Gay porn consumption linked to body dysmorphia, study finds

A new study has linked gay porn consumption with body dysmorphia and mental health issues.

The research – which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour last month – used a sample of 1071 gay and bisexual men (GBM) to monitor their gay porn consumption.

Traditionally, studies on porn habits focus on whether the explicit material influences violent behaviour or increased sexual risk.

However, the authors of Viewing Sexually Explicit Media (SEM) and Its Association with Mental Health Among Gay and Bisexual Men Across the US found that men who consume more sexually explicit material suffered with “more negative body attitude and both depressive and anxious symptomology.”

What’s more, the study also found a link between negative body image and engaging in risky sex, or not taking HIV medication on time.

One of the study’s authors, Jeffrey T. Parsons, told Vice that this link stems “from the broader mental health issues that gay men still grapple with on a daily basis: stigma, discrimination, stress from being part of a marginalized group.”

Elaborating further on his findings, he added: “One Supreme Court decision didn’t reverse decades of discrimination.

“If you add Trump’s daily threats to the LGBTQ community, and overlay that with the feeling ‘I feel bad about my body,’ the idea of then taking your HIV medications it’s like, well, maybe I’ll just put that aside because I’m feeling so depressed and anxious and unhappy with how I look.

“Some people really allow the negativity they feel in their body to limit how well they take care of their health.”

The study concluded that although gay and bisexual men report very few negative effects of sexually explicit material, their findings “expand on past research and suggest that there is a connection to negative mental health via negative body image.”

They added that this “suggests there may be a need for mental health treatment in the GBM community that also focuses on body image and SEM consumption as significant predictors.”

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