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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Unformatted Document Text:  A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression Page 2 of 23 The Impersonal Sex pathway is characterized by a promiscuous, non-committal, game-playing orientation towards sexual relations. Following an evolutionary paradigm, there may be a sensitive period in early development (e.g. the first 5-7 years) during which enduring reproductive strategy are shaped or “triggered” by key environmental stimuli, (Draper & Harpending, 1982). Whereas relatively benign environments favor a long-term “quality” strategy that involves high investment in relatively few offspring, harsh environments favor a short-term orientation, a high quantity of offspring, and relatively little investment in each (Belsky et al., 1991). Thus, exposure to certain conflicted and/ or “harsh” early environments may contribute to the development of this orientation. This is supported by the findings of Malamuth et al. (1991), in which parental violence and/or child abuse was associated with higher rates of delinquency in adolescence, which in turn was strongly predictive of Impersonal Sexuality and promiscuity. Although heightened sex drive and promiscuity are important components of this pathway, Malamuth has shown that these factors are not synonymous with Impersonal Sexuality. Rather, the relevant focus of Impersonal Sexuality as it relates to sexual aggression centers around “a more particular orientation to sex, specifically, an impersonal orientation…(which) rather than more personal, intimate sex enables gratification from coercive sex,” (Malamuth, 1991; cited in Wheeler, 2002). Malamuth and others have shown that this construct has been associated with sexually aggressive behavior (Kanin, 1984; Sarwer, Kalichman, Johnson, Early, & Ali, 1993; Malamuth et al., 1991, 1995). The Confluence Model has successfully predicted men’s sexually aggressive behavior at 10-year follow-up (Malamuth, Linz, Heavey, Barnes, & Acker, 1995), and has also differentiated sexually coercive from non-sexually coercive males (Malamuth, 1986; Malamuth et al., 1991) and sexually aggressive from non-sexually aggressive males (Lim & Howard, 1998). We suggest that the Confluence Model may provide the key pieces that can help position the role of other factors, and thus, this model has been used as an organizing framework for the research to be described here. Sexually Explicit Media and Sexual Aggression Nearly three decades ago, a federal study of pornography estimated that the total retail value of all hard-core porn in the United States was no more than $10 million and perhaps less than $5 million. i Today, Forbes magazine reports the porn industry annually totals $2.6 billion to $3.9 billion domestically, and $56 billion globally. Changing forms of distribution have at least partially facilitated the rise in sales. During the 1980s, the introduction of adult movies on videocassette and cable television, as well as the huge growth in telephone sex services, shifted the consumption of pornography from public venues to the privacy and convenience of home, quickly making these distribution outlets the top sources of revenue for the porn industry. The fastest growing distribution outlet for pornography now is the Internet. According to Nielsen NetRatings, 17.5 million Web surfers visited porn sites from their homes in January 2000, a 40% increase from four months earlier. That escalated to 20.7 million in October, or roughly 23 percent of the web-surfing population in the United States. With bigger sites taking in more than $100 million a year through X-rated portals, e-porn is the most successful of all Internet ventures, according to Nielsen NetRatings. Since pornography has only become cheaper,

Authors: vega, vanessa. and Malamuth, Neil.
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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Page 2 of 23
The Impersonal Sex pathway is characterized by a promiscuous, non-committal,
game-playing orientation towards sexual relations. Following an evolutionary paradigm,
there may be a sensitive period in early development (e.g. the first 5-7 years) during
which enduring reproductive strategy are shaped or “triggered” by key environmental
stimuli, (Draper & Harpending, 1982). Whereas relatively benign environments favor a
long-term “quality” strategy that involves high investment in relatively few offspring,
harsh environments favor a short-term orientation, a high quantity of offspring, and
relatively little investment in each (Belsky et al., 1991). Thus, exposure to certain
conflicted and/ or “harsh” early environments may contribute to the development of this
orientation. This is supported by the findings of Malamuth et al. (1991), in which
parental violence and/or child abuse was associated with higher rates of delinquency in
adolescence, which in turn was strongly predictive of Impersonal Sexuality and
promiscuity. Although heightened sex drive and promiscuity are important components
of this pathway, Malamuth has shown that these factors are not synonymous with
Impersonal Sexuality. Rather, the relevant focus of Impersonal Sexuality as it relates to
sexual aggression centers around “a more particular orientation to sex, specifically, an
impersonal orientation…(which) rather than more personal, intimate sex enables
gratification from coercive sex,” (Malamuth, 1991; cited in Wheeler, 2002). Malamuth
and others have shown that this construct has been associated with sexually aggressive
behavior (Kanin, 1984; Sarwer, Kalichman, Johnson, Early, & Ali, 1993; Malamuth et
al., 1991, 1995).
The Confluence Model has successfully predicted men’s sexually aggressive
behavior at 10-year follow-up (Malamuth, Linz, Heavey, Barnes, & Acker, 1995), and
has also differentiated sexually coercive from non-sexually coercive males (Malamuth,
1986; Malamuth et al., 1991) and sexually aggressive from non-sexually aggressive
males (Lim & Howard, 1998). We suggest that the Confluence Model may provide the
key pieces that can help position the role of other factors, and thus, this model has been
used as an organizing framework for the research to be described here.

Sexually Explicit Media and Sexual Aggression

Nearly three decades ago, a federal study of pornography estimated that the total retail
value of all hard-core porn in the United States was no more than $10 million and
perhaps less than $5 million.
i
Today, Forbes magazine reports the porn industry annually
totals $2.6 billion to $3.9 billion domestically, and $56 billion globally. Changing forms
of distribution have at least partially facilitated the rise in sales. During the 1980s, the
introduction of adult movies on videocassette and cable television, as well as the huge
growth in telephone sex services, shifted the consumption of pornography from public
venues to the privacy and convenience of home, quickly making these distribution outlets
the top sources of revenue for the porn industry. The fastest growing distribution outlet
for pornography now is the Internet. According to Nielsen NetRatings, 17.5 million Web
surfers visited porn sites from their homes in January 2000, a 40% increase from four
months earlier. That escalated to 20.7 million in October, or roughly 23 percent of the
web-surfing population in the United States. With bigger sites taking in more than $100
million a year through X-rated portals, e-porn is the most successful of all Internet
ventures, according to Nielsen NetRatings. Since pornography has only become cheaper,


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