Pornography use, offense-supportive cognitions, atypical sexual interests, and sexual offending against children

Sarah Paquette*, Sébastien Brouillette-Alarie, Michael C. Seto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of pornography are hotly debated in the scientific literature, especially its potentially negative influence on sexual offending. While studies do not support direct effects of pornography use on sexual offending, pornography is hypothesized to have a catalytic effect among men who are predisposed to sexually offend due to the presence of other risk factors. Using a sample of 241 men varying in sexual offending history, this study examined the associations of different types of pornography consumption, offense-supportive cognitions, and atypical sexual interests on sexual offending against boys or girls. Bivariate analyses support the idea that people seek pornography that matches their sexual interests. Multivariate analyses revealed that the only type of pornography associated with contact sexual offending against boys or girls was child pornography, as it had incremental validity predicting number of victims beyond offense-supportive cognitions and atypical sexual interests. Moderation analyses suggested that, as hypothesized, child pornography consumption amplifies the effect of sexual interests for boys on sexual offending against boy victims. However, that moderation effect was not found for sexual offending against girls. Clinical and research implications are discussed, focusing on the importance of including measures of pornography consumption within forensic assessment and management protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-804
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume59
Issue number6
Early online date12 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

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