Dissertation Proposal Defense 9.25.13


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The topic for this study will be on psychosexual development of sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem among American youth.

This study needs to be conducted because youth’s behaviors and perceptions are susceptible to learning myths and inaccuracies about sexuality based on sexually explicit content depicted in pornography.

1. Improve psychosexual development among youth
2. Increase access to accurate sexual health information
3. Understand the narratives and sexual scripts of pornographic messages
4. Explore pornographic messages through critical evaluation of thematic content from participants
5. Demonstrate an understanding of how responsible and consensual sex is represented in real-life circumstances
6. Promoting healthy sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem

Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory study will be to understand how sexual scripts/narratives influence sexual self-esteem, and to determine whether implementing a porn literacy program is effective in encouraging sexual responsibility and fostering sexual wellbeing among American youth.

1. Provide accurate information about pornography
2. Reframe sexually explicit messages depicted in pornography
3. Clarify and dispel myths learned through pornography
4. Build skills to discern between fantasy and reality, coercion and consent, and risk and responsibility

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Dissertation Proposal Defense 9.25.13

  1. 1. + Measuring Sexual Scripts and Sexual Self-Esteem Among Youth: A Pilot Study on the Porn Literacy Program Dissertation Proposal Defense Kulkiran K. Nakai, M.A. September 25, 2013
  2. 2. + Statement of the Problem  Highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among youth between the ages of 20 to 24 and 15 to 19  Higher sexual risk-taking: unprotected sex and multiple partners  Early intercourse associated with substance use, truancy, aggression, and behavioral deviance  Psychosocial Risk Factors: reduced knowledge about safer sex practices, sexual pressures, powerlessness, conformity to social norms, early intercourse, low academic achievement, and impoverished family environments  Initiation of sexual activity positively associated with sexually explicit content through media outlets  Strongly associated with emotional distress and low self-esteem
  3. 3. +  Statement of the Problem Later and less learning of sex ed at home and in schools suggest:      (cont’d) Practicing risk-taking behaviors Holding more permissive views about sex Developing a less secure identity against sexual pressure Disregarding healthier values and safer decisions in risky situations Seeking out sexual health information through Internet (i.e., pornography):     Alarming rate of unsolicited exposure to pornography at a young age Failure to demonstrate healthy sexual relationships, use of contraceptives, and associated consequences (i.e., unprotected sex, multiple partners, coercive sex) Highest percentage of depicting coercive and nonconsensual sex Shapes misguided “sexual scripts” about real-life sexuality, relationships, and scenarios
  4. 4. + Internet Pornography Statistics  Each second approximately 28,258 consumers are viewing porn  11 million out of 70 million Internet porn consumers are 18-years of age and younger  Higher percentages of Internet prescriptions to top porn sites are among youth aged 15 to 24-years-old  66 percent lacked a disclaimer that warned users of adult content, while only 3 percent required adult verification  90 percent of content displayed physical and verbal aggression  Promote additional risks such as sexually deviancy and sexual offenses  Traumatic or negative emotional responses, misinformation about human sexuality, overestimation of unusual sexual activities, sexual compulsivity and addiction, and reinforcement of objectification of humans and commoditization of sex
  5. 5. Increase Decrease (– ) Unhealthy EXISTING LITERATURE Sex Ed = Sexual Self-Efficacy Sexually Explicit Content = Risk Taking Sexual Self-Efficacy ( – ) Sexual Scripts = ( – ) Self-Image Porn Consumption = Porn Compulsion = Males = Sexual Health Sexual Self-Efficacy ( – ) Sexual Scripts Satisfaction Porn Compulsion Risk Taking Satisfaction Sexual Self-Efficacy Risk Taking Desensitization Sexualization Females =( – ) Sexual Scripts Compulsion Desensitization Sensitization Satisfaction Sexual Self-Esteem = Risk Taking ( ? ) Sexual Self-Esteem ± ( – ) Self-Image ( ? ) Sexual Scripts ± Aggression Mental Health Satisfaction ( ? ) Porn Literacy
  6. 6. + Statement of Purpose  Developmental time for youth to integrate sexuality in the formulation of relationships and identity  Demonstrate an understanding of how responsible and consensual sex is represented in real-life circumstances  Provide youth with sexual health information for promoting healthy sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem  Encourage individuals to learn how to demonstrate healthy sexuality, thereby promoting sexual wellbeing and improving mental health  Determine whether implementing a porn literacy program is effective in promoting healthier sexual scripts and sexual selfesteem among American youth
