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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The movie Fifty Shades of Grey has created a great deal of controversy which has reignited the debate on unusual and alternative sexual practices such as bondage. Erotophobic individuals have negative affect towards the type of sexual libertinism conveyed by the movie, while erotophilic persons have a positive attitude and emotional feelings towards this kind of sexual emancipation. Using the Implicit Association Test, this study aimed to explore the extent to which there is a difference in women's attitudes towards sexual morality on an explicit and implicit level.
Our findings found that erotophobic and erotophilic women differed only on an explicit level of sex guilt and moral evaluation, while no difference in the implicit measure was found.
There has been no more eagerly anticipated movie this year Robey, InBritish author E. Both the trilogy and the movie depict a romantic and erotic Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism Cooper, ; Weiss, relationship concerning year-old millionaire Christian Grey and year-old college graduate Anastasia Steele James, Astonishingly, the book has sold over million copies and the movie has also been a worldwide success. The phenomenon of the book and movie is energized by their appeal to modern women, who manage both a family and their career Schneiderman, These twenty-first century modern women have bought the book in record s.
According to radical-libertarian feminists, women should retract any moral judgements that stigmatize sexual practices and constrain their sexual freedom. In other words, Fifty Shades of Grey has been considered as female romance porn for the hookup generation in both narrative and movie forms Eckman, ; Schneiderman, Generally, the world of sex and sexuality involves a massive variety of emotions and personal values and connotations. To illustrate, erotophobic people have very negative attitudes to sex; they feel a wide range of emotions towards sexuality, including anger, vulnerability, disgust, fear, and shame.
Literature suggests that erotophobic individuals tend to have higher levels of totalitarianism and need for success, have more traditional sex roles Fisher, Byrne, et al. Consequently, erotophobic people tend to avoid any sexual context, above all when the risk of a sexual intercourse is high and unexpected. On the contrary, erotophilic people have Woman in shades on Chipman positive attitude and emotional feelings towards sex; they consider sex as a positive part of life indeed "sex positive" is used as a term along with erotophilia.
An erotophilic person embraces all facets of sexuality, including unusual practices such as bondage, dominance and submission.
Erotophilic individuals think about sex more often, tend to masturbate and fantasize more frequently, have their first sexual intercourse at an earlier age and have more intercourse partners than erotophobic individuals. Erotophilic people are also more likely to engage in regular gynecological visits and in preventative behaviors concerning sexually transmitted diseases Fisher, Byrne, et al. In this vein, Fifty Shades of Grey has created controversy in readers and viewers both on the internet and newspapers, leading people to rekindle the debate on sexual matters and unusual practices.
The Fifty Shades trilogy and movie are a product of a modern civilization and a twenty-first century culture that encourages people to be sexually free and independent and to take pleasure in anyone and anything they desire without guilt Douthat, Grey is a man who first dominates Miss Steele but finally loves her, providing that she a challenging contract containing all types of domination that she will take part in Eckman, We live in a society with a bland sense of sex-related shame, and sex corresponds to an attack on human self-respect and dignity Mohler, While progressive culture considers Fifty Shades as cultural progress, for some people it is of cultural worsening and failure Eckman, Regardless of the sexual context conveyed by the movie, what has been said underlines the idea that sex may elicit mixed affective and cognitive responses and evaluations such as positive affect, pleasantness, satisfaction, a sense of freedom, but also fear of pleasure, shame, or guilt.
Erotophobic individuals feel guilt for partaking in particular sexual activities such as Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism, oral sex, masturbation, fantasies about sex and same-sex partners, and judge these practices as immoral, sinful, unclean and dirty.
Sex guilt is generally associated with the feeling of being dirty. Who experience sex guilt usually think that sex is degrading and connected to primitive and animal instincts, and they approach sex as an manifestation of lack of self-control Sinclair Intimacy Institute, This is indeed the open issue which drives our pilot study: Do women who explicitly evaluate themselves as sexually liberal, emancipated and revolutionary, implicitly conceptualize sexual perversions such as Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism practices as not being morally guilty and dirty?
We suppose that attitudes towards Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism practices may be vulnerable to the bias of explicit self-report measures i. Greenwald and colleagues claim that individuals are not always conscious of their social attitudes Greenwald et al.
It is a method used to indirectly assess the power of relations among concepts, and requires the categorization of stimulus exemplars from four concepts choosing just two response options, each of which is ased to two of the four concepts. The idea underlying the IAT is that this sorting task should be easier and faster when the two concepts that share a response are strongly associated than when they are weakly associated Nosek et al. Other Alberta and post did not directly investigate sex-related implicit attitudes, but instead used the concepts of implicit and explicit processes in sexuality, such as explicit vs.
