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      Public Perceptions of Child Pornography and Child Pornography Consumers

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          Abstract

          Understanding the public’s perceptions of child pornography helps identify gaps in awareness and knowledge, impacts legislative decision making, quantifies stigmatization, and provides a baseline for identifying differences between lay and offender populations for clinical purposes. This research provides a comprehensive public survey assessing these issues. An Internet-based sample of 524 adults (mean age = 47 years, 51% female) within the USA were asked about their understanding and beliefs related to child pornography and individuals who view child pornography. The questions covered three topic areas—general perceptions of child pornography, endorsement of child pornography beliefs, and opinions related to the legality of various forms of child pornography as well as the decision making related to sentencing and sex offender registration for child pornography consumers. The research found that the public viewed these offenses as more severe than most other crimes and that there was an overestimation by the public of risks related to recidivism and contact offending. Additionally, the research found that there was support for most of the current sentencing guidelines in the USA, including sex offender registration, and that there was limited support for treatment over incarceration.

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          Most cited references54

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          Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability

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            Collateral Consequences of Sex Offender Registration

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              Gender differences in pornography consumption among young heterosexual Danish adults.

              Gert Hald (2006)
              The aims of the study were (1) to investigate gender differences in pornography consumption among Danish adults aged 18-30 and (2) to examine gender differences in situational, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics of pornography consumption. A national survey study was conducted using a representative sample of 688 young heterosexual Danish adult men and women. The study found large gender differences in prevalence rates of pornography consumption and consumption patterns. Compared to women, men were exposed to pornography at a younger age, consumed more pornography as measured by time and frequency, and used pornography more often during sexual activity on their own. Gender differences in the interpersonal context of use were also evident, with women using pornography more often with a regular sexual partner than men. In turn, men were found to use pornography more often on their own or with friends (non-sexual partners) than women. For both men and women, the usual place of use was home and no significant gender difference was found in this regard. Men and women were found to vary in their preferences in pornographic materials, with men both preferring a wider range of hardcore pornography and less softcore pornography than women. Gender differences in sexual behavioral factors were limited to masturbation patterns with men masturbating more than women. Male gender, higher frequency of masturbation, lower age at first exposure, and younger age were found to account for 48.8% of the total variance of pornography consumption. The results were discussed in relation to the sociocultural environment and evolutionary theory. It is argued that gender differences in social acceptability, adherence to gender stereotypes, traditions of gender sexuality, gender norms, and mating strategies are key factors in understanding gender differences in pornography consumption.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                c.m.s.steel@sms.ed.ac.uk
                Journal
                Arch Sex Behav
                Arch Sex Behav
                Archives of Sexual Behavior
                Springer US (New York )
                0004-0002
                1573-2800
                6 January 2022
                6 January 2022
                : 1-13
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.4305.2, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7988, Department of Clinical Psychology, , University of Edinburgh, ; Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG UK
                [2 ]GRID grid.22448.38, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8032, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, , George Mason University, ; Fairfax, VA USA
                Article
                2196
                10.1007/s10508-021-02196-1
                8735730
                34993717
                42cda7a9-92f6-455b-8ce5-01951fb2b383
                © This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Original Paper

                Sexual medicine
                child pornography,lay perceptions,sex offender registration,stigmatization,risk assessment

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