Academic & Concentration Impacts

Journal Articles



Early Adolescent Boys’ Exposure to Internet Pornography: Relationships to Pubertal Timing, Sensation Seeking, and Academic Performance (2014)

ABSTRACT: Research has demonstrated that adolescents regularly use Internet pornography. This two-wave panel study aimed to test an integrative model in early adolescent boys (Mage = 14.10; N = 325) that (a) explains their exposure to Internet pornography by looking at relationships with pubertal timing and sensation seeking, and (b) explores the potential consequence of their exposure to Internet pornography for their academic performance. An integrative path model indicated that pubertal timing and sensation seeking predicted the use of Internet pornography. Boys with an advanced pubertal stage and boys high in sensation seeking more frequently used Internet pornography. Moreover, an increased use of Internet pornography decreased boys’ academic performance 6 months later. The discussion focuses on the consequences of this integrative model for future research on Internet pornography.

The effect of pornography use on the academic performance of college students (2018)

The results showed that the more frequently college students consumed pornography, the less likely they were to expend their efforts on their school work. The results also suggested that the more frequently college students consumed pornography, the lower their grade point averages are likely to be. Additionally, the results showed that the more frequently college students consumed pornography, the more likely they were to experience functional and behavioral problems, such as control difficulties, arising from pornography consumption. From a mental health perspective, the findings of this study reveal the need for public health stakeholders and policy makers to consider the effect that pornography consumption has on the academic performance of college students.

Tewogbola, P. (2018). The effect of pornography use on the academic performance of college students (Order No. 13421287). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2172401706)

Pornographic Picture Processing Interferes with Working Memory Performance (2013)

ABSTRACT: Some individuals report problems during and after Internet sex engagement, such as missing sleep and forgetting appointments, which are associated with negative life consequences. One mechanism potentially leading to these kinds of problems is that sexual arousal during Internet sex might interfere with working memory (WM) capacity, resulting in a neglect of relevant environmental information and therefore disadvantageous decision making. In this study, 28 healthy individuals performed 4 experimental manipulations of a pictorial 4-back WM task with neutral, negative, positive, or pornographic stimuli. Participants also rated 100 pornographic pictures with respect to sexual arousal and indicated masturbation urges previous to and following pornographic picture presentation. Results revealed worse WM performance in the pornographic picture condition of the 4-back task compared with the three remaining picture conditions. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis indicated an explanation of variance of the sensitivity in the pornographic picture condition by the subjective rating of the pornographic pictures as well as by a moderation effect of masturbation urges. Results contribute to the view that indicators of sexual arousal due to pornographic picture processing interfere with WM performance. Findings are discussed with respect to Internet sex addiction because WM interference by addiction-related cues is well known from substance dependencies.

Sexual Picture Processing Interferes with Decision-Making Under Ambiguity (2013) 
Study found that viewing pornographic imagery interfered with decision making during a standardized cognitive test. This suggests porn use might affect executive functioning, which is a set of mental skills that help with meeting goals. These skills are controlled by an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex.

ABSTRACT: Many people watch sexually arousing material on the Internet in order to receive sexual arousal and gratification. When browsing for sexual stimuli, individuals have to make several decisions, all possibly leading to positive or negative consequences. Decision-making research has shown that decisions under ambiguity are influenced by consequences received following earlier decisions. Sexual arousal might interfere with the decision-making process and should therefore lead to disadvantageous decision-making in the long run. In the current study, 82 heterosexual, male participants watched sexual pictures, rated them with respect to sexual arousal, and were asked to indicate their current level of sexual arousal before and following the sexual picture presentation. Afterwards, subjects performed one of two modified versions of the Iowa Gambling Task in which sexual pictures were displayed on the advantageous and neutral pictures on the disadvantageous card decks or vice versa (n = 41/n = 41). Results demonstrated an increase of sexual arousal following the sexual picture presentation. Decision-making performance was worse when sexual pictures were associated with disadvantageous card decks compared to performance when the sexual pictures were linked to the advantageous decks. Subjective sexual arousal moderated the relationship between task condition and decision-making performance. This study emphasized that sexual arousal interfered with decision-making, which may explain why some individuals experience negative consequences in the context of cybersex use.

Problematic sexual behavior in young adults: Associations across clinical, behavioral, and neurocognitive variables (2016) 
EXCERPTS: One notable result from this analysis is that PSB shows significant associations with a number of deleterious clinical factors, including lower self-esteem, decreased quality of life, elevated BMI, and higher comorbidity rates for several disorders. A potential explanation for this association is that PSB is the underlying problem from which these other problems extend. Previous research on similar populations has noted that features such as shame are common amongst patients struggling with sexual behaviors (Dhuffar and Griffiths, 2014; Reid et al., 2014). These findings are consistent with the present data, as it is probable that individuals who feel socially isolated and stigmatized may be more likely to endorse lower self-esteem and quality of life, as these features may be intertwined with interpersonal relationships. Thus, it is possible that PSB gives rise to a host of secondary problems, ranging from alcohol dependence and depression to deteriorations in quality of life and self-esteem. This characterization would indicate it may be possible to ameliorate secondary symptoms such as depression and alcohol use by addressing problems with PSB directly during treatment.

Frequency and Duration of Use, Craving and Negative Emotions in Problematic Online Sexual Activities (2019) 
EXCERPTS: In a sample of over 1,000 Chinese college students, we tested a model that pornography craving would operate through quantity and frequency measures of usage of Online Sexual Activities (OSAs) to lead to problematic use of OSAs, and this then would lead to negative academic emotions. Our model was largely supported.

Results indicated that higher pornography craving, greater quantity and frequency of use of OSAs, and more negative academic emotions were associated with problematic OSAs. The results resonate with those of previous studies reporting a high level of pornography craving in association with other negative health measures (Drummond, Litten, Lowman, & Hunt, 2000; Kraus & Rosenberg, 2014). The findings suggest a pathway by which craving may lead to increased use of OSAs and subsequently more problems with OSAs, which then may lead to other concerns like negative academic emotions.

Impaired Recent Verbal Memory in Pornography-Addicted Juvenile Subjects (2019) 
EXCERPTS: This study aimed to appraise the differences in memory capabilities between pornography-addicted and nonaddicted juveniles. Our results showed diminishing memory capability on pornography addiction. Working memory is known to have an important role in maintaining goal-oriented behavior; therefore, our findings suggested that pornography-addicted juveniles may have problem to do so. Impaired memory in pornography addiction was not related to attention problem. 


Your Brain on Porn

Pornography and Adolescents

Studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes

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