Can too much pornography increase the risk of sexual dysfunction?

Men and women beware of pornography: according to two studies presented at a meeting of the American Urological Association held in May 2017, it would appear that pornographic-dependent males are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. The studies were aimed at examining the possible link between pornography and the onset of sexual dysfunction among men and women. The first of these studies presented by scientists from the Naval Medical Centre in San Diego analysed a sample of 312 men aged between 20 and 40. By analysing volunteers’ answers and cross referencing the collected data, study authors found a statistically significant correlation between pornography and erectile dysfunction. One of the authors of the work, Matthew Christman, said: “The rates of organic causes of erectile dysfunction in this age cohort are extremely low, so the increase in erectile dysfunction that we have seen over time for this group needs to be explained. We believe that pornography use may be one piece to that puzzle. Our data does not suggest that it is the only explanation, however.”. An explanation of the phenomenon could involve the so-called reward circuits of the brain networks that trigger (among other things) behaviours such as drug use, compulsive gambling, and strong sexual stimuli. Watching too much pornography could increase the “tolerance” to such stimuli, and trigger sexual dysfunction. In a second study, the same authors investigated the relationship between sexual function and pornography in females, failing to find any correlation.

Berger, J., Doan, A., Kehoe, J., Marshall, M., Klam, W., Crain, D., and Christman, M., PD69-12 Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography, The Journal of Urology (2017)

Kehoe, J., Berger, J., Marshall, M., Doan, A., and Christman, M.; PD44-11 Survey of Sexual Function and Pornography in Females, The Journal of Urology (2017)

PP-SH-UK-0016 | Date of preparation: Feb 2018