Expanding access to the internet has resulted in more and earlier consumption of online pornography. At the same time, a higher prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) among young men is seen. Increased pornography consumption has been suggested as a possible explanation for this rise.
The aim of this study was to better understand associations between problematic pornography consumption (PPC) and ED.
A 118-item survey was published online, and data collection took place between April 2019 and May 2020. Of the 5770 men who responded, the responses from 3419 men between 18 years old and 35 years old were analyzed. The survey used validated questionnaires such as the Cyber Pornography Addiction Test (CYPAT), International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Concise (AUDIT-C). The estimated amount of porn watching was calculated. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed. For the multivariable analysis, a logistic regression model using a directed acyclic graph was used.
According to their IIEF-5 scores, 21.48% (444/2067) of our sexually active participants (ie, those who attempted penetrative sex in the previous 4 weeks) had some degree of ED. Higher CYPAT scores indicating problematic online pornography consumption resulted in a higher probability of ED, while controlling for covariates. Masturbation frequency seemed not to be a significant factor when assessing ED.
This prevalence of ED in young men is alarmingly high, and the results of this study suggest a significant association with PPC.