No link between pornography use and erectile dysfunction
There appears to be no clear link between pornography use, even at problematic levels, and erectile dysfunction (ED), a recent US study has shown.
Researchers assessed the correlation between pornography use and ED in three cohorts of sexually active men: a cross-sectional cohort of undergraduates (n=147), an online sample of nationally representative men (n=297) and a 1-year 4-wave longitudinal cohort of adults (n=433 at baseline).
Across all three cohorts, researchers observed consistently high levels of erectile functioning, which remained stable over a 1-year period.
Moreover, there were consistent negative correlations between pornography use and erectile functioning, though these were small in magnitude (r, –0.20 to –0.30). Statistical significance was achieved only in the longitudinal cohort.
In the longitudinal analysis, researchers also observed potential associations between baseline pornography and self-reported problematic use with ED at waves 2–4. However, latent growth curve analyses showed that there were no correlations between any pornography-related variable and trajectories of ED over time.
“In general, among sexually active pornography-using men, serious erectile problems seem rare, a finding that runs counter to a popular narrative suggesting that pornography use is driving an epidemic of ED,” said researchers, emphasizing that there has been no conclusive evidence of increasing ED prevalence attributable to pornography use.
Overall, the present “findings suggest that men with self-reported problematic patterns of pornography use may be somewhat more likely to also be experiencing ED, and that this association may persist over time, although they are unlikely to be causally linked,” they added.