LIFESTYLE

Men Who Watch Safe Sex Porn More Likely To Use Condoms, Research Finds

'Pornography may have a potentially important protective function.'

04/05/2016 12:02

Men who watch pornography where condoms are used are more likely to use protection themselves while having anal sex, new research suggests.

The study revealed that porn involving safe sex could actually have a beneficial effect on men who have sex with men.

The study's authors said: "Our finding...suggests that pornography may have a potentially important protective function by encouraging men to use condoms."

They added that the findings have "important policy and HIV implications".

Maciej Toporowicz, NYC via Getty Images

Researchers surveyed 265 men who have sex with men, aged 18 years and over, who had watched porn in the past three months.

They were asked about the amount of anal sex they'd engaged in, as well as the proportion of unprotected anal sex they'd had compared to the amount of safe anal sex they'd had.

The majority of participants (92%) reported viewing porn containing condomless anal sex and almost half (48%) agreed that watching it had encouraged them to engage in sex without a condom.

Almost three quarters (70%) of participants said that viewing porn often led them to acting out similar sexual acts. While 55% said watching porn led them to seek out sex afterwards.

The study's participants were also asked about how they thought watching porn affected them.

Many said that watching pornography which contained condomless anal sex made them more likely to engage in unsafe sex. 

The authors believe that, as a result, porn which sees men wearing condoms would encourage guys to practice safe sex. 

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Co-author of the study Eric Schrimshaw, from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said: "Men who viewed more pornography containing condom use engaged in fewer condomless anal sex encounters.

"Even those who took part in compulsive pornography viewing were not more likely to engage in condomless anal sex."

He said the study, which is published in the journal PLOS One, provides a sound argument for greater availability of porn containing anal sex in which condoms are clearly used by actors.

"The potentially negative consequences on behaviour, therefore, has policy implications for pornography directors, producers, distributors, performers, and viewers," he added. 

Co-author Martin Downing, of the Public Health Solutions, added that the findings have important "HIV prevention implications".

The researchers noted that more research is needed to understand whether porn involving safe sex could help change viewer sexual behaviour. 

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