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Arch Sex Behav. 2018 May;47(4):1163-1172. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-1045-y. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Viewing Sexually Explicit Media and Its Association with Mental Health Among Gay and Bisexual Men Across the U.S.

Author information

1
Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), 142 West 36th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10018, USA.
2
Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, USA.
4
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York, NY, USA.
5
Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), 142 West 36th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10018, USA. jeffrey.parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
6
Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, USA. jeffrey.parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.
7
Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, USA. jeffrey.parsons@hunter.cuny.edu.

Abstract

Gay and bisexual men (GBM) have reported viewing significantly more sexually explicit media (SEM) than heterosexual men. There is evidence that viewing greater amounts of SEM may result in more negative body attitude and negative affect. However, no studies have examined these variables within the same model. A national sample of 1071 HIV-negative GBM in the U.S. participating in a larger study completed an online survey, which included measures of SEM consumption, male body attitudes, anxiety, and depression. Participants reported viewing 3 h of SEM per week, on average, and 96% of participants reported recently viewing at least some SEM. Greater consumption of SEM was directly related to more negative body attitude and both depressive and anxious symptomology. There was also a significant indirect effect of SEM consumption on depressive and anxious symptomology through body attitude. These findings highlight the relevance of both SEM on body image and negative affect along with the role body image plays in anxiety and depression outcomes for GBM. They also indicate a potential role for body image in explaining the co-occurrence of SEM consumption and negative affect. For interventions looking to alleviate negative affect for GBM, it may be important to address SEM consumption and body image as they are shown to be associated with both anxious and depressive symptomology.

KEYWORDS:

Body attitude; Gay and bisexual men; Negative affect; Sexual orientation; Sexually explicit media

PMID:
28884272
PMCID:
PMC5842099
[Available on 2019-05-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10508-017-1045-y

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