Sexually Explicit Media Use by Sexual Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men in the United States (2016)

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COMMENTS: Study debunks the claim that porn users' "sexual interests are stable" - an inadequately supported assertion that Ogi Ogas made in his book (A Billion Wicked Thoughts) and his Psychology Today Blog posts. An excerpt from an Ogas blog post:

"There is no evidence that viewing porn activates some kind of neural mechanism leading one down a slippery slope of seeking more and more deviant material, and plenty of evidence suggesting that adult men's sexual interests are stable."

An excerpt from this study (below) casts doubt upon the Ogas claim:

The findings also indicated that many men viewed SEM content inconsistent with their stated sexual identity. It was not uncommon for heterosexual-identified men to report viewing SEM containing male same-sex behavior (20.7%) and for gay-identified men to report viewing heterosexual behavior in SEM (55.0%). It was also not uncommon for gay men to report that they viewed vaginal sex with (13.9%) and without a condom (22.7%) during the past 6 months.

Also see - Studies Find Escalation (and Habituation) in Porn Users (2016), which reported that half of internet porn users had escalated to material they previously found "uninteresting" or "disgusting." In short, internet porn is a unique medium that appears to promote escalation to new tastes in porn viewing.


Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Oct 5.

Downing MJ Jr1, Schrimshaw EW2, Scheinmann R3, Antebi-Gruszka N2, Hirshfield S3.

Abstract

Advances in production and distribution of sexually explicit media (SEM) online have resulted in widespread use among men. Limited research has compared contexts of use and behaviors viewed in Internet SEM by sexual identity. The current study examined differences in recent SEM use (past 6 months) by sexual identity among an ethnically diverse sample of 821 men who completed an online survey in 2015. Both gay and bisexual men reported significantly more frequent use of Internet SEM compared to heterosexual men.

Although most participants reported viewing SEM at home (on a computer, tablet, or smartphone), significantly more gay men reported SEM use at a sex party or commercial sex venue than either heterosexual or bisexual men. Sexual identity predicted viewing of high-risk and protective behaviors in separate logistic regression models. Specifically, compared to heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men had increased odds of viewing condomless anal sex (gay OR 5.20, 95 % CI 3.35-8.09; bisexual OR 3.99, 95 % CI 2.24-7.10) and anal sex with a condom (gay OR 3.93, 95 % CI 2.64-5.83; bisexual OR 4.59, 95 % CI 2.78-7.57). Compared to gay men, heterosexual and bisexual men had increased odds of viewing condomless vaginal sex (heterosexual OR 27.08, 95 % CI 15.25-48.07; bisexual OR 5.59, 95 % CI 3.81-8.21) and vaginal sex with a condom (heterosexual OR 7.90, 95 % CI 5.19-12.03; bisexual OR 4.97, 95 % CI 3.32-7.44).

There was also evidence of identity discrepant SEM viewing as 20.7% of heterosexual-identified men reported viewing male same-sex behavior and 55.0 % of gay-identified men reported viewing heterosexual behavior. Findings suggest the importance of assessing SEM use across media types and contexts and have implications for research to address the potential influence of SEM on sexual behavior (e.g., investigate associations between viewing condomless vaginal sex and engaging in high-risk encounters with female partners).

KEYWORDS: Internet; Pornography; Sexual identity; Sexual orientation; Sexually explicit media

PMID: 27709363

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-016-0837-9


 

EXCERPTS:

The current report is based on data from 821 participants who identified their current gender as male, reported viewing Internet SEMin the past 6months, and self-identified as straight/heterosexual, gay/homosexual, or bisexual. We focus omen as they are the primary users of SEM. Mean age for the sample was 37.98 years (SD=12.02).

As shown in Table 2, heterosexual men were more likely to view Internet SEM once a week or less compared to gay and bisexual men who were more likely to view Internet SEM at least once a day. Further, a significantly greater proportion of heterosexual men reported SEM viewing sessions lasting 10 min or less compared to gay and bisexual men.

Heterosexual men were significantly less likely than gay and bisexual men to report that they viewed SEM featuring only men, group sex with only men, mutual masturbation, anal sex with or without a condom, and rimming. However,one in five heterosexual-identified men reported viewing SEM that featured only men. Heterosexual men were less likely than gay men to report viewing SEM that featured watersport sand felching. They were more likely than gay and bisexual men to report that they viewed SEM featuring group sex with only women, group sex with men and women, and vaginal sex without a condom. Heterosexual men were also more likely than gay men to report viewing SEM that featured vaginal sex with a condom. Gay men were significantly more likely than bisexual men to report that they viewed SEM featuring group sex with only men, bondage, sadomasochism, cock and ball torture, sounding, fisting, watersports, and felching. However, they were less likely than bisexual men to report viewing SEM that featured group sex with only women, group sex with men and women, solo acts of masturbation, and vaginal sex with or without a condom.

Nevertheless, the findings also indicated that many men viewed SEM content inconsistent with their stated sexual identity. It was not uncommon for heterosexual-identified men to report viewing SEM containing male same-sex behavior (20.7%) and for gay-identified men to report viewing heterosexual behavior in SEM (55.0%). It was also not uncommon for gay men to report that they viewed vaginal sex with (13.9%) and without a condom (22.7%) during the past 6 months.

Heterosexual men were also more likely to report viewing sessions of 10 min or less. Study findings suggest that heterosexual men are less likely to smoke, consume alcohol or other drugs while viewing Internet SEM compared to gay and bisexual men. Indeed, nearly half of gay (45.7%) and bisexual men (44.4%) indicated using substances at least some of the time in this context.

Gay and bisexual men reported significantly more frequent use of Internet SEM compared to heterosexual men.Although most participants reported viewing SEM at home on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, significantly more gay men reported SEM use at a sex party or commercial sex venue. Sexual identity predicted viewing of high-risk (condomless anal and vaginal sex) and protective behaviors (anal and vaginal sex with a condom). Nevertheless, there was evidence of identity discrepant SEM viewing as heterosexual-identified men reported viewing male same-sex behavior and gay-identified men reported viewing heterosexual behavior. Significant associations were also observed between behavioral content viewed and preferences for condom use in SEM. Findings suggest the importance of assessing SEM use across media types (e.g., SEM that targets heterosexual, bisexual, and gay audiences) and contexts and have implications for future SEM research and prevention strategies to address concerns about the potential influence of SEM on sexual behavior