Compulsive use of Internet-based sexually explicit media: Adaptation and validation of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) (2014)

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Available online 11 March 2014


Despite evidence that viewing sexually explicit media (SEM) may contribute to greater numbers of sexual partners, sexual risk taking, greater interest in group sex, and lower self-esteem among men who have sex with men (MSM), research has not addressed compulsive use of Internet-based SEM due to the lack of a validated measure for this population. This report investigates the psychometric properties of the 14-item Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS; Meerkerk, van den Eijnden, Vermulst, & Garretsen, 2009) adapted to assess the severity of compulsive Internet SEM use. A total of 265 Internet SEM-viewing MSM participated in an online survey about their SEM preferences, viewing habits, and recent sexual behaviors. A principal components analysis revealed a single-component, 13-item scale to adequately assess the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of this phenomenon, with a high internal consistency (α = .92). Greater compulsive use of Internet SEM was positively correlated with several relevant variables including boredom, sexual frustration, time spent viewing Internet SEM, and number of recent male sexual partners. The results offer preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of using an adapted version of the CIUS to understand compulsive Internet SEM use, and allow for more research into the potential negative consequences of compulsive SEM use.