Jurnal Psikologi Indonesia PORNOGRAPHY DISTRESS 2017, Vol. XII, No. 1, 1-18, ISSN. 0853-3098
Himpunan Psikologi Indonesia
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO PORNOGRAPHY DISTRESS IN PORNOGRAPHY USERS’ WIVES (FAKTOR-FAKTOR PENDUKUNG PORNOGRAPHY DISTRESS PADA ISTRI PENGGUNA PORNOGRAFI) Inez Kristanti and Dinastuti Faculty of Psychology, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia Some women react negatively to their husbands’ habit of using pornographic materials and this reaction is called pornography distress which can potentially bring damage to a marriage such as lowering the quality of sexual activities and marital satisfaction. To help solve the issue, the differentiating factors between women who experienced pornography distress and those who did not were identified. Seven contributing factors to pornography distress were proposed: perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use, the duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use, the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, attitude towards pornography use, and exposure to sexual content from the media, religious salience, and differentiation of self. This research aimed to discuss factors that significantly contribute to pornography distress. Data from 161 women who are married to pornography users were obtained through accidental sampling. All participants were currently residing in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, or Bekasi. Multiple linear regression analysis found four significant contributing factors: the way the subjects found out about their husbands’ pornography use, attitude towards pornography, religious salience, and differentiation of self. Results showed that contributing factors to pornography distress came from various sources. Each spouse should work together to achieve some sort of agreement and understanding to solve pornography distress issues. Several suggestions regarding the issue are discussed.
Keywords: marriage, pornography, pornography distress, sexuality, wives
Sebagian perempuan menunjukkan reaksi negatif terhadap kebiasaan suami menggunakan pornografi. Reaksi ini disebut sebagai pornography distress. Pornography distress dapat mendatangkan dampak buruk dalam pernikahan, misalnya menurunkan kualitas hubungan seksual dan kepuasan pernikahan. Untungnya, tidak semua perempuan menunjukkan tanda-tanda pornography distress. Untuk membantu penyelesaian masalah ini, faktor yang membedakan antara perempuan yang mengalami dan tidak mengalami pornography distress perlu diidentifikasi. Terdapat tujuh faktor yang diduga berkontribusi terhadap pornography distress; persepsi tentang frekuensi penggunaan pornografi suami, lama mengetahui penggunaan pornografi suami, cara mengetahui penggunaan pornografi suami, sikap terhadap pornografi secara umum, keterapaparan terhadap konten seksual dalam media, religious salience, dan diferensiasi diri. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menemukan faktor-faktor yang berkontribusi secara signifikan terhadap pornography distress. Data dari 161 istri pengguna pornografi diperoleh dengan accidental sampling. Semua partisipan tinggal di Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, atau Bekasi pada saat pengambilan data. Analisis menggunakan multiple linear regression menunjukkan adanya empat faktor yang berkontribusi secara sgnifikan: cara mengetahui penggunaan pornografi suami, sikap terhadap pornografi, religious salience, dan diferensiasi diri. Hasil
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penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa faktor yang berkontribusi terhadap pornography distress datang dari sumber yang beragam. Oleh karena itu, masing-masing pihak dalam pernikahan perlu bekerjasama untuk memperoleh kesepakatan dan pemahaman satu sama lain yang dapat menyelesaikan masalah pornography distress. Beberapa langkah praktis akan didiskusikan dalam artikel ini.
