A Profile of Pornography Users in Australia: Findings From the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships

J Sex Res. 2017 Feb;54(2):227-240. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2016.1191597. Epub 2016 Jul 15.


There are societal concerns that looking at pornography has adverse consequences among those exposed. However, looking at sexually explicit material could have educative and relationship benefits. This article identifies factors associated with looking at pornography ever or within the past 12 months for men and women in Australia, and the extent to which reporting an "addiction" to pornography is associated with reported bad effects. Data from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR2) were used: computer-assisted telephone interviews (CASIs) completed by a representative sample of 9,963 men and 10,131 women aged 16 to 69 years from all Australian states and territories, with an overall participation rate of 66%. Most men (84%) and half of the women (54%) had ever looked at pornographic material. Three-quarters of these men (76%) and more than one-third of these women (41%) had looked at pornographic material in the past year. Very few respondents reported that they were addicted to pornography (men 4%, women 1%), and of those who said they were addicted about half also reported that using pornography had had a bad effect on them. Looking at pornographic material appears to be reasonably common in Australia, with adverse effects reported by a small minority.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Erotica*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult