Effects of Exposure to Pornography on Male Aggressive Behavioral Tendencies

Dong-ouk Yang, Gahyun Youn*
Deaprtment of Psychology, Chonnam National University, 300 Yongbong, Gwangju, 500-757 Korea

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© 2012 Yang and Youn.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Deaprtment of Psychology, Chonnam National University, 300 Yongbong, Gwangju, 500-757 Korea; Tel: +82 62 530-2655, + 82 10 6612-2655; Fax: +82 62 530-2659; Emails:,


This study examined whether exposure to pornography lead to aggression, utilizing pornographic video excerpts and measuring participants' aggression by the number of human faces chosen as targets during a dart-throwing decision task. Male college students (n = 120) were randomly assigned into one of three experimental groups who viewed the sexually explicit material (nonviolent, sadomasochistic, or violent pornography) or to a control group who viewed nonsexual, nonviolent material. Each participant could then behave aggressively, or not, in a dart-throwing decision task offering pictures of human faces as possible targets. The facilitative effect of aggression was significant for all three groups exposed to pornography. The effect was especially conspicuous for those groups exposed to violent pornography.

Keywords: Aggressive behavioral tendency, dart-throwing decision task, pornography, violent pornography.