Are pornography users more likely to exhibit unsafe sexual behaviors?

January 29, 2015 , Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Sexual risk behaviors such as casual sex, lack of condom use, and a high number of sexual partners have been linked to poor health outcomes, including an increased incidence of sexually transmitted infections. A systematic review of published studies that determined whether a relationship exists between pornography consumption and increased sexual risk behaviors in adults is presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

E.L. Harkness, B.M. Mullan, and A. Blaszczynski, University of Sydney and Curtin University, Australia, report an association between pornography use and indicators of increased sexual risk such as unsafe safe practices and more sexual partners, with similar findings for Internet pornography and unspecific pornography sources. In the article "Association Between Pornography Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adult Consumers: A Systematic Review," the authors discuss the potential value of including "porn literacy" information in sexual health education and prevention strategies, or targeting certain pornography users for sexual health interventions.

"This review has uncovered a need for methodological improvements in this area of research," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. "Many findings in the studies, for example, may not be generalizable since they are done on college students."

More information: The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until February 27, 2015.

Journal information: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc