School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Fred Volk


Blaming Others, Externalization, Moral Disapproval, Pornography Use, Sexual Satisfaction, Sexual Shame


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


In committed relationships, pornography use has been associated with a contradictory influence on relationship and sexual satisfaction, particularly for women. Previous research indicates that sexual shame and moral disapproval may be related to pornography use, especially for religiously-affiliated individuals. Research also suggests that individuals may use defense mechanisms such as externalization to avoid negative emotions. This study explored the correlations between women’s mutual pornography use and sexual satisfaction and used ordinary least squares regression to examine the moderating influence of externalization on the effect of moral disapproval on the relationships between mutual pornography use and sexual shame and mutual pornography use and sexual satisfaction. Exploratory research was also conducted using the data from male participants. The results indicated that, as hypothesized, for women, mutual use was positively correlated with sexual satisfaction, both overall and partner-focused. Contrary to the hypothesis, women’s mutual use was also positively correlated with self-focused sexual satisfaction. The results also found that mutual pornography use, sexual shame, moral disapproval, and externalization were statistically significant predictors of sexual satisfaction for women. There was a statistically significant interaction between mutual use, moral disapproval, externalization, and sexual satisfaction for women, as externalization attenuated the effect of moral disapproval on the relationship between mutual pornography use and sexual satisfaction. The exploratory correlations between men’s mutual use and sexual satisfaction were unanticipated, as all were positively correlated and overall were stronger than the correlations seen in women. However, the moderated mediation analysis was not significant for men.

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