Kata kunci: pernikahan, pornography, pornography distress, seksualitas, istri
Pornography is “any sexually oriented material that is created simply for the purpose of arousing viewer” (Carroll, 2010). Pornography materials are easily accessed from almost all kinds of media-internet, in particular (Copper et al., as cited in Stewart & Szymanski, 2012; P.M. Markey & Markey, 2012). It is hard to tell the exact number of pornography users in Indonesia, however most people agree that this country shows high usage of pornography materials, occupying first to fifth rank in the world (“Kominfo sebut”, 2012; Olivia, 2013; Pitoyo, 2012; Suryanto, 2009). Research on pornography in Indonesia is largely emphasized on teenage population (Ramadhan, 2013; Roviana, 2011; “Sebagian besar”, 2013), when there are plenty of married individuals actively seeking pleasure from pornography materials. A pilot study conducted to 98 married individuals in Jabodetabek (an acronym referring to five big cities in West Java: Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) shows that 81.63% of them uses pornography. Thirty percent of them uses pornography once to seven times a week. Large proportion (83.33%) of married women admit the tendency to use pornography with their partners while more men (56.82%) prefer to do it alone. Men tend to use pornography as a mean to achieve sexual pleasure without their
partners while women tend to use it to elevate sexual pleasure before having sexual intercourse. These findings are consistent with Hald (as cited in Carroll, 2010) and Strager (2003) that most of men use pornography to achieve sexual pleasure, by masturbating. The primary purpose of men’s pornography use as sexual gratification leads to further question about how the usage might psychologically affect their wives. There has not been a single study that addresses this issue in the context of marriage; however, there are at least two United States studies (Bergner & Bridges, 2002; Bridges, Bergner, & Hesson-McInnis, 2003) that question the impact of men’s pornography use towards women who are involved with them romantically. The first study conducted by analyzing online messages written by 100 women in four internet message boards about their partners’ heavy pornography usage (Bergner & Bridges, 2002). This study concluded that men’s pornography use can potentially alter their partners’ view about themselves: they tend to view themselves more negatively; they tend to feel less worthy or attractive, they tend to feel weak and stupid because their male partners have treated them inappropriately. These negative conceptions are not only developed towards themselves, but also
their partners. They tend to view their partners as perverts or sex addicts. Men’s pornography use might also affect their partners’ view on their relationships. Women in these relationships tend to feel betrayed, as if their partners have “cheated”. Bridges, et al. (2003) summed up these negative responses with one term: pornography distress, or negative experience/condition that is felt by an individual as a response to her partner’s pornography use. These findings by Bergner and Bridges (2002) serve as empirical evidence that women might be significantly affected by their partners’ pornography use. Meanwhile, men’s pornography use is proved to correlate significantly with the overall relationship satisfaction (Poulsen, Busby, & Galovan, 2013). Moreover, a survey by American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in Chicago (as cited in Manning, 2006) shows that 56% of divorce cases in 2002 involved internet pornography usage issue by one of the spouses. The presence of this long-term effect makes pornography distress as an issue that needs to be addressed. One thing to keep in mind is that not all women who are married to pornography users actually experience pornography distress. Bergner and Bridges (2002) acknowledged that the data that they gathered for their first study was obtained from a highly distressed population (women who deliberately complained and sought help regarding their partners’ pornography use). They then conducted a quantitative study to 100 women who were involved in romantic relationships with pornography users
(Bridges et al., 2003). In general, this group of women showed neutral to positive reactions towards their partners’ pornography use. This same kind of variation was also found to the Jabodetabek pilot study (conducted by the authors). Sixteen percent out of 33 women also supported their husbands’ pornography use, 63.16% of them had neutral attitude, while only 21.05% if them felt surprised or uncomfortable. The presence of these women who shows more positive reactions towards their husbands’ pornography use may serve as the key to solve pornography distress problems. The next critical step is to identify factors that differentiate between women who experience pornography distress and those who do not. In identifying these differentiation factors, we took account both empirical and theoretical supporting evidence from several perspectives. Based on extensive review of literatures which focus on how pornography impacts marriage, we found seven factors which have been proven empirically to be related to pornography distress, or, at least have been expected to be theoretically related (Bergner & Bridges, 2002; Bridges et al., 2003; Cavaglion & Rashty, 2010; Ford, Durtschi, & Franklin, 2012; W. Maltz & Maltz, 2009; Ogas & Gaddam, 2011; Schneider, Weiss, & Samenow, 2012; Sessoms, 2011; Stewart & Szymanski, 2012; Ward & Friedman, 2006; Zitzman & Butler, 2009). These seven factors are: (1) perceived frequency of pornography use, (2) the duration of knowledge about pornography use, (3) the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, (4)
