STUDY: Is online pornography consumption linked to offline sexual dysfunction in young men? A multivariate analysis based on an international web-based survey (2021)

YBOP Comments:

Excellent study with several key findings. 

1) The younger the age of first exposure the higher severity of porn addiction:
“Earlier starting age correlates with higher [porn addiction] scores… In the group that started watching pornography below the age of 10 years old >50% has a CYPAT [porn addiction] score in the 4th percentile of our population scoring range.”
2) Study found participants felt a need to escalate into more extreme material:
“21.6% of our participants indicated a need to watch an increasing amount or increasingly extreme pornography to achieve the same level of arousal.” And that “9.1% need to do this to get the same rigidity of their penis.”
3) Higher porn addiction scores were correlated with erectile dysfunction:
“As shown in figure 4, there is a statistically significant correlation between ED and CYPAT (p < 001). Higher CYPAT [porn addiction] categories are associated with higher prevalence of ED.”
4) Evidence points to porn being main cause, not merely masturbation: 
“There was no statistically significant difference in masturbation frequency between the ED and no ED group”

LINK TO FULL TEXT. Link to Abstract.

Abstract

Background: Expanding access to the internet resulted in more and earlier consumption of online pornography. At the same time, a higher prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) among young men is seen. Increased pornography consumption has been suggested as a possible explanation of this rise.

Objective: The aim of this study is to better understand associations between problematic pornography consumption (PPC) and ED.

Methods: A 118-item survey was published online and data collection took place between April 2019 and May 2020. 5770 men responded. Eventually, the results of 3419 men between 18 and 35 years old were analyzed. The survey used validated questionnaires like Cyber Pornography Addiction Test (CYPAT), IIEF-5, and AUDIT-c. Estimated amount of porn watching was calculated. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed. For the multivariable analysis a logistic regression model using a directed acyclic graph (DAG) was used.

Results: According to their IIEF-5 scores, 21,5% of our sexually active participants (i.e. those who attempted penetrative sex in the previous 4 weeks) had some degree of ED. Higher CYPAT scores indicating problematic online pornography consumption resulted in a higher probability of ED, while controlling for covariates. Masturbation frequency seemed not a significant factor when assessing ED.

Conclusions: This prevalence of ED in young men is alarmingly high and the results of presented study suggest a significant association with PPC.

Clinicaltrial: The study was registered on www.researchregistry.com (ID 5111).