Shocking Study Finds Vast Majority Of People Approve Of Revenge Porn

CANTERBURY, United Kingdom — Lawsuits against people posting revenge porn and campaigns to outlaw the practice have made waves in the news cycle in recent years, but are victims facing an uphill battle? A shocking new study from the United Kingdom finds that a vast majority of people actually approve of revenge porn under select circumstances.

Revenge porn is the act of sharing intimate, risque, or sexually explicit photos or videos of someone else, often an ex-lover, for public viewing — without obtaining their permission. Platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are popular for perpetrators. More than 30 states in the U.S. have laws against the act and one report claims 1 in 25 Americans are revenge porn victims.

So how could anyone approve of revenge porn?

revenge porn, online sex
A shocking new study finds that the vast majority of people actually approve of revenge porn at some level.

Researchers at the University of Kent examined the views of 100 adults, aged 18 to 54. Eighty-two of the participants were female. 

The researchers’ findings were both lopsided and stunning: 99 percent of the participants expressed a level of approval — such as not feeling remorse — towards revenge porn being posted if a person walked out on his or her partner.

If that wasn’t surprising enough, 87 percent of the respondents expressed that they’d feel “stimulated,” whether through amusement or excitement, over the thought of revenge porn.

Yet for all the approval of the act, thankfully the percentage of those inclined to actually engage in posting revenge porn themselves was much lower: just 29 percent.

The researchers also found that those who posted revenge porn were generally not of the most sound psychological state; they were likely to display psychopathic, Machiavellian, or narcissistic traits, according to a university release.

Impulsivity and a lack of empathy, two hallmark traits of psychopaths, were particularly pronounced.

The research paper, titled The Malevolent Side of Revenge Porn Proclivity: Dark Personality Traits and Sexist Ideology, was published in the International Journal of Technoethics. The researchers concluded that while most were “unlikely to commit an act of revenge porn themselves,” the act had general acceptance amongst the mainstream.

They warned that these findings could have serious implications, “especially if one considers the facilitating role of online bystanders in the rapid dissemination of revenge porn materials.”

The study was led by Dr. Afroditi Pina at the University’s School of Psychology.

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