Predictors for (Problematic) Use of Internet Sexually Explicit Material: Role of Trait Sexual Motivation and Implicit Approach Tendencies Towards Sexually Explicit Material (2017)

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Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention

 

Abstract

Problematic use of Internet sexually explicit material (SEM) is thought to be a possible precursor of a clinically relevant disorder labeled as hypersexuality, sexual compulsion, sexual impulse control disorder, or sexual addiction. Knowledge about possible risk factors for developing a problematic Internet SEM use is scarce. The present study investigated whether trait sexual motivation and implicit approach tendencies towards sexual material are predictors of problematic SEM use and of the daily time spent watching SEM. Trait sexual motivation describes the general individual motivation to be sexually active in a long-lasting, trait-like perspective and can be measured by the Trait Sexual Motivation Questionnaire. In a behavioral experiment, we used the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) for measuring implicit approach tendencies towards sexual material. Symptoms of problematic Internet SEM use were assessed by the short Internet Addiction Test, modified for cybersex. Trait sexual motivation explained more variance of problematic Internet SEM use than implicit approach tendencies measured by the AAT. This was true for men as well as for women. Implicit approach tendencies towards SEM were correlated with trait sexual motivation, which could point to a common biological basis.