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Keywords:

  • Pornography;
  • Sexually Explicit Media;
  • Sexual Knowledge;
  • Public Health Effects;
  • Men Who Have Sex with Men;
  • Homosexuality

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Researchers have proposed that consumption of Sexually Explicit Media (SEM) may not only adversely influence sexual attitudes and behaviors of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) but (also) play a positive role in the development and sexual education of MSM, be a major source of sexual information for MSM, and provide validation, understanding, and confirmation of MSM's sexual orientation. However, such claims are in urgent need of empirical validation as is the development of psychometrically sound and easily implemented instruments able to reliably assist such validations.

Aims.  To investigate how MSM who consume SEM self-perceive the impact of SEM on their sexually-transmitted-infections-related sexual risk behaviors (i.e., anal intercourse), sexual knowledge, enjoyment of sex, interest in sex, attitudes toward sex, and understanding of their sexual orientation. Further, to provide a thorough psychometric validation of a reduced and reworked version of the Pornography Consumption Effects Scale (PCES).

Main Outcome Measure.  A revised version of the PCES by Hald and Malamuth.

Methods.  Online cross-sectional survey study of 1,333 US adult Men Who Have Sex with Men.

Results.  This study found that 97% of MSM reported positive effects of SEM consumption on their sexual knowledge, enjoyment of and interest in sex, attitudes toward sex, and understanding of their sexual orientation. Only 3% reported any negative effects of their SEM consumption. SEM consumption was found to significantly increase consumers' interest in having protected anal intercourse while not significantly influencing their interests in having unprotected anal intercourse. The revised version of the PCES showed excellent psychometric performance.

Conclusion.  The study found that MSM generally report positive effects of their consumption of sexually explicit materials in areas related to their sexual knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and orientation. This finding could have important implications for the sexual health and well-being of MSM by suggesting that SEM-based education and intervention might hold considerable overall health potential for MSM. Hald GM, Smolenski D, and Rosser BRS. Perceived effects of sexually explicit media among men who have sex with men and psychometric properties of the Pornography Consumption Effects Scale (PCES). J Sex Med 2013;10:757–767.