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attitude towards pornography use, (5) exposure to sexual content from the media, (6) religious salience, and (7) differentiation of self. Their relations to pornography distress will be discussed below. The inclusion of first factor (perceived frequency of pornography use) was supported by Bridges et al.’s (2003) study, which concluded that perceived frequency of husbands’ pornography use was positively correlated with pornography distress. Husbands’ frequency of pornography use-as reported by their wives-was negatively correlated with relationship quality, sexual satisfaction, and self-esteem (Stewart & Szymansky, 2012). The second factor (duration of knowledge about pornography use) were supported by findings that women showed fluctuated responses towards their partners’ pornography use from time to time (Cavaglion & Rashty, 2010; Schneider, Weiss, & Samenow, 2012; Zitzman & Butler, 2009). W. Maltz and Maltz (2009) discussed several stages that women experiences during their discovery of partners’ pornography use. They explained that women in general would feel surprised and hurt right after the discovery of partners’ pornography use. However, over time they would be expected to show a more accepting attitude towards this situation. Third, feelings of surprise and hurt might not be experienced universally by all women in this situation. We suspected that how women responding to their partners’ pornography use would be partially determined by how they discover the usage. There has not been found a single
literature that specifically addresses this issue, however, from case descriptions found in Ford, Durtschi, and Franklin (2012) and Ogas and Gaddam (2011) we can conclude that the reaction of distressed as feelings of being cheated or sense of worthlessness tended to be found in women who discover their partners’ pornography use by catching their partners on their acts or finding the evidence of their usage (such as internet histories or VCD/DVD materials). Meanwhile, we have not found any distress with the same level of intensity on women whose husbands honestly disclosed their pornography habit. This pattern of response would seem logical as study successfully concluded that some women felt that the heart of the problem did not lie on the usage per se, but on the dishonesty and deceit performed by their partners (Zitzman & Butler, 2009). These findings set a good foundation to include the third factor (the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use) into our hypothesis. Fourth, Bergner and Bridges (2002) found women who experienced pornography distress developed a more negative view towards their partners as individuals, such as seeing their partners as perverts or degraded in terms of sexuality. This finding raised further question: “are those negative conceptions emerged simply because it was their partners who used the pornography materials or these women had actually possessed those negative attitudes, regardless of the subjects who were using the materials?” The logic was to suspect that if women have been indeed holding
negative attitudes towards pornography usage in general, it would be more likely for them to show high pornography distress when their partners were also users. Therefore, it was reasonable to suspect that women’s general attitude to pornography use also served as determinant for their pornography distress. Fifth, it is also important to address that pornography was never a sole provider of sexual contents, as people may also find them in other forms of media, such as movies, TV series, music videos, or internet. While all kinds of information from media have strong influence to individual’s opinions and beliefs, sexual content seen from media is also potential to alter individual opinions and beliefs regarding sexual matter. Moreover, Ward and Friedman (2006) also found that the habit of viewing sexual content from television had significant and positive correlation with individual support towards recreational sexual behavior, including pornography. Therefore, women who are exposed daily to sexual content from numbers of media are expected to show less rejection towards husbands’ pornography habit. In the other words, it is less likely that those women would experience pornography distress compared to their counterparts. Therefore, it was safe to conclude that fifth factor (exposure to sexual content from the media) might contribute to women’s experience of pornography distress. Sixth, the authors would also like to raise a religious factor as a contributor to pornography distress. Pornography is usually seen as something that goes against religious values. Several studies
