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J Sex Med. 2019 Jan;16(1):111-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.11.004.

Is Pornography Use Related to Erectile Functioning? Results From Cross-Sectional and Latent Growth Curve Analyses.

Author information

1
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA. Electronic address: GrubbsJ@BGSU.edu.
2
Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, Institute for Neural Computations, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Despite evidence to the contrary, a number of advocacy and self-help groups persist in claiming that internet pornography use is driving an epidemic of erectile dysfunction (ED).

AIM:

The present work sought to explore whether mere pornography use itself and self-reported problematic use of pornography are related to ED, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.

METHODS:

A series of 3 samples of sexually active men who also used pornography were collected: a cross-sectional sample of undergraduate men in the United States (n = 147), an online sample of men derived from a larger sample that was matched to U.S. nationally representative norms (n = 297), and a 1-year, 4-wave longitudinal sample of adult men derived from an online convenience sample (Mechanical Turk: time 1, n = 433; time 2, n = 223; time 3, n = 202; time 4, n = 196). Pearson correlations and cross-sectional structural equation models were conducted in each sample. Latent growth curve analyses were conducted in the longitudinal sample.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The primary outcomes of interest were cross-sectional and longitudinal reports of erectile functioning as measured by the International Index of Erectile Functioning 5.

RESULTS:

Across all 3 samples, there was evidence of a positive, cross-sectional association between self-reported problematic use and ED, but no consistent association between mere use itself and ED. In our longitudinal sample, there were correlations among baseline pornography use, baseline self-reported problematic use, and prospective ED at times 2-4; however, latent growth curve analyses demonstrated no significant relationships between any pornography-related variables and trajectories of ED.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

These results suggest that among non-treatment-seeking pornography users, self-reported problematic use likely is associated with concurrent reports of ED, but that the links between these variables are not directional or causal in nature.

STRENGTH & LIMITATIONS:

This work is the first work to systematically examine the links between self-reported problematic use of pornography and ED, and it did so in a variety of samples, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal methods. Even so, the work relied exclusively on self-report methods, and did not control for medical covariates that may be related to the experience of ED.

CONCLUSION:

In conjunction with prior literature, we conclude that there is little or no evidence of an association between mere pornography use and ED, consistent evidence of an association between self-reported problematic use and ED cross-sectionally, and no evidence of causal links between any pornography variables and ED. Grubbs JB, Gola M. Is Pornography Use Related to Erectile Functioning? Results From Cross-Sectional and Latent Growth Curve Analyses. J Sex Med 2019;16:111-125.

KEYWORDS:

Addiction; Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder; Erectile Dysfunction; Hypersexual Behavior; Moral Incongruence; Pornography

PMID:
30621919
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.11.004

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