Religiosity, sexual myths, sex taboos, and pornography use: A cross-national comparison of Polish and German university students

Vol.9,No.2(2015)

Abstract
The study aimed to compare pornography use of students in two culturally different European countries – Poland and Germany, and to investigate associations with religiosity, sexual myths, and sex taboos. Data were collected in an online survey among German (n = 1303) and Polish (n = 1135) university students aged 18-26 years. Polish students were more religious, showed a greater acceptance of sexual myths, and reported a higher level of sex taboos in their origin families. Polish students were younger at their first contact with pornography, while German students used pornographic materials more often. Results suggested a link between sociocultural background, especially religiosity, and pornography engagement. The relationship between pornography use and religiosity was ambiguous. On the one hand, attending church was negatively associated with age at first contact and pornography use. On the other hand, the association of intrinsic religiosity with pornography use proved to be contradictory: it was correlated with a lower frequency of pornography use for females and with a higher frequency for males. The agreement with common sexual myths was related to a higher frequency of pornography use. There was no association between the level of sex taboos and pornography use.

Keywords:
Pornography; Sexually explicit materials; Sexual socialization; Religiosity; Young adults
Author biographies

Urszula Martyniuk

Author photo Urszula Martyniuk, M.A. is a psychologist and PhD candidate. She works as researcher at the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany).

Arne Dekker

Author photo Prof. Dr. phil. Arne Dekker is a sociologist and junior professor for sexual science and preventive internet research. He is assistant chair of the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) and editor of the German Journal for Sex Research.

Susanne Sehner

Author photo Susanne Sehner, M.Sc. is a mathematician and PhD candidate. She works as researcher at the Institute for Medical Biometry and Epidemiology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany).

Hertha Richter-Appelt

Author photo Prof. Dr. phil. Hertha Richter-Appelt is a psychologist and psychotherapist. She was assistant chair of the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) and Equal Opportunity Commissioner at the Faculty of Medicine, until her retirement in 2015.

Peer Briken

Author photo Prof. Dr. med. Peer Briken is a sex researcher, psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He is chair of the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) and president of the German Society for Sex Research.
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