showed that there was negative correlation between religiosity and individual acceptance to pornography materials (Carroll; Woodrum; Lambe; Nelson et al., as cited in Sessoms, 2011). It is probably safe as well to expect that the higher religious salience, the harder it is for her to accept if one of their significant others (e.g. spouse) is actively involved in pornography. Hypothetically, it is logical enough to expect that this acceptance difficult might result in high pornography distress. Last, a focus to individual internal factor might also beneficial in determining the contributing factors to pornography distress. In this regard, the authors proposed differentiation of self-the degree to which one is able to balance (a) emotional and intellectual functioning and (b) intimacy and autonomy in relationships as another possible contributing factor. Highly differentiated individual is able to regulate her emotion under stressful situation. In contrast, a poorly differentiated person tends to experience more difficulties to remain calm in response to the emotionality of others and tends to be easily affected by their close ones’ behavior. The authors argue that these tendencies might serve as one possible explanation underlying pornography distressed individuals’ behavior. The purpose of this study is to examine whether those seven factors-as a wholecontribute to pornography distress. If those seven factors together had shown significant contribution, it would be examined further which factors that show significant contribution individually. The importance of this study lay
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primarily on the significance of pornography distress issue in marital context, while at the same time there had not been a single study intending to address this issue in Indonesia. Despite of the low number of women admitting their disapproval towards their husbands’ pornography use in the pilot study, almost half of them (42.42%) further admitted that they intend to eliminate or at least alleviate the usage. This slight inconsistency between the two data might be mediated by the nature of collectivistic culture in Indonesia which shows less favor on the expression of negative emotions (Eisenberg, Pidada, & Liew, 2001; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Oyserman, 1993). It is highly possible that women who showed support or ignorance towards their husbands’ pornography use might secretly feel the negative emotion or pornography distress. It is important to take this possibility into account as an indication that the pornography distress problem in Jabodetabek might be more serious than it looks on the raw data. This study then might become the first ever culturally sensitive reference for treating the problem and anticipating its negative consequences in marital context. Based on the above, this research aimed to test one hypothesis and answer one question: H1: Perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use, the duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use, the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, attitude towards pornography use, exposure to sexual content from the media, religious salience, and differentiation of self, contributed together and significantly to pornography
distress. R1: Which factors among the seven proposed contribute individually to pornography distress?
Methods Participants Participants were 161 Indonesian women who met the following criteria: (1) married; (2) were aware of their husbands’ pornography use; (3) resided in Greater Jakarta which include Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, or Bekasi. There was no age limitation for participation as one of most important part of this study is the variation of its subjects (participants aged from 19-57 years). Mean age of participants was 35.81 years (SD = 9.77). City of residence were check against the estimated population of married women living in Jabodetabek (estimated through the number of household within the five areas; Badan Pusat Statistik Jawa Barat, 2010; Badan Pusat Statistik Kota Depok, 2010; Badan Pusat Statistik Kota Tangerang, 2011; “Provinsi DKI”, 2010). Participants were found to be representative in terms of domicile. Procedure Online and hard copy questionnaires were administered to 565 married women living in Jabodetabek with the help from 8 enumerators (second year students of psychology undergraduate program in Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia). 167 out of the 565 did not manage to finish all the questions and 237 did not aware of their husbands’
