- Women’s critical responses to sexually explicit material: the role of hyperfemininity and processing style
- The Journal of Sex Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 52 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Previous research on women's responses to male-targeted sexually explicit material (SEM) suggests that women may be critical toward such content. However, women's critical responses to SEM have not been explained empirically. The present study had two goals: (1) to investigate whether women's critical responses to male-targeted SEM depend on individual differences in gender role orientation (i.e., hyperfemininity) and (2) to explain the effect of hyperfemininity on critical responses to SEM by looking at the way sexual material is processed. In an online experiment among women aged 18 to 30 (N = 195), both the type of SEM (a male- versus female-targeted erotic story) and processing style (stimulus- versus response-focused) were manipulated. In addition, participants were divided into three groups based on low, moderate, or high hyperfemininity. When using stimulus-focused processing (i.e., attending to the characters and situational context of the story), women were more critical toward male-targeted SEM (relative to female-targeted material), but only when they had low and moderate degrees of hyperfemininity.
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