Sexually Explicit Online Media and Sexual Risk Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States

Abstract

This study aimed to describe sexually explicit online media (SEOM) consumption among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States and examine associations between exposure to unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in SEOM and engagement in both UAI and serodiscordant UAI. MSM in the U.S. who accessed a men-seeking-men website in the past year (N = 1,170) were recruited online for a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of sexual risk and SEOM consumption. In the 3 months prior to interview, more than half (57 %) of the men reported viewing SEOM one or more times per day and almost half (45 %) reported that at least half of the SEOM they viewed portrayed UAI. Compared to participants who reported that 0–24 % of the SEOM they viewed showed UAI, participants who reported that 25–49, 50–74, or 75–100 % of the SEOM they viewed portrayed UAI had progressively increasing odds of engaging in UAI and serodiscordant UAI in the past 3 months. As SEOM has become more ubiquitous and accessible, research should examine causal relations between SEOM consumption and sexual risk-taking among MSM as well as ways to use SEOM for HIV prevention.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our participants, as well as the Simoni Lab for their help with this project. Research reported in this publication was supported by NIMH of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers F31MH088851 and K24MH093243. Additional support was provided by the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, and the University of Washington Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), an NIH-funded program (P30AI27757) which is supported by the following NIH Institutes and Centers (NIAID, NCI, NIMH, NIDA, NICHD, NHLBI, NIA). The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or other sources of support.

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Correspondence to Kimberly M. Nelson.

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Nelson, K.M., Simoni, J.M., Morrison, D.M. et al. Sexually Explicit Online Media and Sexual Risk Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the United States. Arch Sex Behav 43, 833–843 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-013-0238-2

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Keywords

  • HIV
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Sexually explicit media
  • Pornography
  • Sexual risk-taking