pornography use. Complete responses were obtained from 161 eligible participants. Measures The instrument consisted of 120 items and was divided into seven parts. Part one consisted of a short instruction and items related to socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, city of residence, education, religion, ethnicity, economic status, occupation, marriage status, age of spouse, and age of marriage). To preserve confidentiality, participants were allowed to provide initials instead of their real names. To avoid misinterpretation, participants were informed about the definition of pornography use: the act of seeing, reading, or hearing pornographic materials (e.g. pictures, sketches, illustrations, photos, narrations, sounds, moving images, animations, conversations) with the purpose of obtaining sexual pleasure. Any kinds of sexual contact with real persons are not considered as pornography here. Part two, three, four, five, and six consisted items to measure our research variable: Pornography distress: Pornography Distress Scale-Short Form (32-PDS). 32PDS was constructed by Bridges et al. (2003) measuring the extent of negative feelings experienced by women as the response to their partners’ pornography use. This measure was adapted to Indonesian version for the purpose of this study (Cronbach’s alpha= .96). Perceived frequency of husbands’ pornography use. This variable was measured by asking participants with the following question: “To your knowledge,
how often does your husband use pornography?” with the following options: 1) less than once a month; 2) two to four times a month; 3) one to two times a week; 4) three to five times a week; 5) once a day; 6) several times a day. Duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use. This variable was measured by asking participants with the following question: “How long have you known about your husband’s pornography use? (please give your best estimate)” Participants were asked to respond in year and month (___ year(s) and ___ month(s)). The way of knowing about husband’s pornography use. This variable was measured by asking participants with the following question: “How did you first find out about your husband’s pornography use?” with the following options: 1) had been asked by husband to join his pornography use; 2) had been told by husband about his pornography use; 3) had found proof of his pornography use; 4) had caught him in his pornography using act; 5) others (please specify). Exposure to sexual content from the media. This variable was measured by a method of measuring exposure to a specific content from media introduced by Bleakley, Fishbein, Hennessy, Jordan, Chernin, and Stevens (2008), with slight adjustment to fit this research context. First, participants were asked to mention three television shows, three internet sites, three newspapers or magazines, and three music artists that they watch, access, read, or listen to the most. They then were asked to
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rate: 1) the frequency of their consumption to those media from the last 12 months (from the scale of 1 to 4; 1 = “rarely”; 2 = “sometimes”; 3 = most of the time”; 4 = “always”); 2) the intensity of sexual content involved in those media (from the scale of 1 to 4: 1 = “no sexual content”; 2 = “a little sexual content”; 3 = “some sexual content”; 4 = “a lot of sexual content”). Because the scale of 1 refers to no sexual content at all, for analytical purpose the intensity of sexual content scale of 1 to 4 would be converted to 0 to 3. For each television show, internet site, newspaper, and magazine, the frequency score would then be multiplied by the intensity score, and finally the result of those multiplications would be added to produce the final exposure to sexual content from the media score. Attitude towards pornography use: Attitude towards Pornography Use Scale (APUS). APUS was constructed originally for the purpose of this study, measuring individual psychological tendency to give favorable or unfavorable evaluation towards pornography use (e.g. how individual thinks, feels, or reacts to pornography use). Cronbach’s alpha on this scale was .92. Religious salience: Religious Salience Scale (RSS). RSS was constructed originally for the purpose of this study, measuring the extent which religious belief influences individual’s thoughts and feelings in his daily lives. Cronbach’s alpha on this scale was .96. Differentiation of self: Differentiation of Self Inventory (DSI). DSI was constructed by Skowron and Friedlander
(1998) measuring the degree to which one is able to balance (a) emotional and intellectual functioning and (b) intimacy and autonomy in relationships (Bowen, as cited in Skowron & Friedlander, 1998). This measure originally consists of four subscales (Skowron & Friedlander, 1998): Emotional Reactivity (ER; “the degree to which a person responds to environmental stimuli with emotional flooding”, I Position (IP; “reflects a clearly defined sense of self and the ability to thoughtfully adhere to his convictions when pressured to do otherwise”), Emotional Cutoff (EC; “reflects feeling threatened by intimacy and feeling excessive vulnerability in relations with others”), and Fusion with Others (FO; “reflects emotional over involvement with others, including triangulation and over identification with parents”). Based on personal correspondence with the original author, only ER, IP, and EC subscales were adapted to Indonesian version for the purpose of this study, as these three subscales translate better across culture. Cronbach’s alpha on full scale and three subscales (ER, IP, and EC) were .84, .76, .77, and .77 respectively.
