Young people and XXX : an exploratory survey exploring the consumption of and attitudes to pornography using and comparing self-report and unmatched count techniques for the collection of sensitive data.
This study was concerned with investigating young people’s consumption, interactions and attitudes towards pornography. However, obtaining valid answers to sensitive questions is an old and persistent problem in survey research (Coutts & Jann, 2011). Therefore, a second objective of this study was to assess the methodological efficacy of the Unmatched-Count Technique (UCT). The UCT is a survey protocol that provides greater levels of anonymity in the attempt to elicit more truthful responses than conventional survey techniques regarding sensitive issues/behaviours. In this study the base rates of UCT were compared to those obtained by an online self-report questionnaire (SRQ). One hundred and forty five students ages 18-24 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus, completed an online questionnaire. Participants were either assigned to the UCT or the SRQ. The results revealed that the majority (93.75%) of the sample had been exposed to pornography, more males (76.00%) than females (23.07%) consumed pornography, and that male participants tended to express a more positive-accepting attitude towards pornography than the female participants. A Two-Sample Z-Test was used to compare the base rates of the UCT and the SRQ. The results suggest that the SRQ underestimates base-rates in comparison to the UCT The results illustrate that young people are interacting and consuming pornography within the South African context and as such future research should be aimed at further exploring this genre of sexual media. Furthermore, this study adds to the empirical work which employs the UCT and highlights the efficacy and potential of the technique. Keywords: attitudes, pornography, South Africa, unmatched-count technique, young people.