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Gender Differences in Escapist Uses of Sexually Explicit Internet Material: Results from a German Probability Sample

Abstract

The intensity of using sexually explicit internet material (SEIM) is contingent on users’ gender. However, gender differences in the motivations for watching SEIM have not yet been comprehensively explored. Drawing on a representative survey of German internet users, we therefore analyze how women and men use SEIM to satisfy escapist needs. Lower life satisfaction, the lack of a committed relationship, and feelings of loneliness contribute to predicting the frequency of using SEIM among men. Loneliness likewise fosters the consumption of SEIM among women, yet the effect is less pronounced. For female internet users, consumption of SEIM even increases in committed relationships and rather indicates a comparably high level of life satisfaction than dissatisfaction with life circumstances. Gender hence substantially moderates the connection between need structures and the consumption of SEIM.

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Funding

This study was funded by the Research Center of Media convergence, University of Mainz.

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Weber, M., Aufenanger, S., Dreier, M. et al. Gender Differences in Escapist Uses of Sexually Explicit Internet Material: Results from a German Probability Sample. Sexuality & Culture 22, 1171–1188 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-018-9518-2

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Keywords

  • Escapism
  • Pornography
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Gender
  • Internet use