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Perceived addiction to online pornography and sexual attitudes in Portuguese college students

Gomes, A1; Fernandes, A1; Ribeiro, R1; Cardoso, J1; Ramos, C2

1: Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz, Portugal; 2: Centro de investigação interdisciplinar Egas Moniz, Portugal

Objective: There is evidence that sexual attitudes are linked to viewing online pornography, but an operational definition of online pornography problematic use doesn’t exist. College students are usually associated with more permissive sexual attitudes that elicit a greater acceptance of internet pornography, which can be addictive. The main objective of this study was to characterize the use of online pornography and sexual attitudes in Portuguese college students, confirming if they are related and analyzing if these variables differ according to sociodemographic aspects: gender, sexual orientation, marital status, romantic relationship and educational level.

Materials and Methods: The current study has a cross-sectional design, with a non-probabilistic and convenience sample that included a total of 257 Portuguese college students of both sexes (153 female and 104 male; ages between 18 and 30 years old). Participants completed online self-administered Cyber Pornography Use Inventory-9 (CPUI-9) and the Portuguese version of Sexual Attitudes Scale (SAS).

Results: Perceived addiction to online pornography and sexual attitudes are significantly associated (r = .368, p< .001). There are significant differences between male and female on Perceived Compulsivity (F(1,225) = 94.939, p< .001) and Access Efforts to pornography use (F(1,225) =21.204, p< .001). Total Perceived Addiction (F(1,225) = 2.647, p = .034) is significantly different among educational level. According to gender, there are significant differences on sexual attitudes (F(1,225) = 22.381, p < .001). Permissiveness is significantly different regarding marital status (F(1,225) = 5.959, p =.015) and being (or not) in a romantic relationship (F(1,225) = 6.192, p = .013). Also, Communion shows significant differences according to the romantic relationship (F(1,225) = 5.087, p = .025).

Conclusions: Men make more efforts to consume online pornography, report a greater perception of control over the use of pornography, and have more attitudes oriented towards casual sex and to obtain physical pleasure. Single participants are more accepting of uncomplicated sexual involvement, without commitment, tending to reveal a more functional view of sexuality, while participants in a romantic relationship tend to present a perspective of sexuality as an experience of psychological and physical intimacy. Lastly, participants with higher education level present greater efforts in consuming online pornography.


Work supported by industry: no.

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