Results Considering the range of the instruments and the actual median obtained from the research data (Table 1), the authors made conclusion about each research variables. We present the data in median because it is less susceptible to extreme scores (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2013). Considering that the lowest possible score was 7 and the highest possible score
Table 1 Descriptive Statistics of Continuously-Scaled Research Variables
Pornography distress Duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use Attitude towards pornography use Exposure to sexual content from the media Religious salience Differentiation of self
Score range of the instruments
Score range of the obtained data
1 (week)-40 (years)
Table 2 Hypothesis Testing using Multiple Regression Analysis (Enter Method)
Standard of error 20.687
B Constant Perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use Way of knowing about husband’s pornography use Had been told by husband about his pornography use* Had found proof of his pornography use* Had caught him in his pornography using act* Others* Duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use Attitude towards pornography use Exposure to sexual content from the media Religious salience Differentiation of self * Dummy variable
was 224, it can be concluded that the
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Table 3 Hypothesis Testing using Multiple Regression Analysis (Stepwise Method)
Standard of error 20.052
-.833 -.497 -1.672 17.881
B Constant Way of knowing about husband’s pornography use: Had caught him in his pornography using act* Attitude towards pornography use Differentiation of self Religious salience Way of knowing about husband’s pornography use: Had found proof of his pornography use* * Dummy variable
research participants tended to show low pornography distress (median = 88). The data also showed that the participants tend to acknowledge their husbands’ pornography use for quite short time (5 years). Considering the possible range of 6-84, the data also showed that participants tended to hold normal to negative attitude towards pornography use (median = 39). The median of 16 (compared to 0-144 of range) showed that participants tended to be exposed to little amount of sexual content from media. On the other hand, median of 31 (compared to 7-35 of range) and 127 (compared to 6-204 of range) also showed that research participants tended to have high religious salience and differentiation of self. The descriptive statistics also showed that the majority of participant perceived very low frequency of husbands’ pornography use (over 44% of them reported less than once a month usage).
.166 .123 .419
-.322 -.250 -.255
-5.024 -4.033 -3.993
.000 .000 .000
Another descriptive statistics showed a diverse figure on participants’ ways of knowing about their husbands’ pornography use. However, it might be concluded that the majority of participants acknowledged their husbands’ pornography use by finding proof of their husbands’ pornography use themselves (31.06%), through their husbands’ invitation to join them (29.19%), or through their husbands’ disclosure (29.19%). Hypothesis testing Hypothesis 1: Perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use, the duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use, the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, attitude towards pornography use, exposure to sexual content from the media, religious salience, and differentiation of self, contribute together and significantly to pornography
distress. To test this hypothesis, we made use of multiple regression analysis, using Enter method (Table 2). One variable (way of knowing about husband’s pornography use) was measured in nominal scale, and for this case we made use of dummy variables to include it on the regression analysis. The result showed that perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use, the duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use, the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, attitude towards pornography use, exposure to sexual content from the media, religious salience, and differentiation of self, contributed together and significantly to pornography distress (F (10,150) = 12.200, p < 0.05). However, this analysis had not yet determined which of the seven factors individually contributed to pornography distress. This issue will be addressed on next research question. Answering research question Research question 1: Which factors among the seven proposed contribute individually to pornography distress? Using the Stepwise method of multiple regression analysis (Table 3) it was found that not all of the seven proposed factors actually contributed individually to pornography distress. Only four of them were: the way of knowing about husband’s pornography use (significant only on two dummy variables: had caught him in his pornography using act and had found proof of his pornography use), attitude towards pornography use, differentiation of self, and
religious salience (F (5,155) = 23.456, p < 0.05). This regression model contributed for 41.20% of the variation among pornography distress. The direction of each contribution may also be concluded. The biggest contributor (way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, dummy variable: 1) had caught him in his pornography using act (t = 5.294, p < .05); 2) had found the proof of his usage (t = 3.372, p < .05)) contributed in positive direction. In other words, if a woman discovered her husband’s pornography use by one of those two modes, her pornography distress would be increased. This finding confirmed the initial notion that women who find out about their husbands’ pornography use in a way that does not suggest their husbands’ openness about the issue to them, would then experience higher pornography distress. On the other hand, attitude towards pornography use (t = -5.024, p < .05), religious salience (t = -4.033, p < .05), and differentiation of self (t = -3.993, p < .05) all contributed in negative directions. In other words, the higher women’s attitude towards pornography use, religious salience, or differentiation of self, the lower pornography distress she would experience. Variable regarding women’s attitude towards pornography use showed a consistent direction with the initial idea that a positive attitude would help women to accept their husbands’ habits. A high differentiation of self-orthe ability to balance intimacy and autonomy function in a relationship-also seemed to be helpful in acceptinghusband’s pornography habit without showing any exaggerated feelings.
