RESEARCH

Science is the practice of falsifying models using systematic observations. In psychology and related sciences, these models are theories about why a person or group engages in a behavior(s). Falsification is a high threshold for models: If any prediction of a model is not supported, the entire model is discarded. While study results that are consistent with a model prediction increase our confidence that the one model prediction is supported, every single prediction of the model must hold true for the model to be considered supported. Thus, the most important studies are studies that falsify predictions of a model. Finally, a model is never “proven”, because a model prediction could always be falsified by the next study. Models are “supported” or “falsified”. This literature (below) represents some of the important model falsifications that have occurred in sex film science.

Porn is pleasurable (of thousands of examples)

Frank, D. W., & Sabatinelli, D. (2019). Hemodynamic and electrocortical reactivity to specific scene contents in emotional perception. Psychophysiology, 56(6), e13340.

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  • fMRI experiment
  • Healthy adults; students
  • N=19
  • The EPN component, as well as hemodynamic activity in lateral occipital cortex and frontoparietal network, showed greater reactivity during highly arousing pleasant erotic images relative to unpleasant scenes, consistent with a pleasure bias.
  • Sabatinelli, D., Bradley, M. M., Lang, P. J., Costa, V. D., & Versace, F. (2007). Pleasure rather than salience activates human nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of neurophysiology, 98(3), 1374-1379.

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    • Experiment
    • Healthy students
    • 48
    • We find in two studies that free viewing of pleasant images of erotic and romantic couples prompts clear, reliable increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity, whereas equally arousing (salient) unpleasant images, and neutral pictures, do not. These data suggest that in visual perception, the human NAc and mPFC are specifically reactive to pleasant, rewarding stimuli and are not engaged by unpleasant stimuli, despite high stimulus salience.

    Sandre, A., Bagot, R. C., & Weinberg, A. (2019). Blunted neural response to appetitive images prospectively predicts symptoms of depression, and not anxiety, during the transition to university. Biological psychology, 145, 31-41.

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    • Experiment; electroencephalography (EEG)
    • Female adult
    • 70
    • The present study examined whether neural responses to appetitive and aversive images, measured by the late positive potential (LPP), prospectively predict symptoms of depression and/or anxiety during the transition to university. These findings suggest that a blunted late positive potential to appetitive, erotic images may be biomarker of risk for developing symptoms of depression, and not anxiety, following life stress.

    Mitterschiffthaler, M. T., Kumari, V., Malhi, G. S., Brown, R. G., Giampietro, V. P., Brammer, M. J., ... & Sharma, T. (2003). Neural response to pleasant stimuli in anhedonia: an fMRI study. Neuroreport, 14(2), 177-182.

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  • fMRI experiment
  • Females
  • 14 (7 patient; 7 control)
  • Women suffering with depression/anhedonia neurally responded with less pleasure to pleasant, especially erotic, images relative to healthy controls.
  • Lang, P. J., & Bradley, M. M. (2010). Emotion and the motivational brain. Biological psychology, 84(3), 437-450.

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  • Review of experiment
  • Emotional and neutral pictures were organized into categories that represented a monotonic increase in rated emotional arousal sequentially, from neutral scenes to neutral people, to non-threatening animals, to snakes, to erotica, to mutilated human bodies. It was only erotic stimuli that activated medial prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens, consistent with the view that these structures are specifically implicated in the brain’s appetitive motivational circuit.
  • Sescousse, G., Caldú, X., Segura, B., & Dreher, J. C. (2013). Processing of primary and secondary rewards: a quantitative meta-analysis and review of human functional neuroimaging studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37(4), 681-696.

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  • Neuroimaging literature review
  • We performed an Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis of 87 studies (1452 subjects) comparing the brain responses to monetary, erotic and food reward outcomes. Those three rewards robustly engaged a common brain network including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, ventral striatum, amygdala, anterior insula and mediodorsal thalamus, although with some variations in the intensity and location of peak activity. Food and erotic (i.e. primary) rewards were more strongly represented in the anterior insula, while erotic stimuli elicited particularly robust responses in the amygdala. Together, these results indicate that the computation of experienced reward value does not only recruit a core “reward system” but also reward type-dependent brain structures.
  • Gujar, N., Yoo, S. S., Hu, P., & Walker, M. P. (2011). Sleep deprivation amplifies reactivity of brain reward networks, biasing the appraisal of positive emotional experiences. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(12), 4466-4474.

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  • fMRI
  • Healthy age 18-30
  • 27
  • The event-related fMRI design was composed of 100 picture stimulus presentation trials, selected from a standardized picture set (International Affective Picture System) (Lang, 1997). The picture stimuli ranged in a standardized gradient from emotionally neutral (neutral valence, low arousal) to increasingly pleasant (erotica). Regions in this dopaminergic reward network, encompassing the putamen and VTA, exhibited significantly greater activation in response to positive emotional stimuli in the sleepdeprived group, relative to those who had slept. This increase in reactivity of the VTA—a structure that can also scale in response magnitude with increasing reward value (Fields et al., 2007) may offer a putative mechanism underlying the increase in the biased number of positive stimulus judgments observed in the deprivation group.
  • Karama, S., Lecours, A. R., Leroux, J. M., Bourgouin, P., Beaudoin, G., Joubert, S., & Beauregard, M. (2002). Areas of brain activation in males and females during viewing of erotic film excerpts. Human brain mapping, 16(1), 1-13.

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  • fMRI
  • Male and female
  • 40
  • Brain activity was measured while male and female subjects were viewing erotic film excerpts. Viewing erotic film excerpts was associated, for both genders, with bilateral blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal increases in the anterior cingulate, medial prefrontal, orbitofrontal, insular, and occipitotemporal cortices, as well as in the amygdala and the ventral striatum. Greater sexual arousal when viewing erotica was associated with more functional differences.
  • Knutson, B., Wimmer, G. E., Kuhnen, C. M., & Winkielman, P. (2008). Nucleus accumbens activation mediates the influence of reward cues on financial risk taking. NeuroReport, 19(5), 509-513.

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  • fMRI
  • Heterosexual males
  • 15
  • During the first part of each trial, subjects saw visual stimuli. These consisted of one of three shape cues (i.e., circle, square, or triangle; 4 sec) signaling the impending display of a positive (i.e., erotic couples), negative (i.e., snakes or spiders), or neutral (i.e., household appliances) picture. Anticipation of viewing rewarding stimuli increased financial risk taking, and that this effect was partly due to greater NAcc activation associated with greater sexual arousal.
  • Liu, Y., Huang, H., McGinnis-Deweese, M., Keil, A., & Ding, M. (2012). Neural substrate of the late positive potential in emotional processing. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(42), 14563-14572.

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  • fMRI and EEG experiment
  • Healthy
  • 15
  • . The pleasant pictures in general included sport scenes, romance, and erotic couples, whereas the unpleasant pictures incorporated threat, attack scenes, and bodily mutilations. The neutral pictures included landscapes and neutral human beings. Extracting LPP on a trial-by-trial basis, the overall LPP amplitude variability across three picture categories (pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant) was found to be correlated with BOLD responses in an extensive cortical and subcortical network, including visual cortices and deep emotionprocessing structures. In addition, consistent with the notion that appetitive and aversive information may engage different neural substrates, the brain areas in which BOLD activity was correlated with LPP amplitude during pleasant picture viewing were not the same as those during unpleasant picture viewing.
  • Walter, M., Bermpohl, F., Mouras, H., Schiltz, K., Tempelmann, C., Rotte, M., ... & Northoff, G. (2008). Distinguishing specific sexual and general emotional effects in fMRI—Subcortical and cortical arousal during erotic picture viewing. Neuroimage, 40(4), 1482-1494.

