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Study: 49% of College Women Find Porn 'Acceptable'

Study: 49% of College Women Find Porn 'Acceptable'
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Dec 13, 2007 1:30 PM PST    Text size: 
PROVO, Utah — A new Brigham Young University study found that 49 percent of female college students surveyed find pornography acceptable. Only 37 percent of their own fathers agreed.

The online study surveyed 813 college students — and an unspecified number of parents — at six American colleges and universities. It will be published in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Research under the title "Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults."

The researchers found that 86 percent of college men and 31 percent of college women had viewed adult material in the previous year. Men were more frequent consumers: 48 percent of the men surveyed said they viewed it at least weekly, but only 3 percent of women did.

Students and their parents were asked if they agreed or disagreed that viewing pornography is an acceptable way to express one's sexuality. Among college women and men, 67 percent agreed.

Survey lead author Jason Carroll, a family life professor at BYU, suggested two explanations for the high acceptance rate among students.

"One is that this is a life-course finding," Carroll said. "We captured them at a high point in time and their acceptance will decrease and they'll be like their parents. The other argument is that because of the proliferation of pornography, this generation has a unique acceptance of pornography different from their parents, and that it will last. I think there is a compelling argument that is the case."

The survey's authors said that the findings raised as many questions as they answered. Carroll pointed out that it isn't clear whether college women were saying pornography is more acceptable for women — or whether they are growing more permissive about men using it.

For more information about the Journal for Adolescent Research, click here.

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