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Mil Med. 2019 Apr 24. pii: usz079. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz079. [Epub ahead of print]

Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography.

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Department of Urology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134.
Department of Ophthalmology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134.
Department of Mental Health, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA 92134.



We aimed to explore and describe the pornography habits of young men and women. Given recent upward trends in pornography use and erectile dysfunction, along with a plausible pathophysiology, we hypothesized that pornography use would correlate with sexual dysfunction.


Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Surveys were distributed to 20-40 year old men and women presenting to a urology clinic. Information was collected on demographics and medical history. Sexual function was evaluated with the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) in men and the Female Sexual Function Index in women. Extent of potential addiction to pornography was measured with the pornography craving questionnaire and the obsessive passion scale. Pornography use was measured based on both frequency and duration, and analyzed relative to sexual dysfunction.


Men used pornography significantly more frequently than women (81.1% vs. 39%). Computer and cellular phone image viewing were the most popular modalities in both sexes. There was no association between IIEF and craving for, or obsessive passion for, pornography. Preference for pornography with masturbation was found to be significantly associated with erectile dysfunction (p = 0.001). Rates of erectile dysfunction were lowest in those preferring partnered sex without pornography (22.3%) and increased significantly when pornography was preferred over partnered sex (78%). No correlation was found between any variables and female sexual dysfunction.


Pornography and sexual dysfunction are common among young people. No clear relationship exists between extent of addiction to pornography and sexual dysfunction in either gender. However, men who prefer masturbation with pornography to partnered sex have a significantly increased risk of sexual dysfunction. Given sexual dysfunction may be associated with mental health concerns, further evaluation of its causes and impact on military operational readiness are warranted.


erectile dysfunction; pornography; sexual dysfunction (psychological)


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