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      Cybersex addiction: Experienced sexual arousal when watching pornography and not real-life sexual contacts makes the difference

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          Abstract

          Background and aims

          Cybersex addiction is discussed controversially, while empirical evidence is widely missing. With respect to its mechanisms of development and maintenance Brand et al. (2011) assume that reinforcement due to cybersex should lead to the development of cue-reactivity and craving explaining recurrent cybersex use in the face of growing but neglected negative consequences. To support this hypothesis, two experimental studies were conducted.

          Methods

          In a cue-reactivity paradigm 100 pornographic cues were presented to participants and indicators of sexual arousal and craving were assessed. The first study aimed at identifying predictors of cybersex addiction in a freely recruited sample of 171 heterosexual males. The aim of the second study was to verify the findings of the first study by comparing healthy ( n = 25) and problematic ( n = 25) cybersex users.

          Results

          The results show that indicators of sexual arousal and craving to Internet pornographic cues predicted tendencies towards cybersex addiction in the first study. Moreover, it was shown that problematic cybersex users report greater sexual arousal and craving reactions resulting from pornographic cue presentation. In both studies, the number and subjective quality of real-life sexual contacts were not associated to cybersex addiction.

          Discussion

          The results support the gratification hypothesis, which assumes reinforcement, learning mechanisms, and craving to be relevant processes in the development and maintenance of cybersex addiction. Poor or unsatisfying sexual real-life contacts cannot sufficiently explain cybersex addiction.

          Conclusions

          Positive reinforcement in terms of gratification plays a major role in cybersex addiction

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          Most cited references 71

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          A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use

           R.A. Davis (2001)
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            Issues for DSM-V: internet addiction.

             Torin Block (2008)
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              Problematic Internet use and psychosocial well-being: development of a theory-based cognitive–behavioral measurement instrument

               Scott Caplan (2002)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2006
                122266
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                JBA
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                1 June 2013
                12 April 2013
                : 2
                : 2
                : 100-107
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] General Psychology: Cognition, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany
                [ 2 ] Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Essen, Germany
                [ 3 ] General Psychology: Cognition, University of Duisburg-Essen, Forsthausweg 2, D-47057, Duisburg, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ] +49-203-3792541, +49-203-3791846, matthias.brand@ 123456uni-due.de
                Article
                5
                10.1556/jba.2.2013.002
                26165929
                © 2013 The Author(s)

                Open Access statement. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

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                Self URI (journal page): https://akademiai.com/loi/2006
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