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A new study shows that beauty standards affect whether or not accusers are believed.
- Sexual harassment is behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances.
- Results of a 2018 survey showed that 81% of women (and 43% of men) had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.
- According to a new study published by the American Psychological Association, women who do not fit female stereotypes for beauty are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment, and if they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed.
The study conducted a series of 11 multi-method experiments, involving over 4,000 participants.
Credit: Andrey Popov / Adobe Stock<p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/apa-shc011221.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to a new study</a> published by the American Psychological Association, women who do not fit female stereotypes for beauty are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment, and if they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed.</p><p>"Sexual harassment is pervasive and causes significant harm, yet far too many women cannot access fairness, justice, and legal protection, leaving them susceptible to further victimization and harm within the legal system," study co-author Cheryl Kaiser, Ph.D., of the University of Washington <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/apa-shc011221.php" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. </p><p>According to Kaiser, sexual harassment claims were deemed less credible (and the harassment was perceived as less psychologically harmful) when it targeted a victim who was less attractive and/or did not act according to the stereotype of a typical woman. </p><p>The study conducted a series of 11 multi-method experiments, involving over 4,000 participants. It was designed to investigate the effects a victim's fit to the concept of a typical woman had on participants' view of sexual harassment (and the consequences of that mental association). In five experiments, participants read scenarios in which women either did or did not experience sexual harassment. Participants assessed the extent to which these women fit the idealized image of women, either by drawing what they thought the woman might look like or selecting from a series of photos. Across all experiments, participants perceived the targets of sexual harassment as more stereotypical than those who did not experience harassment.</p><p>In the next four experiments, participants were shown ambiguous sexual harassment scenarios which were then paired with descriptions or photos of women who were either stereotypical or not. The participants then rated the likelihood that the incident constituted sexual harassment. According to authors of the study, participants were less likely to label these ambiguous scenarios as sexual harassment when the targets were non-stereotypical women (compared with stereotypical women), despite the fact that, in some cases, the incident was the exact same.</p><p><strong>The final two experiments in this study found that sexual harassment claims were often viewed as less credible when the victim adhered less to the typical female stereotype.<br><br></strong>Even when a stereotypical woman and non-stereotypical woman submitted the same claim, it was deemed as less credible if the woman was perceived as less feminine. Additionally, the participants found the harassment to be deemed as less psychologically harmful when experienced by a non-stereotypical female.</p><p>"Our findings demonstrate that non-stereotypical women who are sexually harassed may be vulnerable to unjust and discriminatory treatment when they seek legal recourse," co-author Bryn Bandt-Law, a doctoral student at the University of Washington, explained in an interview. "If women's nonconformity to feminine stereotypes biases perceptions of their credibility and harm caused by harassment, as our results suggest, it could prevent non-stereotypical women who are sexually harassed from receiving the civil rights protections afforded to them by law."</p><p><strong>**If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or assault, contact the <a href="https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline" target="_blank">National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline</a> at 800-656-4673. You are not alone.**</strong></p>
Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.
- The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
- Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
The value of forecasting<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA0Njk2OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzM2NDQzOH0.rid9regiDaKczCCKBsu7wrHkNQ64Vz_XcOEZIzAhzgM/img.jpg?width=980" id="2bb93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31345afbdf2bd408fd3e9f31520c445a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1546" data-height="1056" />
Northwell emergency departments use the dashboard to monitor in real time.
