NEW YORK, Dec 14 (Reuters Life!) - A few decades ago it would have made their mothers or grandmothers blush but pornography is now more acceptable for college women, researchers said.
They found that nearly half of female students in six colleges across the United States who took part in their study said viewing pornography was an acceptable way to express their sexuality.
The researchers from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah suggest that the easy availability of pornography on the Internet and changing social attitudes have led to a generational shift in which pornography seems to be less taboo.
“Even in the absence of personal use, it seems young women’s attitudes are being influenced by the proliferation of pornography,” said Jason Carroll, an associate professor at the university who headed the research team.
“These women are part of a rising generation that is deeming pornography as more acceptable and more mainstream,” he added in a statement.
Carroll and his team studied the attitudes of 813 college students who ranged in age from 18 to 26 and their parents in the study that will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Research.
Unlike their daughters and two-thirds of male students, only 37 percent of fathers thought pornography was acceptable. Nearly 90 percent of male students also reported viewing pornography in the past year, according to the findings.
Jeffrey Arnett, the editor of the journal, described the study as groundbreaking research.
“It is widely known that pornography is the most popular content on the Internet, but few studies have looked at the behavior and attitudes underlying Internet pornography use,” he said.
The study also showed that unlike risky sexual behavior, binge drinking and using marijuana — behaviors that usually peak at the age of 22 — viewing pornography remained consistent from 18 to 26 years old.
Acceptance of pornography was also associated with higher levels of risky behavior and binge drinking, the researchers said.
Editing by Paul Casciato