New study suggests use of online pornography does not affect sexual satisfaction or mental well-being – PsyPost – 2020-09-03

New research suggests that, contrary to previous literature, the use of online pornography does not negatively impact evaluations of the self or others. The findings were published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy.

As the use of online sexually explicit material (oSEM) has grown, so has the concern over its influence on mental well-being. Despite the increased interest, scientific conclusions remain inconsistent. Some studies have reported an association between oSEM-use and negative outcomes, such as reduced body satisfaction, increased sexist attitudes, and reduced sexual satisfaction. Other studies have outlined positive outcomes, like improved sexual satisfaction.

In an attempt to clarify the relationship between oSEM-use and mental health outcomes, study author Ruth Charig and her team wanted to explore the topic through the lens of the Differential Susceptibility to Media Effects Model (DSMM).

“One of the central propositions of the DSMM is the notion of media effects being indirect: i.e., that individual response-states (such as cognitive appraisals of the media) mediate the relationship between media-exposure and effects,” the researchers say.

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