Sexually violent behaviour typically develops in adolescence, when sexual scripts are formed. This development may be influenced by pornography consumption and perceived peer attitudes toward sex. Using an online survey design with university student participants (N = 628; 28.6% male) this study investigated the link between frequent consumption of pornography, and watching violent pornography with sexual violence perpetration. Further, it was investigated whether perceived peer rape myth acceptance (RMA) moderates this relationship. Results showed that participants who watched violent pornography reported a higher number of sexual perpetration incidents. Further, it was found that the more participants perceived their peers as condoning of rape myths the more likely they were to be impacted by watching violent pornography consumption, with higher numbers of sexually violent incidents reported. This study was important to replicate existing literature and to show that research should continue to investigate how other factors combined with pornography consumption may lead to sexual perpetration. The relevant findings from this study should be integrated into social-emotional learning strategies targeting risk factors of sexual violence of on-campus prevention programs (White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, 2014b). These programs focus on increasing awareness, providing empowerment opportunities, supporting victims and ultimately preventing sexual assault (Dills et al., 2016; Wooten, 2016).

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Melissa de Roos, Lore Mergaerts
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Leonor Martins Renda da Costa. (2023, July 27). Exploring the Relationship Between Pornography Consumption and Sexual Violence: The Role of Perceived Peer Rape Myth Acceptance. Psychology. Retrieved from