Compulsive pornographic consumption and problematic usage among young people

"Background Online pornography use among young people has raised concerns over potential “pornography addiction”. There are no diagnostic criteria for pornography addiction and little is known about young people��™s experience of this phenomenon. We tested the Compulsive Pornography Consumption (CPC) scale among young Australians and compared it to their written responses to a question about the influence of pornography on their life. Methods Participants (n=1029) aged 15-29 years were recruited via Facebook to an online survey. They were asked in an open-ended question: ‘How has pornography influenced your life?��™. The same participants then completed the CPC scale, a validated 5-item screening tool which measures obsessive thoughts and compulsive use regarding pornography. Results Only 12 (1.6%) participants met criteria for CPC (scoring 25+), although 35 (4.8%) participants had symptoms of CPC. Higher CPC scores were associated with: gender (male), rurality (major city), religiosity (actively religious), and living situation (not living with partner). In the open-ended question, problematic usage was self-identified. Males reporting a negative impact of pornography highlighted effects in three areas: sexual function, arousal and relationships. Fewer females described problematic usage; however those who did reported experiencing negative feelings and compulsions relating to their use of pornography. Conclusion Comparing scale results with qualitative responses indicated that some participants who met the criteria for CPC didn��™t describe their pornography usage as problematic, while others who didn��™t meet the criteria for CPC clearly expressed concerns about their usage or symptoms of problematic use, suggesting additional means of identifying problematic use are required. Key words Sexual and reproductive health; Adolescent health; Communication/social media; Addiction; Gender Key messages 1. Compulsive consumption according to criteria validated 5-item scale, is not particularly common among the sample, but it does appear to exist. 2. Young people who did not meet the criteria for CPC still commonly experienced concerns about their own problematic usage. 3. Further research is required to understand problematic pornography use among young people. "

Angela Davis