Credit: Northwell Health<p>One unique benefit of forecasting COVID-19 hospitalizations is that it allows health systems to better prepare, manage and allocate resources. For example, if the tool forecasted a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in two weeks, Northwell Health could begin:</p><ul><li>Making space for an influx of patients</li><li>Moving personal protective equipment to where it's most needed</li><li>Strategically allocating staff during the predicted surge</li><li>Increasing the number of tests offered to asymptomatic patients</li></ul><p>The health-care field is increasingly using machine learning. It's already helping doctors develop <a href="https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/09/dc19-1870" target="_blank">personalized care plans for diabetes patients</a>, improving cancer screening techniques, and enabling mental health professionals to better predict which patients are at <a href="https://healthitanalytics.com/news/ehr-data-fuels-accurate-predictive-analytics-for-suicide-risk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elevated risk of suicide</a>, to name a few applications.</p><p>Health systems around the world have already begun exploring how <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315944/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">machine learning can help battle the pandemic</a>, including better COVID-19 screening, diagnosis, contact tracing, and drug and vaccine development.</p><p>Cruzen said these kinds of tools represent a shift in how health systems can tackle a wide variety of problems.</p><p>"Health care has always used the past to predict the future, but not in this mathematical way," Cruzen said. "I think [Northwell Health's new predictive tool] really is a great first example of how we should be attacking a lot of things as we go forward."</p>
Making machine-learning tools openly accessible<p>Northwell Health has made its predictive tool <a href="https://github.com/northwell-health/covid-web-data-predictor" target="_blank">available for free</a> to any health system that wishes to utilize it.</p><p>"COVID is everybody's problem, and I think developing tools that can be used to help others is sort of why people go into health care," Dr. Cruzen said. "It was really consistent with our mission."</p><p>Open collaboration is something the world's governments and health systems should be striving for during the pandemic, said Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's president and CEO.</p><p>"Whenever you develop anything and somebody else gets it, they improve it and they continue to make it better," Dowling said. "As a country, we lack data. I believe very, very strongly that we should have been and should be now working with other countries, including China, including the European Union, including England and others to figure out how to develop a health surveillance system so you can anticipate way in advance when these things are going to occur."</p><p>In all, Northwell Health has treated more than 112,000 COVID patients. During the pandemic, Dowling said he's seen an outpouring of goodwill, collaboration, and sacrifice from the community and the tens of thousands of staff who work across Northwell.</p><p>"COVID has changed our perspective on everything—and not just those of us in health care, because it has disrupted everybody's life," Dowling said. "It has demonstrated the value of community, how we help one another."</p>
Is breakup sex ever a good idea?
- A July 2020 study aimed to better understand post-breakup behavior, specifically why we have breakup sex.
- This research established there are three main reasons people engage in breakup sex: relationship maintenance, ambivalence, and hedonism.
- Experts weigh in on whether or not breakup sex can be beneficial.
Why do we really have breakup sex?
Credit: rodjulian on Adobe Stock<p>A <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1474704920936916" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">July 2020 research study</a> sought to better understand post-breakup behavior by looking at the practice of breakup sex. This research consisted of two studies: one to identify how past breakup sex experiences made the people involved feel versus how they predicted they would feel in the future, and the other investigated why men and women engage in breakup sex at all.</p><p>Men and women want to have breakup sex for different reasons. </p><p>The first study included 212 participants. The results suggested that men are more likely than women to have felt better about themselves after breakup sex, whereas women were more likely to feel better about the relationship after having breakup sex.</p><p>The second study included 585 participants and the results of this study revealed that most breakup sex appears to be motivated by three main factors: relationship maintenance, hedonism, and ambivalence. </p><p>In other words, common reasons to have breakup sex include: because it feels good, because we are conflicted over how we feel about the person, and/or because we think there is maybe a way to salvage things. With this particular study, men tended to support more hedonistic and ambivalent reasons for having breakup sex more often than women. </p>
Most research says breakup sex is unhealthy<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQzMjgwMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTkzMjEyMn0.RDzGSXynRVnPpOTs43vkNjYZQdRRMMHSDkqv6jfTTcM/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C446%2C0%2C446&height=700" id="b16f5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ae4de88a838d886a1cf1ebe7df2fdb6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and woman laying in bed" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Is breakup sex healthy? Research claims it's not...