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  • fMRI
  • Heterosexual men and women
  • 21
  • Bodily erotic and non-bodily, emotional picture categories were matched for standard ratings of arousal, dominance and valence as provided by the IAPS catalogue. Our findings support earlier models of sexual arousal favoring involvement of certain brain regions in distinct components of sexual arousal. Both the hypothalamus and VS thus have been previously hypothesized to be key players of specific erotic processing as opposed to mediating structures through elevated but unspecific emotional arousal that normally accompanies sexually arousing situations. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate this specificity of neural activity on the basis of behavioral and subjective data. This was accomplished by carefully matching for effects of emotions and body during sexual arousal. Still, our findings should not be interpreted as suggesting that activity in the VTA-VS continuum would be restricted to sexual processes.
  • Schupp, H. T., Cuthbert, B. N., Bradley, M. M., Birbaumer, N., & Lang, P. J. (1997). Probe P3 and blinks: Two measures of affective startle modulation. Psychophysiology, 34(1), 1-6.

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  • EEG and startle eyeblink
  • Men and women
  • 37
  • IAPS image slides were shown, including pleasant (e.g., sports, opposite sex nudes) content. Blink magnitude was larger when viewing unpleasant material and smaller when viewing pleasant material. Erotic images were processed as other pleasant images.
  • Erectile and other sexual dysfunctions

    Grubbs, J. B., & Gola, M. (2019). Is pornography use related to erectile functioning? Results from cross-sectional and latent growth curve analyses. The journal of sexual medicine, 16(1), 111-125.

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    • Longitudinal, within-subject
    • Sexually active US men
    • 433
    • Latent growth curve analyses demonstrated no significant relationships between any pornography-related variables and trajectories of ED.

    Berger, J. H., Kehoe, J. E., Doan, A. P., Crain, D. S., Klam, W. P., Marshall, M. T., & Christman, M. S. (2019). Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography. Military Medicine.

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    • Survey
    • 20–40 year old men and women presenting to a urology clinic
    • There was no association between the International Index of Erectile Function and craving for, or obsessive passion for, pornography. No correlation was found between any variables and female sexual dysfunction.

    Landripet, I., & Štulhofer, A. (2015). Is pornography use associated with sexual difficulties and dysfunctions among younger heterosexual men?. The journal of sexual medicine, 12(5), 1136-1139.

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    • Online survey
    • Croatian, Norwegian, and Portuguese men
    • 3,948
    • We found little evidence of the association between pornography use and male sexual health disturbances. Contrary to raising public concerns, pornography does not seem to be a significant risk factor for younger men's desire, erectile, or orgasmic difficulties.

    Klein, V., Jurin, T., Briken, P., & Štulhofer, A. (2015). Erectile dysfunction, boredom, and hypersexuality among coupled men from two European countries. The journal of sexual medicine, 12(11), 2160-2167.

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    • Online survey
    • Croatian and German men in romantic relationships
    • 1,121
    • In the present study, the influence of erectile problems on problematic hypersexual behavior associated with an impairment in psychosocial functioning was assessed and cannot be simply equated with frequent pornography consumption. Therefore, it is important to note that in general no empirical studies exist that demonstrated a link between pornography consumption and sexual problems.

    Prause, N., & Pfaus, J. (2015). Viewing sexual stimuli associated with greater sexual responsiveness, not erectile dysfunction. Sexual medicine, 3(2), 90-98.

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    • Experiment
    • Adult males
    • 280
    • VSS use within the range of hours tested is unlikely to negatively impact sexual functioning, given that responses actually were stronger in those who viewed more VSS.

    Sutton, K. S., Stratton, N., Pytyck, J., Kolla, N. J., & Cantor, J. M. (2015). Patient characteristics by type of hypersexuality referral: A quantitative chart review of 115 consecutive male cases. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 41(6), 563-580.

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    • Chart review
    • Hypersexuality referral patients
    • 115
    • The finding of delayed ejaculation, rather than erectile dysfunction as the primary reported complaint is also interesting in the context of the popular media hype that pornography viewing is linked with erectile dysfunction. Although there are clinical accounts and emotionally charged media and self-help sites propagating this belief (e.g., The Doctor Oz Show, January 31, 2013; James & O’Shea, March 30, 2014; yourbrainonporn.com), there are no data to support the notion that pornography viewing causes erectile dysfunction.

    De Graaf, H., & Wijsen, C. (2017). Seksuele gezondheid in Nederland 2017. Sexual health in the Netherlands 2017.

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    • Nationally -representative survey
    • Age 18-80
    • 17,000
    • For most people, watching porn does not replace or hinder sex with a partner. In fact, people who watch porn more often also have sex with a partner more often. Porn viewing in the last six months was not related to sexual problems.

    Attitudes towards women

    Jackson, C. A., Baldwin, A., Brents, B. G., & Maginn, P. J. (2019). EXPO sing Mens Gender Role Attitudes as Porn Superfans. Sociological Forum. doi:10.1111/socf.12506

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    • Survey
    • Men at Adult Entertainment Expo
    • 1,157
    • “Porn superfans” are no more sexist or misogynistic than the general U.S. public on two of the four measures (women in politics and women in the general workplace) and held more progressive gender‐role attitudes than the general public on the other two measures (working mothers and traditional gender roles in the family). Our results call into question some of the claims that porn consumption fosters de facto negative and hostile attitudes toward women.

    McKee, A. (2005). The objectification of women in mainstream pornographic videos in Australia. Journal of Sex Research, 42(4), 277-290.

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    • Content coding
    • Bestselling pornographic videos in Australia
    • 50 films
    • We note the wide range of sexual acts that are included - the genre is not as ‘phallocentric’ as some of its critics fear in the sense of defining sex only as penile intromission in the vagina. 1.9% of scenes featured violence. We have found data that is relevant to ongoing concerns in the literature that pornography degrades or dehumanizes female characters, either through dominance, or through a specific form of objectification which denies human agency. It seems clear from our data than in mainstream pornographic videos in Australia this is not the case. Women are not objectified in this genre more than men.

    Barak, A., Fisher, W. A., Belfry, S., & Lashambe, D. R. (1999). Sex, guys, and cyberspace: Effects of internet pornography and individual differences on men's attitudes toward women. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 11(1), 63-91.

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    • Two experiments
    • Men
    • 58
    • The results of two separate studies failed to show any detectable relationship between differential and substantial exposure to Internet pornography and men’s attitudes toward women, acceptance of women as managers, likelihood of sexual harassment, or rape myth acceptance. This is the first controlled study in the literature to address Internet pornography.

    Kohut, T., Baer, J. L., & Watts, B. (2016). Is pornography really about “making hate to women”? Pornography users hold more gender egalitarian attitudes than nonusers in a representative American sample. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(1), 1-11.

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    • Secondary analysis (General Social Survey)
    • American men and women
    • 25,047
    • Pornography users held more egalitarian attitudes—toward women in positions of power, toward women working outside the home, and toward abortion—than nonusers of pornography. Further, pornography users and pornography nonusers did not differ significantly in their attitudes toward the traditional family and in their self-identification as feminist.

    Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2018). Pornography consumption, sexual liberalism, and support for abortion in the United States: Aggregate results from two national panel studies. Media Psychology, 21(1), 75-92.

