Internet pornography exposure and risky sexual behavior among adult males in the United States (2012)

Printer-friendly version

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume 28, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 1410–1416


Abstract

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to pose a threat to the public health in the United States. Many sexual behaviors increase an individual’s risk of STI contraction. Chief among these are having unprotected sex, having sex with multiple partners, and either paying for sex or having sex for pay. The present study used General Social Survey (GSS) data from 2000, 2002, and 2004 to explore the association between exposure to internet pornography and these STI risk behaviors among adult US males. After controlling for demographic and individual difference covariates, internet pornography consumption was positively associated with having sex with multiple partners, engaging in paid sex, and having had extramarital sex. Internet pornography consumption was unrelated to having unprotected sex. Subsequent GSSs have not asked participants about exposure to internet pornography. As the GSS is the only ongoing, full-probability, national survey assessing social beliefs and behaviors, the present report provides unique insight into the risky sexual behavior patterns of adult male internet pornography consumers in the United States.


Highlights

► Internet pornography users are more likely to have sex with multiple partners.

► Internet pornography users are more likely to either pay for or be paid for sex.

► Internet pornography users are more likely to have extramarital sex.

► Internet pornography users are no more or less likely to use condoms.

Keywords

  • Internet pornography;
  • Sexually explicit media;
  • Sexual health;
  • Sexually transmitted infections;
  • Condoms;
  • Risky sexual behavior