Sexually explicit online media and sexual risk among men who have sex with men in the United States
Nelson, Kimberly Michelle
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Over the past two decades, men who have sex with men (MSM) have engaged in increasing consumption of MSM-specific sexually explicit online media (i.e., online pornography). Furthermore, the amount of MSM-specific sexually explicit online media portraying unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) has increased, raising concerns about HIV transmission among the actors and the encouragement of risky sex among consumers. The influence of sexually explicit online media on sexual risk-taking, at present largely understudied, could lead to new avenues for innovative HIV prevention strategies targeting at-risk MSM. Two manuscripts assessing the influence of sexually explicit online media on sexual risk-taking among MSM are presented: (1) a qualitative analysis of in-depth interview data from sixteen MSM in the Seattle area elucidating MSM's perceptions about the influence of sexually explicit online media on their own and other MSM's sexual behaviors and (2) a quantitative analysis of a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of sexual risk and sexually explicit online media consumption among 1,170 MSM in the U.S. who accessed a men-seeking-men website in the past year. These studies indicate that sexually explicit online media exposure likely has both positive (e.g., helping MSM become more comfortable with their sexuality) and negative (e.g., normalizing UAI, increasing the likelihood of engaging in UAI) impacts on the sexual health of MSM and may be useful in the development of novel HIV-prevention interventions.
- Psychology