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    • Nationally-representative survey
    • American men and women
    • Updating
    • As hypothesized, pornography consumption at wave one predicted a more a liberal sexual script at wave two, which, in turn, predicted more support for abortion at wave three.

    Attwood, F., & Smith, C. (2010). Extreme concern: Regulating ‘dangerous pictures’ in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society, 37(1), 171-188.

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    • Review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Women are positioned as incompetent readers of media texts, complicit with patriarchy...if they do not adopt the 'correct, disciplined reading' of porn presented by anti-porn experts. We fundamentally reject the impulse to legislate based on a backwards approach to...a social phenomenon [violence aginst women] sufficiently seirous to warrant proper research into...those who abuse women. Rather than address the particular structural factors and material realities which contribute to women's risk of violent attack and men's propensities to violence, the current political and legeal climate seeks to demonize sexually explicit media for these crimes.

    Regulation

    Winters, J., Christoff, K., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2009). Conscious regulation of sexual arousal in men. Journal of Sex Research, 46(4), 330-343.

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    • Laboratory
    • Men
    • 49
    • Age, sexual experience, and sexual compulsivity were unrelated to sexual arousal regulation. Conversely, sexual excitation, inhibition, and desire correlated with sexual arousal regulation success. Increased sexual excitation and desire were associated with poorer regulatory performance, whereas a propensity for sexual inhibition due to fear of performance consequences was related to regulatory success.

    Droubay, B. A., & Butters, R. P. (2019). Pornography, religiosity, and social work. Journal of Social Work, 1468017319852599.

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  • Survey
  • Social work students
  • 136
  • Highly religious students rated pornography more addictive on average. Of particular concern is that practitioners’ values might lead to over-pathologizing behavior & labeling it as addictive. This is significant in that addiction is a heavy label that may harm clients.
  • Creswell, J. D., Pacilio, L. E., Denson, T. F., & Satyshur, M. (2013). The effect of a primary sexual reward manipulation on cortisol responses to psychosocial stress in men. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75(4), 397-403.

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    • Experiment
    • Men
    • 54
    • Participants who viewed pornography had significantly lower area-under-the-curve cortisol reactivity to the Trier Social Stress Test in comparison with participants in the control group. Participants who viewed pornography also had improved cognitive performance on the math portion of the TSST in comparison with control participants who viewed neutral images. The stress-buffering effects of pornography were specific to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity: the porn-viewing and neutral-viewing groups did not differ on psychological perceptions of anticipatory or poststress perceptions, heart rate, or blood pressure responses.

    Moholy, M., Prause, N., Proudfit, G. H., S. Rahman, A., & Fong, T. (2015). Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, predicts self-regulation of sexual arousal. Cognition and Emotion, 29(8), 1505-1516.

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    • Experiment
    • Men and women
    • 116
    • Higher levels of desire for sex with a partner consistently predicted failures to downregulate sexual arousal. Hypersexuality was unrelated. These findings replicate Winters et al.'s study and extend their findings by including upregulation, women, a new measure of hypersexuality and a higher-trial design.

    Taylor, K. (2019). Nosology and metaphor: How pornography viewers make sense of pornography addiction. Sexualities. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460719842136

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    • Survey and qualitative interviews
    • Ages ranging from 15 to 83
    • 213
    • It is worth considering whether the apparent epidemic of self-diagnosed pornography addicts seeking help today perhaps represents the ready uptake of a relatively new way to describe one’s problematic behaviour, and not the development of a modern disease entity whose description should dictate its treatment.

    Hallberg, J., Kaldo, V., Arver, S., Dhejne, C., Jokinen, J., & Öberg, K. G. (2019). A Randomized Controlled Study of Group-Administered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Hypersexual Disorder in Men. The journal of sexual medicine.

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    • Randomized controlled trial
    • Seeking treatment
    • 137
    • A significantly greater decrease in hypersexual symptoms (e.g., number of times the respondent has had orgasm) and sexual compulsivity, as well as significantly greater improvements in psychiatric well-being, were found for the treatment condition compared with the waitlist. These effects remained stable at 3 and 6 months after treatment.

    Beauregard, M., Lévesque, J., & Bourgouin, P. (2001). Neural correlates of conscious self-regulation of emotion. The Journal of neuroscience.

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    • Experiment fMRI
    • Men
    • 10
    • sexual arousal experienced, in response to the erotic film excerpts, was associated with activation in "limbic" and paralimbic structures, such as the right amygdala, right anterior temporal pole, and hypothalamus. In addition, the attempted inhibition of the sexual arousal generated by viewing the erotic stimuli was associated with activation of the right superior frontal gyrus and right anterior cingulate gyrus. No activation was found in limbic areas.

    Willoughby, B. J., Busby, D. M., & Young-Petersen, B. (2018). Understanding associations between personal definitions of pornography, using pornography, and depression. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1-15.

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    • Online survey
    • Adults
    • 1,639
    • Less acceptance of pornography was associated with avoiding content one deemed pornographic. Viewing sexual material that [the participant did] not consider pornography was consistently associated with more depressive symptoms. Internal views of pornography appear to be key factors that are associated with varying viewing and usage patterns and suggests that such views may create at least two very different groups when it comes to viewing pornography; one that is actively trying to avoid such content and one that is actively seeking it out.

    Efrati, Y. (2018). God, I can’t stop thinking about sex! The rebound effect in unsuccessful suppression of sexual thoughts among religious adolescents. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-10.

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    • Series cross-sectional
    • Israeli adolescents
    • 1500
    • Religious adolescents are higher in CSB than secular ones, and that sexual suppression and CSB mediate the link between religiosity and well-being.

    Hesse, C., & Floyd, K. (2019). Affection substitution: The effect of pornography consumption on close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 0265407519841719.

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    • Longitudinal
    • Adults
    • 357
    • There is no evidence of [porn] consumption being either adaptive or maladaptive when it comes to relationship satisfaction, closeness, and loneliness.

    Regnerus, M., Gordon, D., & Price, J. (2016). Documenting pornography use in America: A comparative analysis of methodological approaches. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(7), 873-881.

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    • Methods review
    • Age 18-39
    • Not applicable
    • When we privileged the most-recent-use approach, survey data from 2014 reveal that 46% of men and 16% of women between the ages of 18 and 39 intentionally viewed pornography in a given week. These numbers are notably higher than most previous population estimates employing different types of questions.

    Love and intimacy

    Balzarini, R. N., Dobson, K., Chin, K., & Campbell, L. (2017). Does exposure to erotica reduce attraction and love for romantic partners in men? Independent replications of Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989) study 2. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, 191-197.

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    • Nationally representative; preregistered; experiment; meta-analysis
    • USA men and women
    • 830
    • We did not find support for the original finding that exposure to attractive images of opposite-sex others affects males' ratings of their partners' sexual attractiveness or love for their partner.

    Bennett, M., LoPresti, B. J., McGloin, R., & Denes, A. (2019). The Desire for Porn and Partner?: Investigating the Role of Scripts in Affectionate Communication, Sexual Desire, and Pornography Consumption and Guilt in Young Adults’ Romantic Relationships. Western Journal of Communication, 1-21.

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    • Survey
    • Porn viewers
    • 111
    • The results also revealed that pornography consumption was not significantly associated with sexual desire for one’s partner. Such a finding is important, as it reinforces recent research that shows that pornography has minimal effects in modern romantic relationships. Pornography consumption had no significant effect on sexual desire for one’s partner, though feelings of guilt regarding pornography use negatively predicted sexual desire. These findings provide support for affection exchange theory by reinforcing that trait affection acts as a significant predictor of prosocial qualities, such as sexual desire, which ultimately contribute to relationship satisfaction.