Credit: fizkes on Adobe Stock<p>While the media may portray breakup sex as beneficial, does it actually do anything to help us cope with, mend, or move on from the ending of a significant relationship? The majority of research suggests that it's unhealthy, however, every situation is different and there are almost always exceptions to the rules. </p><p><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-autism-spectrum-disorder/202006/is-break-sex-ever-good-idea" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Psychology Today</a> reminds us that when a relationship ends, those feelings that you had for the person don't just magically disappear. It can be a complicated and messy process—one that doesn't always have a clear path forward. The article goes on to explain some of the reasons breakup sex is unhealthy. </p><p><strong>It can give you false hope. </strong><br>Perhaps spending one more night together will convince you that the relationship isn't over or that you can continue just having sex without continuing the relationship. </p><p><strong>It stops you from moving forward. </strong><br>While there's no set time in which you should grieve the ending of a relationship, still seeing that person in any kind of sexual or romantic capacity is not going to help you heal and move forward to find better partners. </p><p><strong>The rush of hormones can make you feel differently than you actually do feel (temporarily). <br></strong>Oxytocin and other hormones released during sex are known for providing comforting, loving emotions. This can be quite conflicting when you don't actually feel that way with the person, but your body (due to sexual activity) is telling you that you do. </p>
However, some experts claim there are some benefits to breakup sex.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQzMjgwMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjI2NTI4NX0.UgmT7KWRLTRN2CPytCa7Ky5wdmSqaCKTQBqkm9YbeZE/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C189%2C0%2C189&height=700" id="28c04" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4221709927d001eedb381f806ae6d51e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and woman breaking up concept of breakup sex psychology" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Can breakup sex ever be beneficial? Some experts think it can.
Image by Naufal on Adobe Stock<p>Psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist Kate Moyle spoke with <a href="https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-psychology-behind-breakup-sex-explains-why-it-feels-super-hot-17031372#:~:text=%E2%80%9CBreakup%20sex%20helps%20a%20couple,may%20have%20once%20worked%20well." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Elite Daily</a> about some of the reasons why breakup sex could potentially feel helpful to those involved.</p><p>Breakup sex could allow you to be bolder in bed, leading you to more sexual satisfaction. According to Moyle, it can allow people to lose their inhibitions because they are less afraid of judgment or reaction because the relationship is ending. </p><p><strong>Breakup sex can also be therapeutic. </strong></p><p>In his interview with Elite Daily, licensed Psychotherapist Dr. John D. Moore explains that breakup sex can be one facet of the drawn-out process of ending a relationship. While most people assume relationship endings are an immediate event, Moore suggests it's more of an ongoing process. </p><p>After a breakup, your feelings are in a heightened state, which can allow you to emotionally connect with a partner in a more intense way, which can allow you both to work through some of the emotions surrounding the ending of your relationship. In the interview, Moore goes on to explain that breakup sex almost has the ability to validate certain parts of your relationship (perhaps your physical connection or chemistry) that once worked really well. It can be a celebration of the parts of your relationship you both loved and a way to let go of the relationship due to the things that won't make it work.</p><p><strong>Is breakup sex worth it? </strong></p><p>Some research is against it, some experts are for it, so is breakup sex worth it? It seems almost entirely situational. If you're having breakup sex because you are still hoping to save your relationship, perhaps it's best to steer clear of it to avoid more hurt feelings. However, if you're interested in breakup sex to celebrate and validate each other and the good parts of your relationship, there is proof that it can do that.</p>
Previous research suggesting it's all about prolactin may be missing the mark.
- Men and other male creatures need time to recover between ejaculations, and scientists have assumed it has to do with an increase in the hormone prolactin after coitus.
- A new study finds that manipulating prolactin levels in mice makes no difference in their sexual behavior.
- The authors suspect more complex interactions may be at the heart of the wait for round two.
