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If You Film It Will They Watch? Factors Associated with Willingness to View Safer Sex Messaging in Internet-Based Sexually Explicit Media


Research on the association between viewing condomless sex in sexually explicit media (SEM) and engaging in risk behavior suggests the need for SEM-based safer sex messaging (e.g., PrEP, condom use), though few studies have considered viewer willingness to watch SEM containing HIV/STI prevention messages. Online survey data from a racially diverse sample of 859 men and women were used to investigate factors associated with willingness to watch SEM with safer sex messaging. Analyses were conducted separately for three groups: heterosexual men and other men who only report sex with women, heterosexual women and other women who only report sex with men, and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. All three groups expressed some willingness to view safer sex messages in SEM and a majority viewed the SEM industry as having some responsibility to provide this type of messaging. Factors associated with greater willingness varied across the three groups. These findings have implications for the design and implementation of safer sex messaging in SEM.


La investigación sobre la asociación entre ver sexo sin condón en medios sexualmente explícitos (MSE) y participar en conductas de riesgo sugieren la necesidad de mensajes de sexo seguro basados en MSE (por ejemplo, PrEP, uso de condones), aunque pocos estudios han considerado la voluntad del televidente en ver MSE conteniendo mensajes de prevención de VIH/ITS. Se utilizaron datos de una encuesta en línea de una muestra racialmente diversa de 859 hombres y mujeres para investigar los factores asociados con la voluntad a ver MSE con mensajes de sexo seguro. Los análisis se realizaron por separado para tres grupos: hombres heterosexuales y otros hombres que solo informan sexo con mujeres, mujeres heterosexuales y otras mujeres que solo informan sexo con hombres y homosexuales, bisexuales y otros hombres que tienen sexo con hombres. Los tres grupos expresaron cierta voluntad a ver mensajes de sexo seguro en MSE y una mayoría consideró que la industria de MSE tiene alguna responsabilidad a proveer este tipo de mensajes. Los factores asociados con la mayor voluntad variaron entre los tres grupos. Estos hallazgos tienen implicaciones para el diseño y la implementación de mensajes de sexo seguro en MSE.

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This research was supported by a grant from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality to Martin J. Downing, Jr., Ph.D.

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Correspondence to Martin J. Downing Jr..

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This research was supported by a grant from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality to Martin J. Downing, Jr., Ph.D. (no award number provided). The authors declare that they have no other conflicts of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Downing, M.J., Antebi-Gruszka, N., Schrimshaw, E.W. et al. If You Film It Will They Watch? Factors Associated with Willingness to View Safer Sex Messaging in Internet-Based Sexually Explicit Media. AIDS Behav 22, 1295–1312 (2018).

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  • Sexually explicit media
  • Pornography
  • Internet
  • HIV prevention