    Gillath, O., Mikulincer, M., Birnbaum, G. E., & Shaver, P. R. (2008). When sex primes love: Subliminal sexual priming motivates relationship goal pursuit. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(8), 1057-1069.

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    • Experiment
    • College students
    • 181 Study 1, 197 Study 2, 78 Study 3, 100 Study 4, 68 study 5
    • Overall, the five studies provide consistent support for the general idea that exposure to a sexual stimulus motivates people to initiate and maintain close relationships. As expected, sexual priming led to greater willingness to self-disclose and sacrifice for one’s partner or relationship, greater accessibility of intimacy-related thoughts, and greater preference for positive over negative conflict-resolution strategies.

    Grov, C., Gillespie, B. J., Royce, T., & Lever, J. (2011). Perceived consequences of casual online sexual activities on heterosexual relationships: A US online survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 429-439.

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    • Online survey
    • Internet users
    • 8,376
    • Unsurprisingly, viewing adult websites with a partner in order to enhance sexual arousal was positively associated with positive consequences and inversely associated with negative consequences. Men were significantly more likely to endorse positive feelings around their partner’s online adult materials, including being “interested to learn more about what excites my partner” (50.8% vs. 34.9%, V = .16) and being “turned on by what I saw” (37.7% vs. 19.6%, V = .20). men were significantly more likely than women to indicate they had sex more often (15.3% vs. 12.8%, V = .03) and to indicate that either one or both partners view online sexual materials alone for the purposes of enhancing arousal (17.1% vs. 14.8%, V = .03), and both these associations remained significant in multivariate modeling. Also of interest was the lack of gender differences on some variables, whereby sizeable proportions of men (22.9%) and women (23.8%) indicated adult websites helped them become more open to “doing new things,” and more than 1 in 5 men and women reported “It’s easier to talk about what we want sexually.” In addition, sizeable proportions of women (17.1%) and men (14.9%) reported viewing adult websites with their partner in order to enhance sexual arousal.

    Rissel, C., Richters, J., De Visser, R. O., McKee, A., Yeung, A., & Caruana, T. (2017). A profile of pornography users in Australia: Findings from the second Australian study of health and relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(2), 227-240.

    Link to web

    • Nationally-representative survey
    • Australian men and women
    • 20,094
    • Very few respondents reported that they were addicted to pornography (men 4%, women 1%), and of those who said they were addicted about half also reported that using pornography had had a bad effect on them. Looking at pornographic material appears to be reasonably common in Australia, with adverse effects reported by a small minority.

    Kohut, T., Balzarini, R. N., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676.

    Link to web

    • Nationally representative; preregistered; cross-sectional
    • USA married couples
    • 200 couples (n=400)
    • Links between pornography use and relationship health are largely a function of different patterns of pornography use within couples.

    Maas, M. K., Vasilenko, S. A., & Willoughby, B. J. (2018). A dyadic approach to pornography use and relationship satisfaction among heterosexual couples: The role of pornography acceptance and anxious attachment. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(6), 772-782.

    Link to web

    • Cross-sectional
    • Heterosexual matched-paired couples
    • 6626
    • For men who are more accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with more relationship satisfaction; however, for men who are less accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction. There was little difference in relationship satisfaction at differing levels of pornography use for women who are high in pornography acceptance. For women who are low in pornography acceptance, pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction.

    Kohut, T., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2017). Perceived effects of pornography on the couple relationship: Initial findings of open-ended, participant-informed,“bottom-up” research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 585-602.

    Link to web

    • Open-ended survey
    • Men and women in heterosexual relationships
    • 430
    • In the current sample of respondents, “no negative effects” was the most commonly reported impact of pornography use. Among remaining responses, positive perceived effects of pornography use on couple members and their relationship (e.g., improved sexual communication, more sexual experimentation, enhanced sexual comfort) were reported frequently; negative perceived effects of pornography (e.g., unrealistic expectations, decreased sexual interest in partner, increased insecurity) were also reported, albeit with considerably less frequency.

    Staley, C., & Prause, N. (2013). Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations. Archives of sexual behavior, 42(4), 615-624.

    Link to web

    • Experiment
    • Adult heterosexual established couples
    • 88
    • Participants viewing both the erotic and exciting films reported equivalent increases in excitement; however, the erotic film was rated as slightly more generally arousing and increased participant’s desire to be close to their current partner.

    Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing sexually-explicit materials alone or together: Associations with relationship quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448.

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    • Cross-sectional
    • Adults in relationships
    • 1291
    • Those who viewed SEM only with their partners reported more dedication and higher sexual satisfaction than those who viewed SEM alone.

    Models of hypersexuality

    Krüger, T. H., Schiffer, B., Eikermann, M., Haake, P., Gizewski, E., & Schedlowski, M. (2006). Serial neurochemical measurement of cerebrospinal fluid during the human sexual response cycle. European Journal of Neuroscience, 24(12), 3445-3452.

    Link to web

    • Experiment
    • Adult men
    • 20
    • Parallel to raised peripheral sympathetic activity, norepinephrine also increased in CSF during audiovisual, masturbation-induced sexual arousal and orgasm, and remained elevated for the remainder of the session In contrast, none of the other measures, in particular prolactin and dopamine or its metabolites, reflected significant alteration

    Wright, P. J., & Vangeel, L. (2019). Pornography, permissiveness, and sex differences: An evaluation of social learning and evolutionary explanations. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 128-138.

    Link to web

    • Cross-sectional survey
    • 18+ representative US population
    • 21,517
    • Given that sexual encounters in pornography are consistently and overtly permissive, a basic sexual scripting perspective on human sexuality would posit that people who view these scripts would develop an approach to sexuality that is more permissive than people who do not view these scripts. Small to moderate correlations between pornography consumption and permissiveness were reliably found for both males and females. Pornography did not render men and women equivalent, and where there were discrepancies, actually exacerbated men's usual higher degree of permissiveness.

    Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Fong, T., & Prause, N. (2013). Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 3(1), 20770.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Neuroscience experiment
    • Men and women screened for substance use and other mental health issues
    • 52
    • Larger P300 amplitude differences to pleasant sexual stimuli, relative to neutral stimuli, was negatively related to measures of sexual desire, but not related to measures of hypersexuality.

    Volk, F., Thomas, J., Sosin, L., Jacob, V., & Moen, C. (2016). Religiosity, developmental context, and sexual shame in pornography users: A serial mediation model. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 23(2-3), 244-259.

    Link to web

  • Survey
  • Adults
  • 358
  • Sexual shame is an unintended outcome of pornography use for religious users.
  • Byers, L. J., Menzies, K. S., & O'Grady, W. L. (2004). The impact of computer variables on the viewing and sending of sexually explicit material on the Internet: testing Cooper's" Triple-A Engine". The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 13(3/4), 157.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Undergraduate students
    • 443
    • Access measured by skill level and anonymity measured objectively and subjectively made no difference in the time spent on sexually explicit material on the Internet. Our study suggests that the "Tiple-A Engine" is not producing sexual change and thus is not powering a sexual revolution.

    Varfi, N., Rothen, S., Jasiowka, K., Lepers, T., Bianchi-Demichelli, F., & Khazaal, Y. Attachment Style, Impulsivity, Sexual Desire, Mood, and Addictive Cybersex.