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An interesting result was shown by religious salience variable. The research data showed that this variable contributed to pornography distress negatively, that the higher religious salience, the lower pornography distress would be. This result was not consistent with the initial expectation. This interesting inconsistency would be further discussed in discussion.
using pornography tended to show lower level of distress compared to women who were not involved in pornography (U = 931, p < .05). Moreover, women whose husbands’ usually used pornography with their friends experienced more pornography distress compared to women whose husbands’ had usually used the pornography with them (U = 321, p < .167).
Additional Findings This research also addressed several other aspects that may be related to pornography distress in marital context. Some additional information was gathered regarding participants’ religion, marital age, their own pornography use (whether they themselves actively use pornography), frequency of their own pornography use, pattern of husbands’ pornography habits (whether their husbands use pornography in a solitary way, with the wives’ companion, or with their friends’ companion), and when the discovery of their husbands’ pornography use took place (was it before or after marriage). Due to the unevenness of the distributions, analysis for these additional variables was conducted using nonparametric statistics. The results indicated that some of the variables (participants’ religion, their own pornography use, and pattern of husbands’ pornography habits) might add more information to our understanding of pornography distress. It was found that Buddhist women tended to show lower level of distress in regards of husbands’ pornography use, compared to Christian women (U = 145.5, p < .125). Also, women who themselves were actively
Discussion This study found that the regression model consisting seven proposed variables contributed significantly to pornography distress in pornography users’ wives. However, this was actually not the best model to predict the level of distress they are experiencing. It was also found that the better model consists of only four contributors: way of knowing about husband’s pornography use, attitude towards pornography use, differentiation of self, and religious salience. While there was at least a factor outside women’s control that determine her pornography distress (i.e. the way of knowing about their husbands’ pornography use), there were also factors related to women’s own psychological aspect (i.e. their own attitude towards pornography use, their differentiation of self, and their religious salience). Looking at this result, we are convinced that the nature of pornography consumption issue in marital context cannot be attributed solely to one party within the marriage. Therefore, counselors and individuals who are dealing with this problem should be aware that each party in the marriage needs to work together to
achieve some sort of agreement and understanding to solve pornography distress issues. This finding also showed that despite of the absence of similar study conducted in Indonesia, the present study was successful on giving valuable information. This study also showed an interesting result in regards to religious salience variable. This particular variable actually showed significant contribution in the opposite direction compared to the initial hypothesis. It was expected that high identification to religious values might prevent women to accept their husbands’ pornography use. In other words, the higher religious salience, the higher pornography distress. This unconfirmed hypothesis might be explained by revisiting the role of religious salience in woman’s dynamic of emotion and distress while facing this issue. A couple of findings showed that religiosity can play a vital card in helping individual to be more resilient and adaptable while facing difficult situation (Van Dyke, Glenwick, Cecero, & Kim, 2009; Jang & Johnson, 2004; Marks, 2005; Roemer, 2010; Salsman & Carlson, 2005). Moreover, some findings showed that religiosity has become one of the main coping strategy for Indonesian individuals (Fathi, Nasae, & Thiangchanya, 2010; Ismail & Basuki, 2012; Safaria, Othman, &Wahab, 2010). Findings by Permatasari (2006) and Felicia (2005) also showed that one of the most popular coping strategies used by married women in Indonesia was turning to religion. With this notion in mind, we might see this present finding in
different light, that high religious salience may provide women to evaluate her husband pornography use more positively. Hence, she experiences lower pornography distress. Despite delivering interesting results, this study also met some limitations. One of them was low participation rate. Large number of participants (at total of 237 people) refused to continue their participation in this study. This might be explained by several factors: 1) lengthy questionnaire and 2) the nature of talking about sexuality in Indonesia, which is still considered taboo. The second limitation was generalization. Most of the samples were women with low pornography distress. This is an important matter to be addressed as these research findings may not be applicable to the more varied sample of women. The conception of sexual taboo in Indonesia may explain the low pornography distress showed by the majority of sample. It is very possible that women who agree to participate fully in this research are the ones who no longer hold negative attitude towards sexual discussion. Therefore, it seems logical if they also showed positive reactions towards their husbands’ pornography use. Third, we want to address three variables (perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use, duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use, and exposure to sexual content from the media) which were expected to contribute significantly to pornography distress, but the research data failed to confirm this hypothesis. There are several