In a recent study, Macapagal and Janssen tested the link between automatic associations with sexual stimuli and the dimension of erotophobia-erotophilia. The authors concluded that the valence of sexual stimuli can be treated automatically and this is related to trait affective responses to sex. tly considered, findings showed that sexually implicit stimuli presented outside of awareness had a different impact when compared with explicit stimulus presentations.
These findings authorize us to consider both an explicit and implicit level in our investigation of sex-related attitudes. Any explanation of the aim of the current study must begin with a crucial consideration: We were not interested in recruiting a sample of movie supporters vs.
We aimed to explore the extent to which there is a difference in attitudes towards sexual morality on an explicit and implicit level. To test our aim, we randomly selected women older than 30 years Woman in shades on Chipman age who had seen the movie, and their dispositional traits of erotophobia-erotophilia were assessed.
Women were also administered a sexual satisfaction measure in order to exclude attenuate confounding due to sexual satisfaction or sexual distress.
Additionally, we operationalized the concept of an emancipated and liberal sexuality through some Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism photograms taken from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. We are instead interested in the conceptualization of unusual sex practices in terms of morally dirty and guilty attributes. Despite the exploratory nature of the current study:.
H1: At the explicit level, we expected erotophobic women to exhibit higher levels of sex guilt, moral and romantic evaluation of the movie, and to declare that their motivation for seeing the movie was connected to the media phenomenon surrounding the Alberta and post or that they had seen the movie by mistake. See Measures section for a detailed explanation. H2: At the explicit level, we expected erotophilic women to exhibit higher levels of fantasies and reflections after seeing the movie, a higher sexual evaluation of the film, and to give sexual motivations as the underlying reason for having seen the movie.
H3: At the implicit level, we expected all participants both erotophobic and erotophilic women to show a high IAT effect. We also expected no difference between the two groups in IAT effect to be found. In other words, along with erotophobic women, we also expected erotophilic women who explicitly assessed themselves as being sexually emancipated, libertine and modern, to associate the sexual perversions portrayed in the movie with the concept of dirt.
We also expected that the IAT would not be able to detect the differences between erotophobic and erotophilic attitudes found at the explicit level. The study adopted a 2x2 mixed de with the IAT block congruent vs. The dependent variables were: 1 explicit measures of sexual satisfaction, sex-guilt, affective responses to the movie, evaluation of the movie, motivations for viewing the movie, and 2 the implicit measure of the IAT effect Greenwald et al.
To distinguish the two explicit sex attitude groups erotophobic vs. Detailed characteristics for the two subsamples are shown in Table 1. Specifically, the scale consists of 10 erotophobia items assessing negative affective responses to sex e. Higher scores indicated higher erotophilia, while lower scores indicated higher erotophobia.
Higher scores indicated higher sex guilt. Considering that erotophobic women saw the Fifty Shades of Grey movie too, we considered it crucial to explore the affective responses, evaluations, and motivations underlying their viewing of the movie. To address this aim, we needed to create the following specific items. Scores of items abcand f were averaged into the sub dimension of positive emotions e. The scores of items degand h were averaged into the sub dimension of negative emotions e. The scores of items pqand r were averaged into the sub dimension of moral evaluation e.
The score of item f was considered as an index of romantic evaluation of the movie. The score of item g was considered as an index of viewing the movie by mistake. To construct the IAT task, for the Movie vs. No Movie we selected eight pictures taken from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie representing BDSM practices, and eight mainstream pictures of weddings, not presented in the movie.
For the Dirty vs. Cleanwe selected eight words belonging to the dirty category and eight words belonging to the clean category see Table 2 for details. The IAT consisted of five separate blocks of categorization trials see Table 2. In each trial, a stimulus item picture or word was presented in the center of a computer screen, and participants were told to categorise it as accurately and as quickly as possible.
Each stimulus picture or words was presented a of different times within each block, and the order of presentation and of repetitions of each trial was completely randomized for each participant within blocks. Associations of Dirty vs. Clean words with movie vs. The algorithm recommended by Greenwald et al. A first sample 27 women were invited to take part in the experimental session but two of the women abandoned the session before completing the IAT task. Participants provided written informed consent to participate in the experiment.
The order of administration of the self-report explicit measures was randomized across participants, and the order of the administration of explicit and implicit measures was counterbalanced between subjects. To investigate the extreme emotions raised by the movie and the main erotic thread, descriptive analyses were run for each affective response and evaluation of the movie in the total sample see Measures Section. Table 3 displays differences in sex attitude erotophobic vs. An independent sample t-test was run on both explicit and implicit measures, with sex attitude erotophobic vs.
Given the limited sample size, and to prevent the violation of normal distribution assumptions, the non- parametric bootstrapping method was used as a robust estimation of t-test. No difference between the two groups in all scores of sexual satisfaction was found, confirming our idea that the difference investigated in our sample is only in terms of sexual attitudes, and not for sexual satisfaction or distress. Additionally, partially confirming Hypotheses 1 and 2, erotophobic women exhibited higher levels of sex guilt, fantasies and reflections after viewing the movie, and a more moral evaluation of Fifty Shades of Grey than erotophilic women.
