SEXUALITY

Harknett, Kristen and Stephen Cranney. Forth. “Majority Rules: Sex Ratios and Sexual Norms and Behavior in High Schools.” Population Research and Policy Review. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the relationship between the gender composition of high schools and sexual ideals, attitudes, and behaviors reported by 12,617 students. Theory predicts that a surplus of females in a dating market gives males greater bargaining power to achieve their underlying preference for avoiding committed relationships and engaging in casual sex. We find relationships between the gender composition of a high school and sexual norms and behaviors that depart from this theoretical prediction: In high schools in which girls outnumber boys, students report a less sexually-permissive normative climate and girls report less casual sex compared with their counterparts at schools in which boys outnumber girls. Our results inform predictions about social consequences following from the feminization of school institutions.


Cranney, Stephen. Forth. "Why Did God Make Me This Way? Religious Coping and Framing in the Virtuous Pedophile Community." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 


Cranney, Stephen and Aleksandar Stulhofer. 2017. "'Whosoever Looketh on a Person to Lust After Them’: Religiosity, the Use of Mainstream and Nonmainstream Sexually Explicit Material, and Sexual Satisfaction in Heterosexual Men and Women.” Journal of Sex ResearchWhile previous research has generally found that religiosity is associated with negative attitudes toward sexually explicit material (SEM) and a lower frequency of SEM use, no studies have examined the relationship between SEM type and religiosity. Additionally, it is unknown how the interrelations between religiosity and  type and frequency of SEM use influence the relationship between SEM use and sexual satisfaction. Here, associations among a multi-item religiosity scale (consisting of measures of self-reported faith in God, religious services attendance, and the religiosity of the respondent’s social network), SEM use, type of preferred  SEM, and sexual satisfaction were explored using a large online sample of Croatian adults (N =2,580). In both men and women, religiosity was associated with less frequent SEM use and more SEM negative attitudes. Guilty feelings following SEM use and SEM negative attitudes fully mediated the association between religiosity and SEM use among women and partially mediated the relationship for men. Religiosity was also negatively correlated with women’s nonmainstream SEM use. For women, religiosity significantly moderated the association between SEM use and sexual satisfaction, as well as the relationship between nonmainstream SEM use and sexual satisfaction. In line with the erotic plasticity theory, the findings suggest that religiosity affects SEM use and related sexual satisfaction more substantially among women than men.


Cranney, Stephen. Forth.“Does Asexuality Meet the Stability Criterion for a Sexual Orientation? Commentary on Brotto and Yule (2016).” Invited commentary. Archives of Sexual Behavior.


Cranney, Stephen. "The LGB Mormon Paradox: Mental, Physical and Self-Rated Health among Mormon and Non-Mormon LGB Individuals in the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System." Journal of Homosexuality just-accepted (2016). Much of the literature on mental and physical health among religious LGB individuals has relied on small-N convenience samples. This study takes advantage of a unique, large-N, population-based dataset to test the relationship between religious identity, religious activity, and health, with a specific emphasis on Utah Mormons. In a surprising finding, Mormon LGBs report better mental health than non-Mormon LGBs, while their self-rated and physical health is not significantly different. However, there is some evidence that Mormon LGBs derive less health benefits from church attendance than their non-LGB Mormon counterparts. These results may nuance the conventional wisdom regarding the health dynamics of LGB individuals who identify with a conservative, heteronormative religious tradition, and plausible explanations are discussed.


Cranney, Stephen. 2016.“The Temporal Stability of Lack of Sexual Attraction Across Young Adulthood.” Archives of Sexual Behavior ​45(3): 743-749. There is a large and growing literature on the stability of sexual orientation across the lifespan. However, virtually no studies have been conducted on the longitudinal stability of any dimension of asexuality. Here I utilized Kinsey scale-type data from Wave III and Wave IV of the Add Health survey to measure the stability of indicating “not sexually attracted to either males or females” in a forced-choice, Kinsey-type scale and during the time participants were moving through early adulthood (18–26 years in Wave III and 24–32 years in Wave IV). I found that, for the most part, individuals who reported no sexual attraction in Wave III were not the same individuals who reported no sexual attraction in Wave IV, with only three out of the 25 in Wave III who indicated no sexual attraction going on to do the same in Wave IV. This inter-wave consistency was lower than it was for other sexual minorities. However, indicating no sexual attraction in one wave was still a statistically significant predictor of indicating no sexual attraction in the other wave, as was refusing to answer or indicating the “don’t know” option in the other wave. These findings do not necessarily denote change in sexual attraction across waves; the fact that not answering the question in one wave was a significant predictor of indicating no sexual attraction in the other wave provides quantitative evidence for the ambiguities involved in sexual identities when sexuality is taken for granted in the broader culture. This ambiguity affects the operationalization and quantification of asexuality.

Cranney, Stephen. 2015.“Internet Pornography Use and Sexual Body Image in a Dutch Sample.” International Journal of Sexual Health 27 (3): 316-323. A commonly attributed cause of sexual body image dissatisfaction is pornography use. This relationship has received little verification. Methods: The relationship between sexual body image dissatisfaction and Internet pornography use was tested using a large-N sample of Dutch respondents. Results/Conclusion: Penis-size dissatisfaction is associated with pornography use. The relationship between pornography use and breast-size dissatisfaction is null. These results support prior speculation and self-reports about the relationship between pornography use and sexual body image among men. These results also support a prior null finding of the relationship between breast-size satisfaction for women and pornography use.

Cranney, Stephen. 2015. "The Relationship Between Sexual Victimization and Year in School in US Colleges: Investigating the Parameters of the 'Red Zone'" Journal of Interpersonal Violence 30(17):3133-3145. ​ It is the conventional wisdom among some universities that the highest risk of sexual assault is in the first or possibly second year in school.  While initially belief in this pattern was primarily based on anecdote, recently some attempts have been made to move more systematically and quantitatively test the existence of a "red zone," a time of heightened risk of sexual assault sometime near the beginning of a female student's time at college.  However, most of these studies have been conducted with relatively small convenience samples from single schools and have had conflicting results.  Here, I test the red zone hypothesis using self-reported sexual victimization data with a large sample (~16,000) drawn from 22 schools as part of the Online College Social Life Survey.  To investigate the specific mechanisms responsible for he red zone, I separately test for the existence of a red zone for four different types of sexual victimization that the red zone is not easily attributable to a single mechanistic cause, but to more generalizable factors. With one exception, I find that the red zone does not extend into the sophomore year.