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Lecture 9

JMC 1100 Lecture 9: Media Uses Week 11/13

5 Pages
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Department
Journalism & Mass Communication
Course Code
JMC 1100
Professor
Rachel Young

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Media Uses
11/13
Sex & the Media
November 10, 2016 (Thursday)
Announcements
Exam 4
December 15, Thursday, 8-10pm. MacBride Auditorium Extra Credit Opportunity posted to
ICON
Confirmation Bias
People tend to seek, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms their prior
beliefs. Investigating sexual content in the media using social science theories and methods
minimizes the
effects of our biases and expectations.
Pornography vs. Obscenity
Pornography is protected under the first Amendment, but obscenity is not. Individual films or
items MUST meet all 3 standards of 1973 Miller vs. California obscenity test to be
considered obscene. 1. Violates contemporary community standards. 2. Patently offensive will
most of people agree that they are offended by it? 3. Lacking serious artistic, literary, political or
scientific value.
Does pornography cause sexual violence?
There is anecdotal evidence that it does (Anecdotal evidence means that one person or a few
people report the effects, but there is not scientific evidence to generalize these effects to
society).
But we need scientific evidence
There is a correlation between rape and pornography consumption. There is a logical
association. However, there is no constant time order or ruling out third variables to indicate
cause and
effect. Experiments are the only method that determines causality
Two Theories on the Effects of Pornography
Trigger Hypothesis Exposure to pornography will cause a response in some individuals that
will provoke them to commit a sex crime.
Similar to past theories: Social Learning Theory, Priming
Safety Valve Theory Exposure to pornography will satisfy whatever urges might cause a
person to commit a sex crime
Similar to past theory: Catharsis
Ecological Validity problems in the experiments viewing pornography Studies usually
conducted on college-age men, which may not represent the whole population. This kind of
experiment often conducted in groups, but people may not watch pornography in
groups.
Priming
Associations between concepts get stronger every time they are reinforced• Pornography
associates youth with sex• 21.8% of adult film covers featured “youth-sexualized imagery”•
Imagery has increased over time
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• Pornography associates sex with violence• Amount of violence depends on how “violence” is
defined
Effects of pornography on Beliefs and Attitudes
In experiments, viewing pornography associated with:
• Increased belief that the crime of rape is not as serious• Less satisfaction with sexual
relationships• Less trust in sexual partners• Less belief in the testimony of a sexual assault
victim• Increased belief in rape myths, such as “no” means “yes”
Meta-Analysis
• Definition: A type of research study that analyzes findings from studies that have already been
completed; averages results across many studies to understand research trends
• Example: A meta-analysis of studies that examine the effect of pornography on beliefs and
attitudes
• Findings: Small but significant effect linking exposure to sexually explicit material with
increased tendency to accept rape myths and interpersonal violence in relationships
• Other factors (family background, personality traits) are more important in determining
attitudes, but pornography consumption does have a small effect.
Effects of Pornography on Behavior
In experiments, viewing pornography lowers the inhibition to commit violent acts and increases
hostility toward women. For example, administering electric shocks to women
How to measure responses (i.e., how to measure the effects of pornography)?
Psychophysiological measures.
Definition: Measurements of physical response that assess emotional states
Facial muscles = positive emotion, smiling Heart rate, sweating = physiological arousal Penile
tumescence = sexual arousal
Limitations of Experiments
Usually conducted on college-age men Do results apply to other age groups? Usually
conducted in a laboratory
Ecological Validity = the extent to which experimental results apply outside of the laboratory
setting
Will people behave the same way in real life?
Social desirability bias
Would research participants want to state their true beliefs and attitudes?
But, also a media literacy effect for men who participated in experiments about pornography
Sexual Content in Mainstream Media
Amount of sexual activity in media in movies and on TV has increased over time.o 30% of
dialogue on prime-time TV shows had some sexual content
Type of sexual activity shown has also changed
o Content getting more explicit over time
Still, consequences or risks of sexual activity not often shown on TV and in film
o Only 4% of TV scenes with sexual content included mention of sexual risk or responsibility,like
contraception
Desensitizing Effect
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Description
Media Uses 1113 Sex the Media November 10, 2016 (Thursday) Announcements Exam 4 December 15, Thursday, 810pm. MacBride Auditorium Extra Credit Opportunity posted to ICON Confirmation Bias People tend to seek, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms their prior beliefs. Investigating sexual content in the media using social science theories and methods minimizes the effects of our biases and expectations. Pornography vs. Obscenity Pornography is protected under the first Amendment, but obscenity is not. Individual films or items MUST meet all 3 standards of 1973 Miller vs. California obscenity test to be considered obscene. 1. Violates contemporary community standards. 2. Patently offensive will most of people agree that they are offended by it? 3. Lacking serious artistic, literary, political or scientific value. Does pornography cause sexual violence? There is anecdotal evidence that it does (Anecdotal evidence means that one person or a few people report the effects, but there is not scientific evidence to generalize these effects to society). But we need scientific evidence There is a correlation between rape and pornography consumption. There is a logical association. However, there is no constant time order or ruling out third variables to indicate cause and effect. Experiments are the only method that determines causality Two Theories on the Effects of Pornography Trigger Hypothesis Exposure to pornography will cause a response in some individuals that will provoke them to commit a sex crime. Similar to past theories: Social Learning Theory, Priming Safety Valve Theory Exposure to pornography will satisfy whatever urges might cause a person to commit a sex crime Similar to past theory: Catharsis Ecological Validity problems in the experiments viewing pornography Studies usually conducted on collegeage men, which may not represent the whole population. This kind of experiment often conducted in groups, but people may not watch pornography in groups. Priming Associations between concepts get stronger every time they are reinforced Pornography associates youth with sex 21.8 of adult film covers featured youthsexualized imagery Imagery has increased over time
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