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Motives to Engage in Online Sexual Activities and Their Links to Excessive and Problematic Use: a Systematic Review

Abstract

Purpose of Review

This systematic review examines the motives behind online sexual activities (OSAs) and their relationship with excessive and problematic engagement in OSAs.

Recent Findings

Few studies have explored the motives fueling healthy and problematic engagement in OSAs, despite the evident relevance of motives for understanding these activities. Disparities in methodology and lack of validated tools have hindered the comparability and generalizability of results.

Summary

We retained and analyzed 30 studies, from which seven categories of motives emerged: (1) those related to the structural characteristics of the Internet, (2) curiosity and sexual education, (3) social motives (social enhancement and/or peer pressure), (4) sexual arousal and pleasure seeking, (5) online/offline sexuality enhancement, (6) anonymous fantasizing, and (7) mood management. These motives varied by age and sex and some allowed the distinction between healthy involvement in OSAs and excessive and dysfunctional involvement in them.

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Funding

This research was supported by grant APOSTD/2017/005 of the County Council Department of Education, Culture, and Sports of the Valencian Community (Spain) and grant P1.1B2015-82 of the University Jaume I of Castellón.

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Correspondence to Jesús Castro-Calvo.

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Castro-Calvo, J., Giménez-García, C., Gil-Llario, M.D. et al. Motives to Engage in Online Sexual Activities and Their Links to Excessive and Problematic Use: a Systematic Review. Curr Addict Rep 5, 491–510 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-018-0230-y

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Keywords

  • Online sexual activities
  • Excessive and problematic engagement
  • Motives
  • Systematic review