to SEIM and notions of women as sex objects had a reciprocal direct influence on each other.

The direct impact of SEIM on notions of women as sex objects did not vary by gender. However, the direct influence of notions of women as sex objects on exposure to SEIM was only significant for male adolescents. Further analyses showed that, regardless of adolescents' gender, liking of SEIM mediated the influence of exposure to SEIM on their beliefs that women are sex objects, as well as the impact of these beliefs on exposure to SEIM.

DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01422.x

Affiliations:1: Amsterdam School of Communications Research ASCoR, University of Amsterdam, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands


From - The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents: A Review of the Research (2012)

  • Beliefs of women as sex objects are defined by Peter and Valkenburg (2009) as “ideas about women that reduce them to their sexual appeal in terms of their outer appearance and their body (parts)” (p. 408). Peter and Valkenburg (2009) state that “such notions also entail a strong concern with women’s sexual activities as a main criterion of their attractiveness and focus on women as sexual playthings that are eager to fulfill male sexual desires” (p. 408).
  • In a later study designed to clarify these findings, Peter and Valkenburg (2009) determined that viewing women as sex objects was related to increased frequency in the consumption of sexually explicit material. It is unclear how adolescent females are impacted by viewing other females, and possibly even themselves, as sex objects. In short, these findings suggest that “adolescents’ exposure to SEIM was both a cause and a consequence of their beliefs that women are sex objects” (p. 425)