Effects of erotic stimuli on male aggression toward females

Edward Donnerstein, Gary Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


To examine the effects of highly erotic films on aggression toward females, 72 male undergraduates were first either angered or treated in a neutral manner by a male or female confederate. After viewing a highly erotic or a neutral film, Ss were given an opportunity to both aggress against and reward the confederate. Erotic films were found to increase aggression overall, but there was no indication of differential aggression as a function of sex of target. Results for physiological arousal, however, suggested that aggression was possibly inhibited for Ss exposed to an erotic film and paired with a female. Suggestions for future lines of research based on the notion of inhibition are offered, along with observations regarding the sexual arousal and aggression relationship. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • exposure to highly erotic films, aggression toward females, male college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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