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A lack of association between online pornography exposure, sexual functioning, and mental well-being

Merdian, Hannah L; Charig, Ruth; Moghaddam, Nima G; Dawson, David L; das Nair, Roshan

Authors

Hannah L Merdian

Ruth Charig

Nima G Moghaddam

David L Dawson

ROSHAN NAIR Roshan.dasnair@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology



Abstract

© 2020 College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. To inform debate around potential influences of online pornography, we applied a contemporary media-effects model to examine the relationship between online sexually explicit material (oSEM) exposure and several psychosocial outcomes–including sexual satisfaction, body satisfaction, sexist attitudes, and mental well-being. Perceived realism of oSEM (the extent to which it is believed to be a realistic portrayal of sexual experience) was assessed as a potential mediator of exposure-outcome relationships. Furthermore, family communication about sex and gender were investigated as potential moderators of any indirect relationships (via perceived realism). Using a convenience sample of cisgender, heterosexual adults (N = 252) and a cross-sectional questionnaire design, we found no significant direct or indirect relationships between oSEM-use and the psychosocial outcomes in question; equivalence testing demonstrated that (for all outcomes other than body satisfaction) we could reject effect sizes (rs) > ±.20. Overall, findings do not favour a negative or positive relationship between oSEM and the psychosocial outcomes under examination–oSEM appeared to have a negligible role in individuals’ current sexual functioning and mental well-being.

Citation

Merdian, H. L., Charig, R., Moghaddam, N. G., Dawson, D. L., & das Nair, R. (2020). A lack of association between online pornography exposure, sexual functioning, and mental well-being. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 35(2), 258-281. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2020.1727874

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 5, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2021
Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy
Print ISSN 1468-1994
Electronic ISSN 1468-1749
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Pages 258-281
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2020.1727874
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/3937043
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14681994.2020.1727874
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sexual and Relationship Therapy on 20/02/2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com//doi/full/10.1080/14681994.2020.1727874

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