Pornography creates a fantasy world for its fans, but does it lead to sexual aggression? That question has been the subject of numerous studies dating back to the 1970s. The effects of porn and violent sex crimes has also been debated for decades because of issues with morality.
New research findings published in the Sage Publishing journal Trauma, Violence & Abuse suggest there is no connection between pornography consumption and sexual violence.
“Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Can Meta-Analysis Find a Link?” is based on research by Chris Ferguson, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Stetson University, and Richard Hartley, Ph.D., Criminology and Criminal Justice Department chair and professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The authors conducted meta-analytic research and examined more than 50 correlational, experimental, and population studies that explored the association between pornography and sexual aggression during the past 40 years.
Eleven years ago, Ferguson and Hartley conducted a study on pornography and sexual aggression and recently decided to collect data and re-evaluate the validity of the previous research studies they had reviewed because there was a renewed interest in the subject matter.
They found that poorly designed studies tended to be more likely to support a link between pornography and sexually assaultive behavior.
“During the past few years, many states have declared that pornography is a public health crisis,” said Ferguson. “Dr. Hartley and I were curious to see if evidence could support such claims, at least in regard to sexual aggression, or whether politicians were mistaking moral stances for science. Our evidence suggests that policymakers should examine other causes of sexual aggression and that beliefs about pornography may be driven more by methodological mistakes than sound science.”
Ferguson and Hartley noted that previous research found that hostility, callousness and delinquent behavior were determinants of sexual aggression and that the effects of those personality traits are much stronger than those of pornography consumption.
Correlational studies provided an analysis of the participants’ absorption of sexually explicit materials at various levels and their sexual attitudes and behavior.
Experimental research randomly assigned and exposed men to violent pornography, nonviolent pornography and nonpornographic media, and measured their attitudes toward women or about sexually aggressive behavior by having them complete a questionnaire afterwards. Men also participated in laboratory studies that tested their aggressive behavior towards women.
Neither correlational nor experimental studies provided evidence that supported concerns about pornography.
At the population level, studies explored the relationship between pornography consumers and sexual violence, and found that an increase in available pornography reduced sexual aggression.
The journal article also sheds some light on bias in pornography and sexual aggression research.
“I hope that Dr. Hartley and I can point out some of the widespread problems in much of the research as well as the culture of this field whereas some scholars appear to be too quick to try and find evidence for effects,” said Ferguson. “We need more preregistered, transparent research and a field that is looking to falsify hypotheses and not entirely in confirmatory mode because it feels morally right.”
Ferguson, who is well-known for his research on the effects of aggression, sexual behavior and video game violence, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Central Florida. His clinical background includes working with offender and juvenile justice populations as well as conducting evaluations for child protective services.
Critically acclaimed, pop musician, JesseMcCartney is thrilled to unveil his new music video for his new song, “Better With You”. CLICK HERE to watch exclusively on Paper Magazine. The video was directly by Jo Roy and features Danielle Campbell (from the CW’s TV Show, The Originals).
McCartney says, “This is about that person who helps keep the divisive negativity in the world in perspective. The one who loves you no matter what.”
“Better With You” is McCartney’s first new music since his well-received 2014 album In Technicolor. The acoustic-guitar-driven pop song was co written with Brandyn Burnette, Molly Moore, and producer Rob Knox (Justin Timberlake, Rihanna).
“Better With You” will be available on all streaming platforms on March 23.
The New York-born singer songwriter, producer and actor has had the kind of career that most young artists aspire to. Since the beginning, McCartney has attracted a diehard fan base thanks to many things: his rhythmic, R&B-tinged pop-rock sound, his self-deprecating humor expressed through interviews and on social media, and his ability to write heartfelt, relatable songs that are both personal and universal. His upcoming music is no different. With multiple platinum-selling tracks and a songwriting credit on Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” under his belt McCartney is ready to introduce his fans to who he is today. He plans to release more music throughout 2018 and bring his dedicated fans along for the ride.
In support of his new music he is currently performing at colleges throughout the US.
See tour dates below and look out for more dates to be announced.
Jesse McCartney Tour Dates
March 22 – Mount Pleasant, MI – Central Michigan University
March 23 – Tampa, FL – University of Tampa
April 5 – Orlando, FL – University of Central Florida
April 21 – Riverdale, NY – Manhattan College
April 29 – Newburgh, NY – Mount Saint Mary College