    Full text

    • Survey
    • 145
    • Men
    • Impulsivity and cybersex addiction were not significantly associated in our study. Self-esteem had no impact on CIUS scores. Cybersex is influenced by an avoidant attachment style, depressive mood, and sexual desire [and being] male.

    Fuss, J., Briken, P., Stein, D. J., & Lochner, C. (2019). Compulsive sexual behavior disorder in obsessive–compulsive disorder: Prevalence and associated comorbidity. Journal of behavioral addictions, 1-7.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Adult outpatients with current OCD
    • 539
    • This finding supports conceptualization of CSBD as a compulsive–impulsive disorder,but not with disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors.

    Carvalho, J., Štulhofer, A., Vieira, A. L., & Jurin, T. (2015). Hypersexuality and high sexual desire: Exploring the structure of problematic sexuality. The journal of sexual medicine, 12(6), 1356-1367.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Online survey
    • Croatian adults
    • 4,597
    • . Our study supports the distinctiveness of hypersexuality and high sexual desire/activity, suggesting that problematic sexuality might be more associated with the perceived lack of personal control over sexuality and moralistic attitudes than with high levels of sexual desire and activity.

    Moon, J. W., Krems, J. A., Cohen, A. B., & Kenrick, D. T. (2019). Is Nothing Sacred? Religion, Sex, and Reproductive Strategies. Current Directions in Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419838242

    Link to web

    • Review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Several large data sets now suggest a reverse causal arrow—people’s preferred mating strategies determining their attraction toward, or repulsion from, religion. Distrust of nonreligious individuals is almost completely erased by knowledge that they are following a restricted monogamous lifestyle. Thus, reproductive strategies often underlie apparently sacred concerns.

    Winters, J., Christoff, K., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2010). Dysregulated sexuality and high sexual desire: Distinct constructs?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(5), 1029-1043.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Men and women
    • 14,369
    • Dysregulated sexuality, as currently conceptualized, labelled, and measured, may simply be a marker of high sexual desire and the distress associated with managing a high degree of sexual thoughts, feelings, and needs

    Oeming, M. (2018). A new diagnosis for old fears? Pathologizing porn in contemporary US discourse. Porn Studies, 5(2), 213-216.

    Link to web

    • Theoretical
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • . Beside ostensibly morally motivated religious, conservative, and anti-pornography groups, an immense financially motivated treatment machinery has developed as a driving force and profiteer of the porn addiction discourse. Together they form a powerful lobby across the country that does not hesitate to use any means necessary to silence potentially contradictory research (Prause and Fong 2015, 439).

    Prause, N., Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2016). Prause et al.(2015) the latest falsification of addiction predictions. Biological psychology, 120, 159-161.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Letter to the editor/Review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Taken together, our choice to use sexual images as cues is appropriate, because they do not constitute the consummatory phase. We agree that the failure of this literature in general to recognize that sex film viewing is almost always occurring with masturbation remains a major oversight and likely indicates a doubly inaccurate misnaming of “porn addiction”. Since sexual desire was a predictor in the study, it was not appropriate to segment the sexual arousal reports by the known confound: gender. Appropriately, we predicted that, to be consistent with other studies of addiction, cue reactivity should be enhanced to sex cues in those who claim to struggle with problems regulating their use. Instead, it was associated with decreased reactivity. The discussion should move from testing the addiction model of sex film viewing, which has had multiple predictionsfalsified by independent laboratory replications, to identifying a better fitting model of those behaviors.

    Prause, N., Janssen, E., Georgiadis, J., Finn, P., & Pfaus, J. (2017). Data do not support sex as addictive. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(12), 899.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Letter
    • Data concerning frequent or excessive sex do not support its inclusion as an addiction. Also, data are not sufficient to differentiate between compulsive and impulsive models.

    Walton, M. T., & Bhullar, N. (2018). Compulsive sexual behavior as an impulse control disorder: awaiting field studies data. Archives of sexual behavior, 1-5.

    Link to web

    • Letter
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Hypersexuality may be a distinct disorder for a nucleus of presentations, although the condition is likely to often indicate a heterogeneous psychosexual behavioral problem or clinical or subclinical symptom of an existing psychological disorder or medical condition.

    Ley, D. J. (2018). The pseudoscience behind public health crisis legislation. Porn Studies, 5(2), 208-212.

    Link to web

    • Commentary
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Unfortunately, the label of porn addiction is commonly thrown at these individuals in a manner which feeds moral panic, diverts attention and resources from effective, evidence-based strategies to support these individuals, pathologizes otherwise-benign behaviours, serves a profit-driven, exploitative industry, and confuses cause and effect.

    Prause, N., Steele, V. R., Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2015). Modulation of late positive potentials by sexual images in problem users and controls inconsistent with “porn addiction”. Biological psychology, 109, 192-199.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Experiment
    • Men and women with/out problem use
    • 122
    • Specifically, those reporting problems regulating their VSS use who also reported higher sexual desire had lower LPP in response to VSS. This pattern appears different from substance addiction models.

    Youth

    Hesse, C., & Pedersen, C. L. (2017). Porn sex versus real sex: How sexually explicit material shapes our understanding of sexual anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. Sexuality & Culture, 21(3), 754-775.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Ages 15 to 58
    • 337
    • Contrary to expectations, frequency of SEM exposure did not contribute to inaccurate knowledge of sexual anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. Rather, the opposite relationship was found. However, in concert with previous literature, participants reported greater positive self-perceived effects of SEM consumption than negative effects.

    Paasonen, S., Kyrölä, K., Nikunen, K., & Saarenmaa, L. (2015). ‘We hid porn magazines in the nearby woods’: Memory-work and pornography consumption in Finland. Sexualities, 18(4), 394-412.

    Link to web

    • Developmental story request
    • Finnish men and women
    • 45
    • Finnish children have come across—and collected—pornography at an early age well before the era of online porn, it then follows that recent reports of porn invading the lives of children through smart phone technology around the age of 10 mark a continuum of practice, rather than simply a rupture therein. The contributors do not narrate their early encounters with pornography in terms of trauma and shock, but rather through the tropes of discovery and fascination.

    Spišák, S. (2016). ‘Everywhere they say that it’s harmful but they don’t say how, so I’m asking here’: young people, pornography and negotiations with notions of risk and harm. Sex Education, 16(2), 130-142.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Systematic review
    • Inquiries to Finnish health services
    • 4212 questions
    • Very few of the young people who contact sexual health experts experience porn itself as harmful. Rather, it is the risk talk that is experienced as unsettling. Research tends not to find conclusive evidence of harm in relation to young people’s encounters with pornography

    Milas, G., Wright, P., & Štulhofer, A. (2019). Longitudinal Assessment of the Association Between Pornography Use and Sexual Satisfaction in Adolescence. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13.

    Link to web

    • Longitudinal
    • Croatian high school students
    • 1,289
    • We did not find a significant association between changes in the frequency of adolescents’ pornography use over time and their sexual satisfaction at wave six. The association between the initial levels of pornography use and sexual satisfaction, which, if present, would have indicated a possible relationship during middle adolescence, was also null.

    Marengo, D., Settanni, M., & Longobardi, C. (2019). The associations between sex drive, sexual self-concept, sexual orientation, and exposure to online victimization in Italian adolescents: Investigating the mediating role of verbal and visual sexting behaviors. Children and Youth Services Review.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • High school students
    • 653
    • We found both verbal and visual sexters to be older, have a stronger sex drive, and sexual self-concept than non-involved adolescents (i.e., non-sexters; while visual sexters were more likely to report non-heterosexual orientation than were verbal sexters and non-sexters.

