Intrasexual Competition as a Predictor of Women's Judgments of Revenge Pornography Offending

Sex Abuse. 2019 Dec 25;1079063219894306. doi: 10.1177/1079063219894306. Online ahead of print.


Recent legislative developments have led to a marked increase in the empirical investigation of motivations and judgments of so-called acts of "revenge pornography" offending. In two independently sampled studies, we used moderation analyses to investigate whether higher levels of intrasexual competition predicted more lenient judgments of revenge pornography offenses as a function of sex (Study 1, N = 241), and whether such relationships would be further moderated by physical attractiveness (Study 2, N = 402). Potential covariates of callous-unemotional traits, empathy, and victimization history were controlled for. Opposing our hypotheses, we consistently observed a trend for higher levels of intrasexual competition being associated with more lenient judgments of revenge pornography offenses involving male victims by female participants. The results are discussed in terms of intrasexual competition potentially sharing variance with unobserved constructs in the wider sexological literature, and of the key relevance of these findings for future empirical investigation into judgments of nonconsensual image-based offending.

Keywords: callous-unemotional traits; empathy; intrasexual competition; nonconsensual image–based offending; revenge porn.