Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chairperson

Michael Gawrysiak, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Roche, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lauri Hyers, Ph.D.


In the current digital age, pornography is rapidly increasing in popularity amongst emerging adults and college students. Research from a variety of fields have found that consumption of pornography poses neurological, physiological, and psychological threats to emerging adults (Wordecha et al., 2018; Wright et al., 2018). Notably, many consequences of pornography consumption differ across gender (Brown & L’engle, 2016; Fritz & Paul, 2017). College students are more likely than the general public to experience cybersex addiction, with male students significantly more likely to meet the criteria than their female counterparts (Giordano & Cashwell, 2017). A clear link between negative mental health outcomes and pornography consumption has been established among women (Willoughby et al., 2014). Alarmingly, best-selling and highly viewed pornography videos mainly consist of female objectification and degradation (Bridges et al., 2010, Fritz & Paul, 2017). Further, many scholars have found that mainstream pornography revolvesaround the exploitation of women (Sun et al., 2016). The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between pornography consumption, misogyny, and cognitive distractions during sex. Specific attention is paid to use and outcome differences across gender. Findings revealed that women experience higher amounts of cognitive distractions during sex than men, despite watching significantly less pornography. Further, results of a multiple linear regression indicated that gender is a significant moderator when using either internalized misogyny or cognitive distractions to predict pornography consumption.