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Internet Pornography and Loneliness: An Association?

NCJ Number
210033
Journal
Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: 2005 Pages: 19-44
Author(s)
Vincent Cyrus Yoder; Thomas B. Virden III; Kiran Amin
Date Published
2005
Annotation
This study examined whether there is a link between the use of Internet pornography and loneliness in the user.
Abstract
The study methodology consisted of 400 individuals (114 females and 286 males) who anonymously completed an online survey placed on 8 pre-existing Internet pornography Web sites. There was no charge for viewing the site, but participants were required to validate their ages to comply with legal requirements. The questionnaire consisted of 14 general questions along with the University of Los Angeles Loneliness Scale (UCLALS), which was developed to assess subjective feelings of loneliness or social isolation. In addition to demographic information, respondents indicated the time spent on Internet pornography as well as Internet nonpornographic use. The four primary independent variables were the minutes per day and the days per week spent on both Internet pornography and Internet nonpornography use. The score on the UCLALS was the dependent variable. A multiple regression equation was developed to predict the total UCLALS score from the predictor variables. The study found a significant association between loneliness and Internet pornography use (in days per week) as the main predictor of loneliness. It was unexpected, however, that the second highest predictor was the nonpornographic use (in minutes per day) of the Internet. Whether or not the nonpornographic use of the Internet consisted of work-related use, the amount of time spent on the Internet was in itself an activity that involved isolation from interaction with others, which may indicate a link between time spent in isolated activity and feelings of loneliness. The need for further research stems from the preliminary findings of this study. 4 figures, 35 references, and appended questionnaire, consent form, and a debrief form

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