gay porn body image
gay porn body image

Guys Who Watch Lots of Porn Experience More Anxiety and Body Dissatisfaction, Study Says

A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found “evidence that viewing greater amounts of sexually explicit media may result in more negative body attitude” in gay and bisexual men.

For the study, researchers had 1,071 gay and bi men from across the U.S. complete an online survey about their porn consumption, male body attitudes, anxiety and depression. They found that the more often men consumed porn, the more negatively they viewed bodies (both their own and others). Greater porn consumption was also linked to significant increases in depression and anxiety.

Considering that a lot of gay and bi men watch gay porn, it’s important to understand its psychological effects. However, Jeffrey T. Parsons, one of the study’s authors, said that he didn’t want to create a “porn negative” study — he acknowledges that gay porn educates a lot of gay and bi men about sex and that it can help provide sexual fulfillment to men living in isolated areas where it’s more difficult to have in-person sexual encounters.

There’s apparently a lot of research about porn’s affect on body image. The study referenced at least 15 other studies on how porn affects body image, sexual habits, depression and anxiety.

The findings from Parson’s study closely match those from a recently released study conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia. The Council conducted a nationwide survey of 2,733 gay men across Australia and New Zealand and found a similar correlation linking increased pornography use with body dissatisfaction.

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Previous studies have shown that LGBTQ people experience higher rates of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Approximately 15% of gay and bi men will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives, and 42% of men with an eating disorder identify as gay or bisexual.

Parsons says that if we understand how porn contributes to body image, the community and health professionals can better understand how to change any negative or unhealthy trends. He notes that the rise of amateur porn on porn tube sites has made it more possible for men to watch sexual content without over-idealized bodies. He thinks this could potentially contribute to positive body image, but says we’d need to study it before drawing any such conclusions.