You may want to examine your, uh, viewing habits a bit more closely after reading this.
Have you ever given your porn habits any serious thought? You may want to — a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has discovered that there might be three distinct types of porn users: recreational, compulsive, and distressed.
Researchers Université Laval in Quebec gathered a convenience sample (basically what it sounds like: a type of sampling from a population that’s conveniently available to participate) of 830 participants from university lists, social networks, and web classified posts.
They then quizzed the participants about their overall sexual satisfaction, their tendencies to avoid sex, sexual dysfunction, and their porn-viewing habits. Specifically, they asked respondents how hard they tried to access porn, how they felt after watching it, and how compulsive their use was.
Next, they did a “cluster analysis,” where they broke the respondents up into groups, and found some interesting results. 75 percent of the respondents fell into the “recreational” group, with an average of 24 minutes of porn-watching per week and low scores among all the porn-use questions.
The researchers found that women and people in relationships were overrepresented in this group.
12.7 percent fell into what the researchers call the "highly distressed non-compulsive” group. That group had low compulsivity and intensity scores but high levels of emotional distress after viewing porn.
They watched for an average of 17 minutes per week.
The third group, which comprised 11.8 percent of the total respondents, fell into the "compulsive” profile, meaning they averaged 110 minutes of porn-watching per week and reported high levels of compulsivity and and intensity but moderate levels of distress.
While the results certainly are interesting, convenience sampling is often used to gather preliminary data and examine any trends without having to use a randomized sample, which tends to be more complicated and costly for most researchers.
The biggest criticism of convenience sampling, though, is that the sample won’t be representative, meaning there’s no way to really generalize these results to the general population.
That said, the researchers were looking to better examine in what kind of context porn might present a problem for people and were able to conclude from this study that for most people, porn probably doesn’t cause any issues when it comes to their overall well-being.
So if you’re at all worried about your habits, you can relax — most likely, your viewing preferences are totally normal.
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