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Arch Sex Behav. 2014 May;43(4):811-21. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0121-1. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Sexually explicit media on the internet: a content analysis of sexual behaviors, risk, and media characteristics in gay male adult videos.

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  • 1Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research Program, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., New York, NY, USA.


Recent research suggests that viewing sexually explicit media (SEM), i.e., adult videos, may influence sexual risk taking among men who have sex with men. Despite this evidence, very little is known about the content of gay male SEM on the Internet, including the prevalence of sexual risk behaviors and their relation to video- and performer-characteristics, viewing frequency, and favorability. The current study content analyzed 302 sexually explicit videos featuring male same-sex performers that were posted to five highly trafficked adult-oriented websites. Findings revealed that gay male SEM on the Internet features a variety of conventional and nonconventional sexual behaviors. There was a substantial prevalence of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) (34 %) and was virtually the same as the prevalence of anal sex with a condom (36 %). The presence of UAI was not associated with video length, amateur production, number of video views, favorability, or website source. However, the presence of other potentially high-risk behaviors (e.g., ejaculation in the mouth, and ejaculation on/in/rubbed into the anus) was associated with longer videos, more views, and group sex videos (three or more performers). The findings of high levels of sexual risk behavior and the fact that there was virtually no difference in the prevalence of anal sex with and without a condom in gay male SEM have important implications for HIV prevention efforts, future research on the role of SEM on sexual risk taking, and public health policy.

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