Furthermore, erotophobic women claimed to have seen the movie by mistake. Confirming Hypothesis 3, all participants showed a positive average D value, suggesting an association between the Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism pictures taken from the movie and dirtiness.
No difference between the two groups in the D index was found, meaning that women who explicitly evaluated themselves as erotophilic and sexually emancipated showed a moralistic attitude towards sexual Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism practices at an implicit level, just as erotophobic women do. Woman in shades on Chipman to Cohenthe effect sizes can be considered high see Table 3. To test Hypothesis 4, a receiver-operating-characteristic ROC analysis Swets, was run to determine if and how well the IAT, at the implicit level, discriminated between erotophobic and erotophilic women at the explicit level.
The D index was employed as a test variable indicating the "strength of conviction" that a participant falls into one category erotophobic or the other erotophilic. The value of Woman in shades on Chipman state variable indicates which category should be considered positive in our case erotophilic.
The ROC result suggested that, at the implicit level, the IAT did not discriminate women who explicitly evaluated themselves as erotophilic from ones who evaluated themselves as erotophobic. The IAT was not able to detect differences between erotophobic and erotophilic attitudes found at the explicit level. Both the literary trilogy and the movie have created controversy rekindling the debate on consent and unusual sexual practices, such as BDSM.
Generalizing over and above the specific context of the movie, sex may cause a variety of affective and cognitive responses and evaluations, such as positive affect, pleasure, satisfaction, a sense of freedom, but also fear of pleasure, shame, or guilt. A growing body of research has focused on explicit or self-reported attitudes towards sexuality Fisher, Byrne, et al.
We aimed to explore the extent to which there is a difference in attitudes towards sexual morality on explicit and implicit levels. seemed to encourage our idea that erotophobic women explicitly exhibited higher levels of sex guilt and moral evaluation of the movie than erotophilic women, while the latter showed a higher level of fantasies and reflections than erotophobic women after seeing the move.
Moreover, erotophobic women claimed to have seen the movie by mistake. On the contrary, no difference regarding implicit attitude was found in the two sexual opinion groups: All women showed a positive average value of the D index Greenwald et al. A possible explanation of these may be found in sex role stereotypes and socialization. In western society, for example, stereotypes for femininity include expectations that a woman be domestic, whole-hearted, pretty, emotional, dependent and passive. By contrast, masculinity stereotypes view them as unemotional, independent, active, and aggressive.
As Simon and Gagnon noted, cultural settings are norms for sexual expression, such as the belief that women are sexually passive and men are sexually aggressive. In other words, we expect men to be more interested in sex and to engage in it more frequently than women because, many believe, that is how men are biologically wired Montemurro, Another possible explanation of our findings may be sought considering that Catholicism is deeply rooted in Italian culture due to the presence of the Vatican.
As regards standards of sexual morality, according to the Catholic Church sexual pleasure is morally wrong when sought outside its procreative purposes Catholic Church, As a consequence, for Catholics the release of Alberta and post movie Fifty Shades of Grey denoted the evolution of pornography that is ificantly distant from a sacred idea of sexuality and human dignity Mohler, The record sales of the trilogy, and the actual celebration of the movie alerted many Catholics to the fact that a lost sense of shame is an increasing and unavoidable phenomenon Mohler, Also women who explicitly evaluate themselves as erotophilic actually believe that sex is personally degrading and associated with base and animal instincts.
The present findings might be explained by considering that when participants consider Bondage-Domination-Sadism-Masochism practices as guilty and dirty, the congruent categorization task appeared more facilitated, easier, and faster. The main strength of the present work was its attempt to provide an innovative contribution to the investigation of explicit and implicit attitudes in the sexual domain. The present study has however some theoretical and methodological limitations. First, our sample size was relatively small. Second, our female participants were not selected on the basis of highest erotophobia— erotophilia scores, but instead they were ased to two groups on the basis Alberta and post a median SOS score.
However, despite the sample size, effect sizes were large throughout analyses, indicating that these findings represent meaningful. Although a pilot version, we tried to demonstrate that group differences in erotophobia — erotophilia were not related to implicit attitudes towards unusual sex practices and that women are not completely aware or are hesitant or reluctant to sustain their sexual emancipation for fear of being morally judged.
Despite the above cited limits, the present study is an attempt to address the issue of explicit and implicit attitudes towards unusual sex activities, and adds to our knowledge about the key role that moral culture and religion still play in the sexual domain. We wish to thank Grazia Cantatore, Giuseppe Castellano, and Milly Muschitiello for their help in recruiting study participants and in collecting data.Woman in shades on Chipman, Alberta and post
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