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Miller Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, United States Abstract In this study, we examined the links between Internet addiction, engagement in online erotica including pornography usage and usage of sex-based Internet chat sitesand engagement in risky online sexual behaviors, in this case, sending sexually-explicit pictures to those known only online i. In our sample of U. More importantly, using pornography and sex site usage were asing mediators in the relationship between Internet addiction tor engagement in risky online sexual activities. Moreover, whereas pornography viewing alone was not a predictor of risky online sexual activities, when the behavior escalated to engaging in Internet sex chat sites it did predict engagement in sexting womne expectations of offline sex with those known only online. Based on these findings, we suggest that although these behaviors might be considered under one umbrella of online sexual activity, it might be useful from an intervention and treatment standpoint to target specific online sexual activities e.
Miller Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, United States Abstract In this study, we examined the links between Internet addiction, engagement in online erotica including pornography usage aomen usage of sex-based Internet chat sitesand engagement in risky online sexual behaviors, in this case, sending sexually-explicit pictures to those known only online i. In our sample of U.
More importantly, using pornography and sex site usage were sequential mediators in the relationship between Internet addiction and engagement in risky online sexual activities. Moreover, whereas pornography viewing alone was not a predictor of risky online sexual womeen, when the behavior escalated to engaging in Internet sex chat sites it did predict engagement in sexting or expectations of offline sex with those known only online.
Based on these findings, we suggest that although these behaviors might be considered under one umbrella of online sexual activity, it might be useful from an intervention se treatment standpoint to target specific online sexual activities e. Keywords: internet addiction; online erotica; sexting; risky sexual behavior; online sexual behaviors DOWNLOAD PDF Introduction For almost two decades, researchers have shown empirical interest in the links between Internet activity and risky sexual behavior.
In fact, a growing body of research now exists examining the ways in which Internet use and addiction relates to Internet sexuality, which includes a variety of behaviors, such as consumption of pornography, visiting online sex chat rooms, and even meeting online partners for offline sexual contact e. In a separate body of work, researchers have investigated the associations between sexting i.
These studies have produced mixedbut generally they have found that sexting is related to a variety of offline, risky sexual behaviors, including sex with multiple partners, unprotected sex, and sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In their recent study, Crimmins and Seigfried-Spellar combined the themes of online sexual activities and sexting and found that using the Internet to engage in web-based chat with strangers and using adult pornography was predictive of sending a seminude or nude photo or video via text.
In this study, we sought to extend this line of inquiry by examining the extent to which Internet addiction was associated with online sexual activities in this case, use of pornography and sexual chat sites and risky sexual behaviors among adults, including the sending of sexually-explicit photos to online-only chat partners and expectations of sex with online-only chat partners.
Additionally, although most researchers generally agree that Internet addiction is maladaptive and related to uncontrolled or compulsive behavior related to Internet use e. This has prompted some researchers to propose that Internet addiction is a multi-dimensional construct Pawlikowski et al. From this perspective, Internet addiction can be parsed out into, may be comorbid with, and may predict other types of addictive Internet behaviors.
Meanwhile, other researchers approach Internet addiction as a component of a larger family of addictions e. These perspectives are not mutually exclusive, and as we have gathered more empirical evidence on Internet addiction, it is becoming clear that our understanding of the construct is still evolving. However, it has prompted researchers to explore the predictive relationship between general Internet addiction and other types of specific Internet behaviors, like Internet gaming, pornography usage, and engaging with Internet sex chat sites e.
Interestingly, neither of these classification schemes includes specific mention of sexting, or the sending of sexually-explicit pictures or videos via Internet or cell phone, which exemplifies the gap that exists between the sexting and online sexual activity literature. With regard to online erotica, pornography consumption has been found to be common among both men and women in the U.
Meanwhile, with regard to Internet pornography specifically, Shaughnessy et al. Additionally, compulsive pornography viewing has garnered its own empirical attention as a compulsive disorder e. Internet sex chat usage is also fairly common among adults.
