Men addicted to pornography are more likely to have an eating disorder, study suggests
- Researchers looked at almost 1,000 men, a third of whom were not straight
- They found that men who watched more porn were more likely to binge or purge
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Men who engage in problematic pornography use are more likely to display symptoms of eating disorders, a study has suggested.
Nearly 1,000 men were asked to complete questions about their pornography use and whether they binge ate or purged.
Researchers found that those who felt porn was essential to their lives also reported eating disorder behaviors.
It is thought that porn makes people more insecure in their own bodies as they compare themselves to the typically svelte physiques seen on screen, leading to restrictive eating practices.
Roughly three to six percent of the US adult population engage in problematic pornography use, also known as porn addiction
Researchers from the University of Haifa and The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College in Israel conducted the study.
Some 705 Israeli men aged 18-68 participated in the study, averaging 32.
Most participants (68 percent) were heterosexual, but roughly a third were of a sexual minority.
Participants completed assessments of problematic pornography use and perceived realism of pornography, as well as anxiety and depression.
Problematic pornography negatively impacts various aspects of an individual’s functioning and well-being, such as sexual functioning problems, hypersexuality, and mental health.
Problematic pornography use was measured using the Problematic Pornography Consumption Scale-Short Version, which contained statements such as ‘I felt that porn is an important part of my life’ and ‘I became stressed when something prevented me from watching porn.’
How often should you be masturbating?
Masturbation is still a taboo topic, so it can be tricky to determine whether you’re doing it too much or too little.
The men answered using a seven-point scale ranging from one (never) to seven (all the time) with reference to the last six months.
They also filled out measures of body comparison, where they compared their own body to those seen in pornography, dissatisfaction with one’s own body and eating disorder symptoms such as binge eating and purging.
The results showed that regardless of sexuality, men with higher levels of pornography use were more likely to compare their bodies to those seen in porn, have a negative image of their bodies and binge eat and purge.
The research relied on self-reported results, which could be subject to social desirability effects.
The study authors said: ‘To reduce the risk of developing or worsening eating disorder symptoms, clinicians working with male clients should assess for problematic pornography use and body image concerns during therapy.’
The study was published in the journal Body Image.
Roughly three to six percent of the US adult population engage in problematic pornography use, also known as porn addiction.
Up to 65 percent of young adult men and 18 percent of young women report watching pornography at least once a week.
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