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J Sex Med. 2011 Mar;8(3):764-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02030.x. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Mental- and physical-health indicators and sexually explicit media use behavior by adults.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



Converging evidence from culturally diverse contexts indicates that sexually explicit media use behavior (SEMB; i.e., pornography consumption) is associated with risky sexual health perceptions and behaviors, many that involve high risks of HIV/STD transmission.


Essentially unexplored, and the focus here, are potential relationships between SEMB and nonsexual mental- and physical-health indicators.


Variability in six continuously measured health indicators (depressive symptoms, mental- and physical-health diminished days, health status, quality of life, and body mass index) was examined across two levels (users, nonusers) of SEMB.


A sample of 559 Seattle-Tacoma Internet-using adults was surveyed in 2006. Multivariate general linear models parameterized in a SEMB by respondent gender (2 × 2) factorial design were computed incorporating adjustments for several demographics.


SEMB was reported by 36.7% (n = 205) of the sample. Most SEMB users (78%) were men. After adjusting for demographics, SEMB users, compared to nonusers, reported greater depressive symptoms, poorer quality of life, more mental- and physical-health diminished days, and lower health status.


The findings show that mental- and physical-health indicators vary significantly across SEMB, suggesting the value of incorporating these factors in future research and programmatic endeavors. In particular, the findings suggest that evidence-based sexual health promotion strategies simultaneously addressing individuals' SEMB and their mental health needs might be a useful approach to improve mental health and address preventable sexual health outcomes associated with SEMB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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