  7. 7. 1) What are the differences in sexual scripting and sexual self-esteem based on gender and race/ethnicity? 2) What are the differences in sexual scripting and sexual self-esteem based on the amount of pornography consumed? 3) Does gender, race/ethnicity, and amount of pornography moderate the relationships between sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem? 4) Does the relationship status moderate sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem? + 5) If there is a relationship between sexual scripts and sexual self-esteem, how do these variables influence sexual self-efficacy among youth? RESEARCH QUESTIONS
  8. 8. + Variables  Measurements Outcome Variables:  Sexual self-esteem, sexual scripts, and program effectiveness  Moderating Variables:  Gender, race/ethnicity, relationship status, degree of porn consumption, age at first exposure, and sexual self-efficacy  Measurements:  Tailored demographic survey  Sexual experience survey  Exposure to sexual content survey  Multidimensional Sexual Self-Concept Questionnaire (MSSCQ) – Modified Version  Attitudes Toward Erotica Questionnaire (ATEQ)  Safe Sex Behaviors Questionnaire (SSBQ) Design  Manipulated Variable:  Porn literacy program / intervention   Quasi-experimental design (qualitative and quantitative)  Methodology 
  9. 9. +  Procedures  Data Analysis Procedure:  Time 1 (pre-intervention) and Time 2 (post-intervention) questionnaire packets  Administer 45-minute intervention  Raffled incentive for participation  Data Analysis:  Baron & Kenny: determine if amount of pornography consumed moderates the degree of pre-post intervention change in sexual self-esteem, sexual scripting, and sexual self-efficacy  Mann-Whitney: compare between demographic variables, including gender, race/ethnicity, and relationship status (cont’d) Sample  Sample Characteristics (n ≅ 54):  English speaking East-West University students between 18– to 24–years–old  Matched sample pre-enrolled in Human Sexuality course (participants assigned numerical identities)  Methodology 
  10. 10. + Porn Literacy Intervention Theoretically-based, 21st century approach to education:  45-minutes: interactive, appealing, positive, spirited, sassy, and informative  Facilitate critical thinking and meaning making that enable youth to identify assumptions about porn stars, masculinity, femininity, sexual orientation, racism and sexism, power, consent, heterosexism, and society’s expectations of female beauty and treatment of women (i.e., misogyny)  Quest for meaning: Professional Consultations:  Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH)  Chicago Sex Therapy Network (CSTN)  How porn constructs reality  Context of messages depicted in porn  Organizational or cultural industries that produce porn  about-face.org  Technologies of production, distribution, and reception  Dr. Marty Klein  How porn represents individuals and groups  Lea Caughlan  Different ways in which audiences respond to and use Internet porn
  11. 11. ( H1) there will be an increase in sexual self-esteem after the porn literacy intervention program ( H2) moderating variables such as gender, race/ethnicity, relationship status, age at first exposure to pornography, degree of pornography consumption, and sexual self-efficacy will have a significant effect on sexual self-esteem and sexual scripts ( H3) there will be more balance in permissive attitudes and scripts about pornography after the literacy intervention program ( H4) participants will rate the effectiveness of the porn literacy program as positive and helpful. + HYPOTHESES It is hypothesized that increased porn consumption may reduce the impact of the porn literacy intervention, increased sexual self-esteem may serve to enhance the effectiveness of the intervention. This study predicts that those who consume a high amount of pornography will not be as impacted by the porn literacy intervention program, whereas those who consume a low amount of pornography will have developed healthier sexual selfesteem and thus be more impacted by the porn literacy intervention program and more likely to modify their sexual scripts and enhance potential sexual self-efficacy.
  12. 12. 1. Improve psychosexual development among youth 2. Increase access to accurate sexual health information 3. Challenge media influenced sexual scripting 4. Encourage critical thinking about race, gender, sexual orientation, and misogyny depicted in sexually explicit material 5. Build skills to discern between fantasy and reality, coercion and consent, and risk and responsibility 6. Reconstruct sexual misperceptions and promote sexual responsibility and sexual wellbeing among youth + OBJECTIVES
  13. 13. + Expected Timeline *fingers crossed