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Impact of Interaction With a Partner or Friend on the Exposure Effects of Pornography and Erotica

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Past studies on the effects of sexually explicit materials on women have tended to study them alone, in pairs, or in groups of strangers. By contrast, our study randomly assigned women to bring either a same-sex friend or a male partner to reflect more natural viewing conditions. Discussion between the participant and her companion followed exposure to the sexual images. Women who viewed pornography maintained their (quite high) level of negative mood, whereas women who viewed erotica experienced a substantial improvement in mood. The sex of the companion did not have a direct influence on participants' mood, with discussion improving mood across the board. However, participants' ratings of their satisfaction with the discussion were significantly influenced by the sex of their companion. We suggest that future research should focus more on the interpersonal aspects of male-female relationships when exploring the effects of sexually explicit materials on heterosexual women.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

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