PERP<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTI2OTI5MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2OTkyODk5OH0.1M9fAOERqj7uhXoA0owV4diEjUUuMIZ_gxvAsfRdB3A/img.jpg?width=980" id="cd357" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d045e3e22ba8661166825b91be5b95b4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1440" data-height="960" />
Credit: Julian Hochgesang /Unsplash<p>From an evolutionary standpoint, as the study puts it, "The PERP is thought to allow replacement of sperm and seminal fluid, functioning as a negative feedback system where, by inhibiting too-frequent ejaculations, an adequate sperm count needed for fertilization is maintained." The length of time involved appears to be influenced by a range of factors, including age and the excitement associated with having a new sexual partner.</p><p>Prolactin itself serves a variety of functions in the human body for both sexes. Its most well-known role is to promote lactation—it's released by the female body during nursing. Estrogen triggers its production by the pituitary gland, while dopamine restrains it.</p><p>Though prolactin's other roles remain under investigation, it's also believed to be involved in behavior regulation, and in maintaining the immune, metabolic, and reproductive systems.</p>
No smoking gun<p>The authors write that "the sequence of sexual behavior in the mouse is very similar to the one observed in humans, making it an ideal system to test this hypothesis."</p><p>Therefore, for the study, Lima and her colleagues studied prolactin's role during and after sexual activity for two types of male mice—one type required several days to recover from ejaculation while the other had a relatively short PERP.</p><p>The researchers took blood from the males before they were introduced to female partners from whom they'd been kept separated. Blood was again taken after a preliminary mounting, again after a number of mounts that depended on the male's PERP—five mounts for the slow-recoverers and three for the males with the shorter turnaround time. Finally, blood was taken after ejaculation, which was fairly easy to discern since it was accompanied by what the study calls "stereotypical shivering" in the males, who also fell over afterward.</p><p>The researchers did find that the males' recovery was accompanied by higher levels of prolactin. However, during subsequent experiments in which the scientists boosted prolactin levels prior to sex—which, if the prevailing theory was correct, would have reduced their interest in copulation—no change in their sexual behavior was observed. Says Lima, "Despite the elevation in prolactin levels, both strains of mice engaged in sexual behavior normally."</p><p>Repressing prolactin levels after ejaculation also failed to reduce the males' PER interval. "If prolactin was indeed necessary for the refectory period," says Lima, "males without prolactin should have regained sexual activity after ejaculation faster than controls. But they did not."</p><p>Lima does caution that there are some differences between mice and men when it comes to prolactin dynamics, so more study is warranted.</p>
So, what is going on?<p>Lima suggests that there's likely some complex interaction between the two systems involved in ejaculation: the central brain system that manages desire and the peripheral system that handles the physical aspects of ejaculation.</p><p>At the very least, the research suggests that we don't yet know why men experience their mandatory time-out. "Our results indicate that prolactin is very unlikely to be the cause," Lima summarizes. "Now we can move on and try to find out what's really happening." </p>
Scrap getting fitter or eating better and focus more on the people in your life.
No, being interested in BDSM does not mean you had a traumatic childhood.
- BDSM is a kind of sexual expression and/or practice that refers to three main subcategories: Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/submission, and Sadism/Masochism.
- It has been widely speculated that many BDSM practitioners or people who enjoy the BDSM lifestyle are drawn to it because of sexual trauma they experienced in the past.
- This 2020 study claims that BDSM practitioners deserve perception as normal sexual practice free from stigmatization rather than deviant behavior.
No, being interested in BDSM doesn’t mean you had a traumatic childhood<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20118e9474ed94bd8e4d50bc166b1bee"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZfSyq8gRsyM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>While many may assume being interested in BDSM may mean you've experienced unhealthy or violent relationships/situations in your formative years, this study explains why that myth should be put to rest.</p><p>BDSM practitioners across the study scored higher levels of physical abuse in adulthood. However, no significant differences emerged for other traumatic experiences (including childhood physical abuse or unwanted sexual trauma).<br></p><p>There have been many accounts (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYG0pajxLuY" target="_blank">such as this</a>) from BDSM practitioners that have claimed there is a certain "healing process" involved in finding a trustworthy BDSM relationship after escaping from a toxic relationship. This could account for why people who have experienced physically abusive relationships as adults then turn to the BDSM community and BDSM-related sexual interests. </p><p>When it came to the Relationship Questionnaire, people who engaged in the BDSM lifestyle more often scored in the "secure" attachment style than people who were not BDSM practitioners. While many BDSM practitioners had secure attachment styles, there was also a significant spike in anxious-preoccupied attachment styles when it came to people who practiced BDSM. In particular, the "secure" attachment style was associated with BDSM practitioners who identified as "Dominant" and the "anxious-preoccupied" attachment style was associated with people who identified as "submissive."</p><p><strong>There are no findings to support the hypothesis of BDSM being a coping mechanism for early life dynamics or trauma.</strong> </p><p>This authors of the study claim that BDSM practitioners deserve perception as normal sexual practice free from stigmatization rather than deviant behavior—and the final results of the study support this idea. </p>
Are people involved in BDSM practices more aware of their attachment styles?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTIwMDc2OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2OTYwMjA1OX0.2cQbq1Nka_9dWd6GvzyoWjc68JU3Oor-1d6PKnUWBmY/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C292%2C0%2C292&height=700" id="c0877" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6eb72a2ee78fb73264254d33e4411364" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="man and woman holding paper heart" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Could people who engage in BDSM be more mindful in their relationships?