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Cooper et al. Differences between these statistics may stem from sample characteristics i. In terms of risky online sexual behaviors, there is empirical evidence that some people convert these vor sexual tor into offline sexual experiences. Those who engaged in cybersex were more likely to convert their online chats into offline sexual encounters Daneback et al. Meanwhile, within their U. Combined, these studies suggest that engagement in online sexual activity might lead to offline sexual encounters, especially for certain subsets of the population.
Additionally, a recent askinv has shown that use of these online erotic platforms may relate to another risky sexual behavior—the sending of sexually-explicit pictures. Crimmins and Seigfriend-Spellar found that among their U. Current Study Recently, researchers have begun to examine the predictive relationships between Internet addiction and other types of online behaviors and addictions, including pornography addiction.
For example, Pawlikowski et al. These findings support the idea that general Internet addiction may exist concurrently with and even predict specific online addictions and behaviors. Moreover, Daneback et al. In this study, we sought to marry the two lines of inquiry, examining the predictive relationship between Internet addiction, engagement in online erotica, and engagement in wmoen online sexual behaviors. With consideration for the extant literature, asoing expected that engagement in online erotica might be a mediator in the relationship between Internet addiction and engagement in risky online sexual behaviors.
Additionally, we wanted to explore whether the prevalence of or relationships between these different online sexual behaviors differed by gender, as some researchers have found gender differences in the prevalence of these behaviors. Similarly, Cooper et al. In support of this idea, Daneback et al. That said, in their sample of young adults, heterosexual German women, Laier et al.
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Thus, it is unclear whether there are any consistent gender differences in prevalence for these online sexual activities. To address these research questions, we conducted a survey study in the U. According to Buhrmester, Kwang, and Goslingdata gathered from MTurk workers shows comparable reliability as that gathered from other, more traditional methods of data collection.
More specifically, data gathered multiple scales from MTurk samples have alpha levels in the good to excellent range, and test-retest reliabilities are also acceptable Buhrmester et al. Additionally, there is much empirical evidence that MTurk participants perform similarly on various measures including priming and behavioral tasks, and measures of emotional reactions, personality, and political ideation to those recruited via other standard recruitment methods, like college samples or through social media e.
Moreover, MTurk samples have been used specifically to conduct research in the field of sexuality e.
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From the original sample, four participants were excluded, one for failing an attention check, one for completing the survey in less than five minutes, and two for providing a numerical answer to a sexual experience question that was more than 3 SDs above the mean. Their average age was Participants who accepted the online asment first completed an online consent form and then were given access to an online foor that contained demographic questions, questions about their online and offline sexual behaviors and expectations of sexual behavior with online chat partners, and a measure of Internet addiction as well as womeen measures, not reported here.
Measures Pornography and sex sites usage. Participants were asked to indicate how often they used pornography i.
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Sexting pictures with online-only chat partners. To get a more detailed picture of this behavior, we adapted the Sex and Xsking Survey question by asking participants to provide numerical answers and specifying that the content was a sexually-explicit picture. Participants' responses ranged from 0 to Expectations of sex with online-only chat partners. Internet addiction.
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According to the criteria provided by Young ba point sum of indicates an average internet user, points indicates moderate internet addiction, and points indicates ificant internet addiction. The sums for this sample ranged fromwoemn a mean sum of Our main research question was whether there were predictive relationships ssex Internet addiction, engagement in online erotica i.
More specifically, we wanted to test whether online erotica use mediated the fpr between Internet addiction and risky online sexual activity. However, first we examined the prevalence of these behaviors among men and women to see if there were gender differences, as well as the correlations between all of these online sexual activities.
The only online sexual activity for which men and women did not ificantly differ was the sending of sexually-explicit photos to those known only online. Finally, there were no ificant differences between men and women in their Internet addiction scores. Table 1.