    Dawson, K., Nic Gabhainn, S., & MacNeela, P. (2019). Toward a Model of Porn Literacy: Core Concepts, Rationales, and Approaches. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-15.

    Link to web

    • Participatory
    • Ages 18-25
    • 54
    • Proposed learning outcomes should focus on reducing shame regarding pornography engagement and improving critical thinking skills

    Rothman, E. F., Adhia, A., Christensen, T. T., Paruk, J., Alder, J., & Daley, N. (2018). A pornography literacy class for youth: Results of a feasibility and efficacy pilot study. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 13(1), 1-17.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Pilot intervention
    • Ages of 15–24
    • 24
    • First, the study demonstrated that it is feasible to implement a pornography literacy curriculum in a nonschool setting, and second, that this particular curriculum may have had some positive impact.

    Kohut, T., & Štulhofer, A. (2018). Is pornography use a risk for adolescent well-being? An examination of temporal relationships in two independent panel samples. PloS one, 13(8), e0202048.

    Link to web

    • Cross-lagged
    • Croatian adolescents
    • 1313
    • Earlier levels of pornography use were not significantly associated with subsequent decreases in subjective well-being across gender and panel. However, pornography use was associated with increases in both self-esteem and symptoms of depression and anxiety, albeit only among adolescent women in one of the two panels. In addition, low subjective well-being was associated with a subsequent increase in pornography use, but only in female adolescents in one panel. This study’s results are not consistent with concerns about pornography use negatively contributing to male adolescents’ psychological well-being.

    Štulhofer, A., Tafro, A., & Kohut, T. (2019). The dynamics of adolescents’ pornography use and psychological well-being: a six-wave latent growth and latent class modeling approach. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1-13.

    Link to web

    • Longitudinal, within-subject
    • Croatian adolescents
    • 1289
    • We observed no significant correspondence between growth in pornography use and changes in the two indicators of psychological well-being over time in either female or male participants.

    Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2011). The use of sexually explicit internet material and its antecedents: A longitudinal comparison of adolescents and adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(5), 1015-1025.

    Link to web

    • Cross-sectional survey
    • Dutch adolescents and adults
    • 2278
    • The frequency of SEIM use and its antecedents are largely the same among adolescents and adults

    Van Ouytsel, J., Ponnet, K., & Walrave, M. (2014). The associations between adolescents' consumption of pornography and music videos and their sexting behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(12), 772-778.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • 15-20 year old men and women in Belgium
    • 329
    • Only two respondents indicated that they watched pornography more than two times a day. Music video consumption was significantly associated with asking someone for a sexting message and having received a sexting message. Sexting behaviors were significantly associated with the consumption of pornography, when controlling for age, gender, school track, and Internet use

    Films or masturbation?

    Carvalheira, A., Træen, B., & Stulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation and pornography use among coupled heterosexual men with decreased sexual desire: How many roles of masturbation?. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 41(6), 626-635.

    Link to web

    • Large cross-sectional
    • Men with decreased sexual desire
    • 596
    • These findings point to a pattern of pornography-related masturbation that can be dissociated from partnered sexual desire and can fulfill diverse purposes.

    Miller, D. J., McBain, K. A., Li, W. W., & Raggatt, P. T. (2019). Pornography, preference for porn‐like sex, masturbation, and men's sexual and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 26(1), 93-113.

    Link to web

    Full text

  • Survey
  • Men
  • N Study 1: 326; Study 2 = 335
  • Data did not support the notion that pornography negatively impacts sexual or relationship satisfaction via preference for porn-like sex. In fact, it may bolster sexual satisfaction by promoting sexual variety. Both sets of data were inconsistent with the idea that pornography use reduces sexual satisfaction by creating unrealistic expectations of sexual relationships. The data were consistent with a model inwhich pornography negatively, indirectly affects sexualand relationship satisfaction via masturbation frequency. Masturbation plays an integral role in the relationships between pornography use and sexual and relationship satisfaction.
  • Lui, M., & Hsu, M. (2018). Viewing sexual images is associated with reduced physiological arousal response to gambling loss. PLoS ONE,13(4), e0195748.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Experiment
    • Heterosexual males
    • 38
    • Participants’ SCRs in response to gambling losses were significantly higher than those to gambling gains. Sexual stimuli reduced the arousal difference between losses and gains

    Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. M. (2008). Self-perceived effects of pornography consumption. Archives of sexual behavior, 37(4), 614-625.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Dutch age 18-30
    • 688
    • After all the variables were entered in the equation, only one sexual background variable made a statistically significant contribution [to predict negative effects of pornography] namely lower frequency of sexual intercourse. After all the variables were entered in the equation, three sexual background variables made statistically significant contributions [to predict positive effects of pornography]: reater pornography consumption, more perceived realism of pornography and higher frequency of masturbation

    Baćak a, V., & Štulhofer, A. (2011). Masturbation among sexually active young women in Croatia: Associations with religiosity and pornography use. International Journal of Sexual Health, 23(4), 248-257.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Sexually Active Female Adults in Croatia Aged 18 to 25 Years Old
    • 1,005
    • In this national probability sample, 60% of the female participants reported masturbating. Pornography use was very strongly, positively associated with masturbation (AOR = 5.92). Although pornography use is less prevalent among women and less frequently used when compared with men, our findings suggest that young women in Croatia may not be strangers to using pornography to stimulate sexual desire and initiate self pleasuring. As widely feared by 19th-century moralists, sexually explicit materials may facilitate masturbation by providing adequate stimuli.

    Hald, G. M. (2006). Gender differences in pornography consumption among young heterosexual Danish adults. Archives of sexual behavior, 35(5), 577-585.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Dutch age 18-30
    • 688
    • Compared to women, men were exposed to pornography at a younger age, consumed more pornography as measured by time and frequency, and used pornography more often during sexual activity on their own. Gender differences in the interpersonal context of use were also evident, with women using pornography more often with a regular sexual partner than men. In turn, men were found to use pornography more often on their own or with friends (non-sexual partners) than women. Male gender, higher frequency of masturbation, lower age at first exposure, and younger age were found to account for 48.8% of the total variance of pornography consumption.

    Ley, D., Prause, N., & Finn, P. (2014). The emperor has no clothes: A review of the ‘pornography addiction’model. Current sexual health reports, 6(2), 94-105.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Individuals reporting ‘addictive’ use of VSS could be better conceptualized by considering issues such as gender, sexual orientation, libido, desire for sensation, with internal and external conflicts influenced by religiosity and desire discrepancy. Since a large, lucrative industry has promised treatments for pornography addiction despite this poor evidence, scientific psychologists are called to declare the emperor (treatment industry) has no clothes (supporting evidence). When faced with such complaints, clinicians are encouraged to address behaviors without conjuring addiction labels.

    Clark, C. A., & Wiederman, M. W. (2000). Gender and reactions to a hypothetical relationship partner's masturbation and use of sexually explicit media. Journal of Sex Research, 37(2), 133-141.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Introductory psychology class
    • 488
    • The average mean ratings for men and women were generally at the disagree end of the Likert scale, indicating that a partner's masturbation or use of sexually explicit media would not be disturbing. Respondents did have relatively less negative and relatively more positive affective responses to a hypothetical partner's masturbation than to use of sexually explicit media. However, cognitive attributions regarding use of sexually explicit material and masturbation were more similar than different.