Photo by Tiko on Adobe Stock<p>While many people insist engaging in BDSM practices means you've had significant traumatic experienced that led you to do so, there are some experts that argue BDSM practitioners are actually more in tune with their own psychopathology than people who do not engage in BDSM activities.</p><p>BDSM involves a diverse range of practices which can involve role-playing games in which one person assumes a dominant role and the other assumes a submissive role. These activities are often intense and can involve activities such as physical restraint, power plays, humiliation, and sometimes (but not always) pain. </p><p><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/fans-of-bondage-and-sm-report-better-mental-health/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">According to a study</a> published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people involved in BDSM may actually be more mentally healthy. The study suggests people who engage in BDSM activities often show more extroverted qualities and tend to be more open to experiences and more conscientious. They also tend to be less neurotic and less sensitive to rejection. The study also showed BDSM practitioners had a more secure attachment style, which is supported in the more recent study listed above. </p><p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.bustle.com/articles/186777-bdsm-may-be-the-most-mindful-type-of-sex-study-finds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">it's been hypothesized</a> that people involved in BDSM are more mindful during sex than those who do not engage in BDSM practices. </p>
A large-scale meta-analysis aims to disprove the notion that pornography consumption causes sexual aggression and violence.
- The potential link between pornography consumption and sexual aggression and/or violence has been studied for decades, with the earliest research dating back to the 1970s.
- A 2020 meta-analysis study published in the Journal of Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, aims to entirely disprove the notion that there is a link between pornography and sexual aggression or sexually aggressive crimes.
- The CDC suggests that while "exposure to sexually graphic media" may be a factor in sexual aggression, it's not the cause nor the only factor that should be considered.
Does pornography cause sexual violence?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA4OTYyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTUwOTYyOX0.FvmMYQoZpAkZqMMm3S5v_7zBg6d3fvlELf3lZFWoqOo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C783%2C0%2C783&height=700" id="0fd8c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="042738cda4ba95a556f8ec9c00659daf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="porn dialogue windows open on computer" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Is there any truth to the notion that pornography causes sexual violence?
Credit: ninefotostudio on Adobe Stock<p>The anti-pornography group, <a href="https://fightthenewdrug.org/how-consuming-porn-can-lead-to-violence/" target="_blank">Fight the New Drug</a>, is dedicated to confirming this theory, with mass-spread articles that heavily suggest consuming porn can (and will) lead to sexual violence.</p><p>We have seen a similar question being posed across all spectrums of the entertainment world:</p><ul><li>"Do violent video games lead to violence in kids?" </li><li>"Do graphic violence scenes in movies promote and encourage violence?"</li></ul><p><strong>How does what we consume, whether it be pornography, video games, or movies, impact our actions in the real world? </strong></p><p>Many studies in the past have attempted to draw a line (or erase the link entirely) between violence and pornography with no success on either side. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12131276_Exploring_the_Connection_Between_Pornography_and_Sexual_Violence" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">This 2000 study</a> by Raquel Kennedy Bergen and Kathleen A. Bogle collected data from 100 survivors of sexual abuse. Twenty-eight percent of respondents reported that their abuser used pornography and 12 percent of female respondents explained that pornography was imitated during their abusive incident. </p><p>More recently, <a href="https://www.galwaydaily.com/news/nuig-study-suggests-porn-use-exacerbates-sexual-aggression/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a separate 2019 study</a> of almost 600 male Croatian secondary school students (between the ages of 15-17) explored the link between sexually aggressive students and pornography. While teenagers who showed signs of sexually aggressive behavior were more likely to use pornography, the researchers were unable to find any apparent link showing pornography had caused the behavior. In fact, it was found that people who were sexually aggressive were those who were already predisposed to aggressive acts. </p><p>The consensus with many of these studies is that while porn can be particularly enticing to individuals who are prone to becoming or have in the past become sexually aggressive, there is no concrete evidence that porn has caused or worsened their sexual aggression.