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Research review example

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Example: Research review of a paper on the impact of pornography use in adolescence on relationship intimacy in early adulthood

Please note that ethical standards of peer reviewing constrain me [JP] to give you the original manuscript. I also had to anonymize identifying information in the review. This review is meant as an example of the style used in writing a review; you do not have to understand all the details. Please note that this review is longer than the one you are requested to write.

This is a highly interesting study on a timely subject, the impact of pornography use in adolescence on relationship intimacy in early adulthood. Based on Zillman’s programmatic piece about the “influence of unrestrained pornography” on
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3-4), but on the basis of more elaborate theorizing. Second, why is pornographic realism a covariate (at least in the model tested)? From the quote on p. 4, it rather seems a mediator. This needs some clarification and elaboration, too.

Gender differences
The analysis of gender differences occupies considerable space in the analysis and discussion. However, a rationale is largely lacking why such differences need to be investigated. There is sufficient evidence that females use pornography less often than males do (i.e., gender as a direct predictor), but it is crucial to outline why the processes hypothesized may differ by gender (i.e., gender as a moderator).

Methodological problems

I would like to stress that any research on the issue of the study is admirable, given the enormous ethical, practical, methodological, statistical issues involved. In my evaluation, I take this into account. That said, I do have to raise some potentially unpleasant questions about the design of the study; operationalization of the key measure; procedure/ sample; and analysis.

Design and operationalization of key measure
The paper aims at testing a causal model, but relies on cross-sectional data. The paper outlines on p. 4 that the study includes a time component by asking respondents to indicate their pornography use at ages 14 and 17. Several problems arise.
First, cross-sectional data do not permit causal conclusions related to
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