The effects of rape myth pornography on women's attitudes and the mediating role of sex role stereotyping (1987)

Printer-friendly version

Sex Roles

September 1987, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 321–338

  • Suzin E. Mayerson
  • Dalmas A. Taylor

DOI: 10.1007/BF00288456

Cite this article as: Mayerson, S.E. & Taylor, D.A. Sex Roles (1987) 17: 321. doi:10.1007/BF00288456

Abstract

This study tested several hypotheses regarding (1) the effects of reading pornography on women's self-esteem and attitudes about rape and interpersonal violence and (2) how these effects were mediated by subject's degree of sex role stereotyping (SRS). Women high and low in SRS read one of three sexually explicit stories portraying different combinations of a woman's consent (or no consent) and arousal (or no arousal) to forceful sexual activity. As predicted, all stories had some effect on attitudes. Differences attributable to the Consent and Arousal manipulations were minimal, but generally in the expected direction. Compared to not reading a story, reading any story generally led to changes in self-esteem and greater acceptance of rape myths and interpersonal violence. Also as predicted, high, compared to low, SRS subjects generally reported lower self-esteem and more tolerance of rape and other violence. Differences were also found in perceptions of sexual situations. Significant SRS by story interactions and other results related to the hypotheses are also discussed.