</p><p><strong>A new study hopes to disprove this notion once and for all.</strong></p><p>The most recent research on this topic is <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1524838020942754?journalCode=tvaa" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a 2020 meta-analysis study</a> published in the Journal of Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. The current meta-analysis examined experimental, correlational, and population studies of the pornography/sexual aggression link dating from the 1970s until 2020. Several notable things were discovered in this meta-analysis that ultimately weakens the connection between pornography consumption and sexual aggression.</p><p>This meta-analysis examined decades of work, some of which suggested there is a link between pornography and sexual violence in real life and some of which suggested there is not. In the cases where the studies were conducted over a longer period of time, the link was weakened. </p><p><strong>Violent pornography was correlated with sexual aggression, but the evidence was unable to distinguish between selection effect compared to socialization effect.</strong> </p><p>"Selection effect" is defined as the bias that's introduced when a methodology or analysis is biased towards a specific subset of a target population. </p><p>"Socialization effect" is defined as the process of learning throughout a larger process of learning. For example, as we begin to study more about the link between sexual violence and porn, we learn more about both of those things which can then impact how we view the results of these studies. </p><p><strong>Studies that employed higher levels of best practices tended to provide less evidence of a potential link.</strong> </p><p>"Best practices" can be defined as a systematic process used to identify, describe, combine, and disseminate effective and efficient clinical strategies. Some of the "best practices for conducting research" include things like observing regulations during your research, reviewing protocol with all team members regularly, ensuring that each team member has the most current information, creating and using proper tools to assist in research, etc. </p><p>The studies that employed higher levels of best practices for research tended to also be the studies that provided less evidence of any potential link between pornography and sexual aggression. </p>
Sexual violence is not caused by one specific factor, suggests the CDC<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA4OTcxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjA0ODY5Mn0.QmWO8Bz70cq5VoqmWzfLmiRhzlpWnmK49a69FwxUREA/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C220%2C0%2C220&height=700" id="cf69f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4a798fa2653bf4d65f2e3e76401ae2ae" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="agenda calendar with "risk factors" written on the slip" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
Credit: Iryna on Adobe Stock<p>Does pornography <em>cause </em>sexual violence? The evidence suggests not. The CDC has put together <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/riskprotectivefactors.html" target="_blank">a list of "risk factors"</a> that can be linked to a greater likelihood of sexual violence perpetration.</p><p>While "exposure to sexually explicit media" is on this list, there are also many other factors that can contribute, such as: </p><ul><li>Alcohol and/or drug use</li><li>Lack of empathy </li><li>Delinquency </li><li>General aggressiveness and acceptance of violence </li><li>Hyper-masculinity </li><li>Suicidal behavior</li><li>Prior sexual victimization or perpetration </li><li>Hostility towards women</li><li>Early sexual initiation</li><li>Preference for impersonal sex and/or sexual risk-taking </li></ul><p>Additionally, there are several "community" (or environmental) factors that can also contribute, such as: </p><ul><li>Poverty </li><li>Lack of employment opportunities </li><li>Lack of institutional support </li><li>General tolerance of sexual violence within the community </li><li>Societal norms that support sexual violence </li><li>Weak laws and policies relating to sexual violence </li><li>High levels of crime </li></ul><p><em>"</em>During the past few years many states have declared that pornography is a public health crisis," <a href="https://www.stetson.edu/today/2020/07/stetson-researcher-says-porn-does-not-cause-violent-sex-crimes/" target="_blank">said Chris Ferguson</a>, a professor of psychology at Stetson University, to The University of Texas at San Antonio. </p><p>"Dr. Hartley and I were curious to see if evidence could support such claims—at least in regard to sexual aggression—or whether politicians were mistaking moral stances for science. Our evidence suggests that policymakers should examine other causes of sexual aggression and that beliefs about pornography may be driven more by methodological mistakes than sound science."<br></p>