(L) Men 'Worried' About Heavy Internet Porn Use (2011)

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A quarter of men aged 18-24 are worried about the amount of porn they are watching on the internet, new research suggests.

Porn addiction symptoms

Heavy users in the study were much more likely to report problems with their jobs, relationships and sex lives.

Newsbeat teamed up with doctors from the Portman Clinic for the report, the first of its kind in the UK.

"Those people spending large amounts of time accessing porn are not having more fun," said Dr Heather Wood.

"They are more worried about themselves, more worried about what they are looking at, and report more relationship problems."

Free porn

One thousand and fifty seven 18-24 year olds were asked to take part in an online survey drawn up with help from Dr Wood and her colleagues at the clinic, part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.

Almost eight out of 10 men said they had looked at porn on the internet compared with just over a third of women.

Free websites were by far the most popular way of getting hold of adult material, followed by file-sharing networks, mobile phones and TV.

The last few years have seen the rise of user-generated porn sites modelled on video sharing services like YouTube, and funded by advertising revenue.

The largest are now some of the most visited entertainment portals in the UK, more popular than mainstream sites like ITV.com or Channel4.com, according to the internet ranking company Alexa.

Many contain thousands of free videos - from short clips of porn films to hardcore amateur footage.

"Anyone who pays for porn these days needs their head checking because there is so much free porn out there," said Ian Barber, 22, from Manchester.

"It's just part of lad culture in this country. It's not weird and it's not frowned upon.

"Within a second there will be hundreds of videos. That's why people spend so much time on there because they think 'maybe there will be a better one' and they keep going and going."

'Fine in moderation'

The average man in the study spent more than two hours a week surfing adult sites, compared with less than fifteen minutes for the average woman.

Two-thirds of men and half the women said that looking at porn was fine in moderation, while 57% of men said it made them more interested in sex with their partners.

But a quarter of all men in the survey said there were worried about the amount of porn they were looking at, while almost as many said they were concerned about the type of images they were viewing.

Four per cent of men aged 18-24 said they used adult sites for more than 10 hours a week, a level which doctors describe as "problematic and potentially compulsive".

Jason Dean, a counsellor who runs a website for online sex addicts, said: "I speak to people who feel unable to cut down or stop using these sites.

"It used to be mainly middle-aged single guys but now I get more contact from women, teenagers and people in their 20s."

'Influencing behaviour'

Men who look at porn for 10 hours a week are much more likely to worry it is influencing their behaviour, the survey suggested.

Higher numbers of those heavy users said their porn viewing had upset a partner or caused them to miss a meeting at work.

Men looking at porn for at least 10 hours a week were also more likely to say it can put them off real-life sex.

Sixty-one per cent agreed it could make you less interested in sex with a partner, compared with 27 per cent of moderate users and 24 per cent of light users.

TNS surveyed 1,057 adults aged 18-24 for the research between 18 March and 21 March 2011.

Original article