Political Science Publications

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Publication Date

Fall 2017






International Journal of Public Opinion Research

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Individuals do not always accurately report the forces driving their policy preferences. Such inaccuracy may result from the fact that true justifications are socially undesirable or less persuasive than competing justifications or are unavailable in conscious awareness. Because of the delicate nature of these issues, people may be particularly likely to misstate the reasons for preferences on gay marriage, abortion, abstinence-only education, and premarital sex. Advocates on both sides typically justify their preferences in terms of preserving social order, maintaining moral values, or protecting civil liberties, not in terms of their own sexual preferences. Though these are the stated reasons, in empirical tests we find that psychophysiological response to sexual images also may be a significant driver of policy attitudes.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

Friesen, A., Smith, K. B., & Hibbing, J. R. (2016). Physiological Arousal and Self-Reported Valence for Erotica Images Correlate with Sexual Policy Preferences. International Journal of Public Opinion Research. http://doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/edw008

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