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possible explanations why the first variable failed to show its contribution. Firstly, most of data (44.72%) were skewed on the lowest frequency (most participants perceived their husband pornography use to be less than once a month). This homogenous data might lower statistical power of rejecting null hypothesis. Despite this methodological limitation, it is possible that this result reflected the real relationship between perceived frequency of husband’s pornography use and pornography distress, that this variable was not a contributor to pornography distress. In this case, the heart of the problem may not lie on how frequent the pornography use is, it is actually about the honesty of partners in disclosing their habits. This notion is supported by one of this research finding that the way of finding out about husband’s pornography use significantly contributed to participants’ pornography distress, especially if this revelation came from catching husbands’ act firsthand or finding proof of their husbands’ behavior. Hence, it is possible that the perceived frequency of pornography use doesn’t play a significant role in building the problem, as long as the husbands are not being secretive about their usage. The reason why the second variable (duration of knowledge about husband’s pornography use) did not show significant contribution might also be due to the skewed data (most participants had just found out about their husbands’ pornography use) and this condition might also lower the statistical power of rejecting null hypothesis. The second possibility is related to memory bias. Asking about when
approximately did the participants find out about their husbands’ pornography use might force participants to retrieve old memories (almost half of the participants have been married for 15 years). Participants’ limitation on remembering such information might produce inaccurate data. There might also another interesting way to interpret this particular finding. The reason why this variable was included in this research model and became subject to be hypothetically tested was the notion from W. Maltz and Maltz (2009) about stages that women experienced while discovering about their partners’ pornography use. We translated these stages to the variable of duration. The idea was: if stages were seen as a reflection of women’s acceptance from time to time, then their duration of knowing about their husbands’ pornography use would also play part on their experience of pornography distress. However, this research finding raised the need of revisiting this translation. It is possible that each woman goes through these stages differently: there might be women who quickly moved between stages, but there might also be women who need longer time to move between stages. Therefore, their duration of knowing their husbands’ pornography use does not always reflect their current and advanced stages. The last variable to be discussed is exposure to sexual content from the media. This variable’s failure to show significant contribution might be explained by its measurement method. As explained before, this variable was measured by
asking the participants to judge the degree of sexual content contained in their each of media consumption. This self-report method was actually supported by Bleakley et al. (2008), as the impact that a sexual media has on an individual is determined largely by how he/she perceived it rather than the actual content it has. However, there is a possibility that participants who frequently exposed to sexual contents had actually get used to the exposure and experience less awareness on what they receive. Without this awareness, the subjective report would no longer give an accurate description on what the participants actually perceived. Therefore, we suggest that future researcher may consider using judges in determining the degree of sexual content. To end this discussion, we would like to address one more important thing that the readers should keep in mind related to the interpretation of research findings. This research was designed from women’s point of view to capture the overall trend of pornography distress in Indonesia. While the research had been successful on its part, it had only covered one side of the story. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that future researcher would address this issue from the husband or couple’s perspective and also make use of qualitative designs to get more in-depth data.
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