Exposure to Erotic Stimuli and Sexual Deviance


Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., 90024.


Samples of convicted male rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, heavy pornography users, and to a community control group were interviewed to assess experience with erotic material in photographs, films, and books, during adolescence and adulthood. Adolescent exposure to erotica was significantly less for all nonheterosexual and offender groups compared to the controls. During adulthood, the sex offenders and transsexuals continued to report less exposure to erotic stimuli than controls. The homosexuals and users, however, both report greater exposure during adulthood. Less than a quarter of the respondents in any group imitated sexual behavior seen in the erotic material immediately or shortly after its' viewing. The hypothesis that extent of exposure to erotica during adolescence is positively associated with the later emergence of sexual pathology is not borne out by this study. The control groups sampled had significantly greater exposure to erotic materials during adolescence than the deviants, convicted sex offenders, or heavy adult users of pornography.