A lack of association between online pornography exposure, sexual functioning, and mental well-being

Charig, Ruth, Moghaddam, Nima, Dawson, Dave , Merdian, Hannah Lena and Das Nair, Roshan (2020) A lack of association between online pornography exposure, sexual functioning, and mental well-being. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 35 (2). pp. 258-281. ISSN 1468-1994

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2020.1727874

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A lack of association between online pornography exposure, sexual functioning, and mental well-being
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Abstract

To inform debate around potential influences of online pornography, we applied a contemporary media-effects model to examine the relationship between online sexually explicit material (oSEM) exposure and several psychosocial outcomes – including sexual satisfaction, body satisfaction, sexist attitudes, and mental well-being. Perceived realism of oSEM (the extent to which it is believed to be a realistic portrayal of sexual experience) was assessed as a potential mediator of exposure-outcome relationships. Furthermore, family communication about sex and gender were investigated as potential moderators of any indirect relationships (via perceived realism). Using a convenience sample of cisgender, heterosexual adults (N = 252) and a cross-sectional questionnaire design, we found no significant direct or indirect relationships between oSEM-use and the psychosocial outcomes in question; equivalence testing demonstrated that (for all outcomes other than body satisfaction) we could reject effect sizes (rs) > ±.20. Overall, findings do not favour a negative or positive relationship between oSEM and the psychosocial outcomes under examination – oSEM appeared to have a negligible role in individuals’ current sexual functioning and mental well-being.

Keywords:pornography, sexuality, media effects, online, family communication, perceived realism
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P304 Electronic Media studies
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:40122
Deposited On:11 Mar 2020 16:08

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