    Miller, D. J., McBain, K. A., Li, W. W., & Raggatt, P. T. (2019). Pornography, preference for porn‐like sex, masturbation, and men's sexual and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 26(1), 93-113.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Cross-sectional
    • Men
    • 661
    • The data did not support the notion that pornography negatively impacts sexual or relationship satisfaction via preference for porn‐like sex. In fact, it may bolster sexual satisfaction by promoting sexual variety. The data were consistent with a model in which pornography negatively, indirectly affects sexual and relationship satisfaction via masturbation frequency.

    Prause, N. (2019). Porn Is for Masturbation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-7.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Commentary
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Given the very high covariance between VSS viewing and masturbation, any study that does not account for masturbation (or, relatedly, sex drive) cannot be understood as a study of “pornography” effects.

    Perry, S. L. (2019). Is the link between pornography use and relational happiness really more about masturbation? Results from two national surveys. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13.

    Link to web

    • Nationally representative; cross-sectional
    • USA men and women
    • 12083
    • Evidence points to a slight positive association between pornography use and relational happiness once masturbation and gender differences are accounted for.

    Walton, M. T., Lykins, A. D., & Bhullar, N. (2016). Sexual arousal and sexual activity frequency: Implications for understanding hypersexuality. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(4), 777-782.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Cross-sectional
    • International heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual men and women
    • 510
    • Sexual arousal accounted for more unique variance than hypersexuality for sexual fantasy and masturbation frequencies. Consequently,existing self-reportmeasures of hypersexuality may camouflage differencesin sexual behavior/sexual activity between hypersexuals and non-hypersexuals, as well as inaccurately report the prevalence of the condition

    van Rouen, J. H., Slob, A. K., Gianotten, W. L., Dohle, G. R., van Der Zon, A. T. M., Vreeburg, J. T. M., & Weber, R. F. A. (1996). Sexual arousal and the quality of semen produced by masturbation. Human Reproduction, 11(1), 147-151.

    Link to web

    • Experiment
    • Sperm donors and fertility patients
    • 66
    • Providing a patient with a sexually stimulating video is obviously a facilitative factor when the patient ‘has to’ produce a semen sample for analysis. The use of visual erotic stimulation is recommended when patients and donors have to produce a semen sample in the uninviting surroundings of a fertility clinic.

    Sex offender

    Burton, D. L., Leibowitz, G. S., & Howard, A. (2010). Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure: The absence of relationships between exposure to pornography and sexual offense characteristics 1. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 6(3), 121-129.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • male adolescent sexual abusers vs. nonsexually offending delinquent youth
    • 453
    • For the sexual abusers, exposure is not correlated to the age at which the abusers started abusing, to their reported number of victims, or to sexual offense severity. The pre‐10 exposure subscale was not related to the number of children the group sexually abused, and the forceful exposure subscale was not correlated with either arousal to rape or degree of force used by the youth.

    Dawson, K., Tafro, A., & Štulhofer, A. (2019). Adolescent sexual aggressiveness and pornography use: A longitudinal assessment. Aggressive behavior.

    Link to web

    • Longitudinal
    • Croatian men
    • 594
    • A slight average increase in pornography use was observed among adolescents who reported no or the lowest levels of sexual aggressiveness. In contrast, pornography use decreased somewhat among their peers who reported moderate sexual aggressiveness. These results do not corroborate a positive dynamic association between male adolescents’ pornography use and sexual aggressiveness.

    Kutchinsky, B. (1991). Pornography and rape: Theory and practice? Evidence from crime data in four countries where pornography is easily available. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry.

    Link to web

    • Historical data
    • German citizens
    • Not applicable
    • There was no increase in the actual number of rapes committed in West Germany during the years when pornography was legalized and became widely available.

    Rasmussen, K. R., & Kohut, T. (2019). Does religious attendance moderate the connection between pornography consumption and attitudes toward women?. The Journal of Sex Research, 56(1), 38-49.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Nationally-representative adults in USA
    • Those who reported consuming pornography had more egalitarian attitudes than those who did not, but this difference was stronger among those who attended religious services more regularly—those who would be likely to experience dissonance when consuming pornography. This pattern was consistent across the three egalitarian attitudes we examined: attitudes toward women in power, women in the workplace, and abortion.

    Kristen N. Jozkowski, Tiffany L. Marcantonio, Kelley E. Rhoads, Sasha Canan, Mary E. Hunt & Malachi Willis (2019) A Content Analysis of Sexual Consent and Refusal Communication in Mainstream Films, The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1595503

    Link to web

    • Content analysis
    • 50
    • There were no gender differences in the portrayal of consent cues; however, characters in established relationships used nonverbal cues more often than those in novel relationships.

    Kutchinsky, B. (1992). The politics of pornography research. Law & Soc'y Rev., 26, 447.

    Link to web

    • Comment
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Childress (1991) has transmitted false information about my criminological research on pornography. Since such misinformation is, in part, responsible for considerable confusion about the outcome of aggregate studies of the effects of pornography on sex crimes, redress is necessary. I did not base my analyses of sex crimes in Denmark (or elsewhere) on "some decriminalized sex offenses". The violent film [that Childress viewed] did not make him want to go out and rape women, it made him want censorship of violent films.

    Mellor, E., & Duff, S. (2019). The use of pornography and the relationship between pornography exposure and sexual offending in males: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior.

    Link to web

    • Review
    • Sex offenders
    • 21 studies
    • There is no clear evidence to suggest a relationship between pornography and offending. Men who offend report less exposure to pornography. Pornography use does not result in more harm to the victim.
    • sex offender; sexual assault; recidivism; sexual violence

    Ferguson, C. J., & Hartley, R. D. (2009). The pleasure is momentary… the expense damnable?: The influence of pornography on rape and sexual assault. Aggression and violent behavior, 14(5), 323-329.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Review
    • Adults in relationships
    • Not applicable
    • Victimization rates for rape in the United States demonstrate an inverse relationship between pornography consumption and rape rates. Data from other nations have suggested similar relationships.

    Diamond, M., Jozifkova, E., & Weiss, P. (2011). Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(5), 1037-1043.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Crime statistics review
    • Sex offenders
    • Not applicable
    • A prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal ...showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse

    Goldstein, M., Kant, H., Judd, L., Rice, C., & Green, R. (1971). Experience with pornography: Rapists, pedophiles, homosexuals, transsexuals, and controls. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1(1), 1-15.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Sex offenders, transsexuals, homosexuals, controls
    • 161
    • The hypothesis that extent of exposure during adolescence to erotica is positively associated with the later emergence of sexual pathology is not borne out by this study.

    Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. N. (2015). Experimental effects of exposure to pornography: The moderating effect of personality and mediating effect of sexual arousal. Archives of sexual behavior, 44(1), 99-109.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Randomized survey
    • Men and women
    • 229
    • Only for men low in agreeableness, sexual arousal was a primary mediator of the relationship between experimental exposure to pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women, viewers with moderate or high agreeableness did not show this relationship.

    Bauserman, R. (1996). Sexual aggression and pornography: A review of correlational research. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 18(4), 405-427.

    Link to web

    • Literature review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • Sex offenders typically do not have earlier or more unusual exposure to pornography in childhood or adolescence, compared to nonoffenders. Findings are consistent with a social learning view of pornography, but not with the view that sexually explicit materials in general contribute directly to sex crimes. The effort to reduce sex offenses should focus on types of experiences and backgrounds applicable to a larger number of offenders.

