The role of anonymity in the effects of inadvertent exposure to online pornography among young adult males

Jae Woong Shim1, Bryant M. Paul2
1School of Communication and Media, Sookmyung Women's University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, United States
Cite this article:  Shim, J., & Paul, B. (2014). The role of anonymity in the effects of inadvertent exposure to online pornography among young adult males. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42, 823-834.

Volume 42 Issue 5 | e3737 | Published: June 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.5.823

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We investigated how the sexist attitudes of young adult males were affected when they were inadvertently exposed to online pornography, and the role of the sense of anonymity in subsequent selection by these individuals of sexually explicit material. Participants were 84 male university students. Results showed that participants were more likely to pursue extreme pornography when they felt anonymous, as compared with situations in which they did not feel anonymous. This tendency was especially apparent for those exposed for 10 seconds to sexual online pop-up commercials that include pornographic content. The results also showed that inadvertent exposure to such sexual online pop-up commercials, coupled with feelings of anonymity, could increase participants’ sexist attitudes toward women. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

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