Sex on the Internet: College Students' Emotional Arousal When Viewing Sexually Explicit Materials On-Line Academic Article uri icon


  • Little is known concerning the behaviors, attitudes, and emotions of Internet users who go on-line to search for sexually explicit materials. This study examines a range of emotions elicited by viewing sexually explicit materials on-line in a sample of undergraduate students from a public university in Texas. Of the 506 students in the sample, 196 (43.5%) had accessed these types of materials on the Internet at least once. This study examines gender, ethnic, and gender-ethnic differences in the reporting of 11 different emotions such as feelings of entertainment, sexual arousal, guilt, and anxiety. The authors also examined the relationship between selected predictor variables and individual emotions. Results revealed that sexual arousal was the 4th most frequently reported emotion, preceded by feeling entertained, disgusted, and having a general feeling of excitement and anticipation. Ethnic differences were encountered only for feelings of anxiety about being caught while viewing explicit materials; gender differences were found for feeling entertained, sexually aroused, angry, and disgusted. Regression models were used to test the association between gender, ethnicity, degree of religiosity, expectations and expectancies toward using the Internet for viewing sexually explicit materials, and individual emotions. For non-negative emotions, the strongest predictors emerging from the models were expectations and expectancies (or attitudes). For negative emotions, none of the predictor variables exhibited a linear association with the emotions. Taylor & Francis.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Sex Education and Therapy

author list (cited authors)

  • Goodson, P., McCormick, D., & Evans, A.

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Goodson, Patricia||McCormick, Deborah||Evans, Alexandra

publication date

  • January 2000