Because gay male pornography often depicts idealized images of male bodies and is widely consumed by gay men, recent studies have investigated the relationship between gay men's pornography consumption and body image. However, the limited research on the subject has reported conflicting results and has only utilized correlational and qualitative methodologies. This is this first known experimental study to investigate the impact of pornography on gay, bisexual, and queer men's body image. Eighty-seven gay, bisexual, and queer men were assigned to watch either an "amateur" pornographic video, "professional" pornographic video, or a nature video, and then completed several body image questionnaires. Results indicated that exposure to pornography did not affect scores on measures of genital body image, drive for muscularity, or social physique anxiety. There was also no correlation found between participants' self-reported history of pornography use and the body image measures. These results contradict previous correlational studies showing a positive relationship between pornography use and body dissatisfaction. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Gleason, N. (2017). The Effects of Pornography on Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Men's Body Image: An Experimental Study [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/712/
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