Women as easily addicted to online porn as men

11 August 2014 - 15:34 By Keith Perry
Image: Sunday Times

Women are just as susceptible as men to becoming addicted to online pornography, according to new research.

Previous research had suggested that as many as 17% of women say they are addicted to online porn.

Another study showed that the heavy use of pornography could make some women "hypersexual", a personality disorder that involves spending excessive time engaged in sexual fantasies and urges, or in planning for and engaging in sexual behaviour.

Scientists discovered that behavioural patterns in hypersexual women resembled those previously observed in men with the same problem, including pornography dependence, excessive masturbation and promiscuity.

Pornography generates more internet traffic than anything else and has been dubbed the "new cocaine".

In the study, researchers investigated sex addiction among heterosexual women who regularly looked at pornography on the internet, reports the scientific journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.

Professor Matthias Brand of Duisburg-Essen University in Germany and his colleagues explored the role of anticipating and receiving sexual gratification in the development of cybersex addiction.

The study involved 102 young women, half of whom were internet porn users and the others not, and assessed their addiction to sex. An experiment also analysed their levels of arousal when shown 100 pornographic pictures, as well as their cravings for sex.

"Results indicated that internet porn users rated pornographic pictures as more arousing and reported greater craving due to pornographic picture presentation compared with non-users," said Brand.

"Moreover, craving, sexual arousal rating of pictures, sensitivity to sexual excitation, problematic sexual behaviour and severity of psychological symptoms predicted tendencies towards cybersex addiction in internet porn users."

Factors such as being in a relationship, the number of sexual contacts and their satisfaction with them, and the use of interactive cybersex were not associated with the condition.

"These results are in line with those reported for heterosexual males in previous studies," said Brand.

The journal's editor, Dr Brenda Wiederhold, said: "The authors found cybersex addiction among heterosexual female users is similar to that of heterosexual males."

Wiederhold, who works at the Virtual Reality Medical Institute in Brussels, said although the study population was limited to individuals under 30, it helped to understand cybersex addiction in females. - ©The Daily Telegraph, London