Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Eileen Wood

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study examined the relationships between computer use, sexually explicit material found on the Internet, and sexual attitudes and behaviours and the use of the Internet for conducting large surveys. The first issue explored if and how computer experience contributed to online behaviour and perceptions about sexually explicit material. In addition, sexual attitudes and behaviours were examined with respect to computer experience to assess potential relationships. The methodological question contrasted the use of traditional supervised paper-and-pencil survey techniques with supervised and unsupervised use of the Internet. This design allowed for comparison of use as a function of supervision and format of the survey. In terms of the methodological investigation, results indicated an interaction between survey format and location of survey within the survey booklet. When compared to both online conditions, results revealed a higher number of missing items in the paper and pencil condition, specifically near the end of the booklet. More missing items were present in a sensitive measure assessing violent conflict. There were no gender differences in terms of missing items. In terms of the high-risk and computer use investigation, results indicated that gender was a significant predictor of both positive and negative attitudes about sexually explicit material online (pop-ups, inbox and junk mail messages). Gender also predicted the likelihood to search for sexual material online. An overall higher frequency of computer use predicted comfort and expertise with computers. Future directions and implications are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons