Clinical Characteristics of Men Interested in Seeking Treatment for Use of Pornography

J Behav Addict. 2016 Jun;5(2):169-78. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.036. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


Background and aims This study examined the prevalence of, and factors associated with, men's interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography. Methods Using an Internet-based data-collection procedure, we recruited 1,298 male pornography users to complete questionnaires assessing demographic and sexual behaviors, hypersexuality, pornography-use characteristics, and current interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography. Results Approximately 14% of men reported an interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography, whereas only 6.4% of men had previously sought treatment for use of pornography. Treatment-interested men were 9.5 times more likely to report clinically significant levels of hypersexuality compared with treatment-disinterested men (OR = 9.52, 95% CI = 6.72-13.49). Bivariate analyses indicated that interest-in-seeking-treatment status was associated with being single/unmarried, viewing more pornography per week, engaging in more solitary masturbation in the past month, having had less dyadic oral sex in the past month, reporting a history of seeking treatment for use of pornography, and having had more past attempts to either "cut back" or quit using pornography completely. Results from a binary logistic regression analysis indicated that more frequent cut back/quit attempts with pornography and scores on the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory - Control subscale were significant predictors of interest-in-seeking-treatment status. Discussion and conclusions Study findings could be used to inform current screening practices aimed at identifying specific aspects of sexual self-control, impulsivity, and/or compulsivity associated with problematic use of pornography among treatment-seeking individuals.

Keywords: hypersexuality; pornography; sexual behaviors; treatment-seeking men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Erotica* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Paraphilic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Paraphilic Disorders / psychology
  • Paraphilic Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology

Grants and funding

Funding sources: This study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 1 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and CASAColumbia. SWK and SM are full-time employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The content of this manuscript does not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies and reflect the views of the authors.