    LGBT

    Downing, M. J., Schrimshaw, E. W., Scheinmann, R., Antebi-Gruszka, N., & Hirshfield, S. (2017). Sexually explicit media use by sexual identity: A comparative analysis of gay, bisexual, and heterosexual men in the United States. Archives of sexual behavior, 46(6), 1763-1776.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Online survey
    • ethnically and sexual-orientation diverse men
    • 821
    • Both gay and bisexual men reported significantly more frequent use of Internet SEM compared to heterosexual men. 20.7 % of heterosexual identified men reported viewing male same-sex behavior and 55.0 % of gay-identified men reported viewing heterosexual films.

    Meiller, C., & Hargons, C. N. (2019). “It’s Happiness and Relief and Release”: Exploring Masturbation Among Bisexual and Queer Women. Journal of Counseling Sexology & Sexual Wellness: Research, Practice, and Education, 1(1), 3.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Politics of Pornography took three forms, which made the following subthemes: 1) Seeking Representation, 2) Having Mixed Feelings Towards Porn, and 3) Seeking Specific Attributes in Porn. With the use of sex toys and pornography, the majority of the women in this study reported enjoying and using these resources to complement and improve their masturbation, while contending with external and internal stigma and guilt associated with their use. Women discussed not only becoming more comfortable upon seeing representation of themselves in porn, but also enjoying the porn more because they were better able to imagine the scenes as reality for themselves.

    Træen, B., Nilsen, T. S. R., & Stigum, H. (2006). Use of pornography in traditional media and on the Internet in Norway. Journal of Sex Research, 43(3), 245-254.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Survey
    • Norwegians between 18 and 49 years
    • 10,000 (34% response rate)
    • More gay/bi men and lesbian/bi women than straight people reported exposure to pornography in all media. The anonymity on the internet makes it possible to express one’s sexual preferences without fear social stigmatisation. The internet functions as a place of refuge for gay/bi men and lesbian/bi women where their sexuality is the norm and not the exception.

    Billard, T. J. (2019). (No) Shame in the Game: The Influence of Pornography Viewing on Attitudes Toward Transgender People. Communication Research Reports, 36(1), 45-56.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Trans porn viewers
    • 250
    • Rather, we found evidence of an unhypothesized direct influence of viewers’ experiences of shame about their sexual desires for the pornographic performers on their attitudes such that higher levels of shame were significantly associated with increased prejudice. We further found political conservatism to be highly associated with increased prejudice. Our results add evidence to suggest that pornography has only limited influence on viewers and their attitudes compared to social factors.

    McCormack, M., & Wignall, L. (2017). Enjoyment, exploration and education: Understanding the consumption of pornography among young men with non-exclusive sexual orientations. Sociology, 51(5), 975-991.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Qualitative interviews
    • Young men at university with non-exclusive sexual orientation
    • 35
    • We demonstrate that pornography had educational benefits for sexual minority young men, related to their sexual desires, emerging sexual identities and for developing new sexual techniques. Our participants consumed pornography as a leisure activity, and found it educational in a number of ways – supporting McKee’s (2012) contention that pornography should be viewed as a form of entertainment rather than as a potential harm.

    Döring, N. (2000). Feminist views of cybersex: Victimization, liberation, and empowerment. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 3(5), 863-884.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Theory review
    • Not applicable
    • Not applicable
    • This article criticizes both the victimization and the liberation perspective and offers an integrative empowerment perspective that acknowledges power discourse as an essential sexual issue online and off. The Net offers theoretical and practical exploration of marginalized forms of sexuality to those who might otherwise be excluded from such discourses and scenes due to their location or other social control conditions.

    Tolerance

    Landripet, Busko, & Stuhlhofer (2019). Testing the content progression thesis: A longitudinal assessment of pornography use and preference for coercive and violent content among male adolescents. Social Science Research.

    Link to web

    • Longitudinal, within-subject
    • Adolescent male
    • 248
    • The preference for violent/coercive pornography was found to decrease over time.
    • escalation; habituation

    Shor, E., & Seida, K. (2019). “Harder and harder”? Is mainstream pornography becoming increasingly violent and do viewers prefer violent content?. The Journal of Sex Research, 56(1), 16-28.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Content analysis
    • Pornhub
    • 269 videos
    • More specifically, we tested two related claims: (1) aggressive content in videos is on the rise and (2) viewers prefer such content, reflected in both the number of views and the rankings for videos containing aggression. Our results offer no support for these contentions. First, we did not find any consistent uptick in aggressive content over the past decade; in fact, the average video today contains shorter segments showing aggression. Second, videos containing aggressive acts are both less likely to receive views and less likely to be ranked favorably by viewers, who prefer videos where women clearly perform pleasure.

    Body Image

    Vogels, E. A. (2018). Loving oneself: The associations among sexually explicit media, body image, and perceived realism. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-13.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Online survey
    • Ages of 18–30
    • 393
    • Sexually explicit media (SEM) had a positive indirect association with body image through perceived realism for both men and women.

    Gleason, N., & Sprankle, E. (2019). The effects of pornography on sexual minority men’s body image: an experimental study. Psychology & Sexuality, 1-15.

    Link to web

  • Experiment
  • sexual minority men
  • 87
  • Participants were randomly assigned to watch either a pornographic video or nature video, and then completed three questionnaires. Results indicated that participants exposed to pornography did not report greater social physique anxiety, greater drive for muscularity, or reduced genital body image compared to participants exposed to the nature video. Self-reported history of pornography use was not associated with scores on the body image measures utilized. These results contradict previous findings indicating a positive correlation between pornography use and body dissatisfaction in sexual minority men.
  • Borgogna, N. C., Lathan, E. C., & Mitchell, A. (2019). Is Women’s Problematic Pornography Viewing Related to Body Image or Relationship Satisfaction?. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 1-22.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Women
    • 1,014
    • Structural equation modeling indicated pornography viewing frequency, perceptions of excessive use, and control difficulties were unrelated to body image or relationship satisfaction.

    Laan, E., Martoredjo, D. K., Hesselink, S., Snijders, N., & van Lunsen, R. H. (2017). Young women’s genital self-image and effects of exposure to pictures of natural vulvas. Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics & gynecology, 38(4), 249-255.

    Link to web

    Full text

    • Experiment
    • Women
    • 43
    • Having been exposed to pictures of natural vulvas resulted in an even more positive genital self-image, irrespective of levels of sexual function, sexual distress, self-esteem and trait anxiety. In the women who had seen the vulva pictures, the positive effect on genital self-image was still present after two weeks.

    Performers

    Dubin, J. M., Greer, A. B., Valentine, C., O’Brien, I. T., Leue, E. P., Paz, L., ... & Ramasamy, R. (2019). Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers. The journal of sexual medicine.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Performers with vaginas
    • 96
    • Female sexual dysfunction appeared to be less prevalent among female adult entertainers than rates commonly quoted for the general population.

    Griffith, J. D., Mitchell, S., Hart, C. L., Adams, L. T., & Gu, L. L. (2013). Pornography actresses: An assessment of the damaged goods hypothesis. Journal of Sex Research, 50(7), 621-632.

    Link to web

    • Survey
    • Female performers and matched controls
    • 354 (n=177 performers)
    • Porn actresses were more likely to identify as bisexual, first had sex at an earlier age, had more sexual partners, were more concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and enjoyed sex more than the matched sample, although there were no differences in incidence of childhood sexual abuse. In terms of psychological characteristics, porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to the matched group. These findings did not provide support for the damaged goods hypothesis.