Unsolicited online sexual material: What affects our attitudes and likelihood to search for more?

Nosko, Amanda; Wood, Eileen; Desmarais, Serge
March 2007
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1/2, p1
Academic Journal
Sexually explicit information can be encountered through the Internet by both active exploration and passive means (e.g., junk mail, email and pop-ups). The present study examined unsolicited exposure to sexually explicit material through email, junk mail and pop-ups by assessing potential variables that might impact on positive attitudes towards such sexually explicit materials and the likelihood to search for them online. The findings support previously reported gender differences in attitudes and behaviour in relation to sexually explicit materials. Overall, males felt more positive toward online sexual content and were more likely to explore unsolicited emails and pop-ups than were females. Computer use for a variety of purposes (e.g., downloading files, communication, and entertainment) predicted positive attitudes towards unsolicited sexual pop-ups and junk mail messages while sheer number of hours spent on the computer predicted searching behaviour for sexual information. Domain-specific curiosity (i.e., curiosity toward online sexual material) positively predicted both positive attitudes and searching behaviours. Implications from this exploratory study are discussed.


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