(Gopal Krishna / Pixahive https://bit.ly/3LEsKuP)
British psychologists of the University of Limerick have explored the relationship between boredom, a sense of the meaninglessness of existence, and porn consumption.
The team led vy Andrew Moynihan concluded that pornography is one way to escape from the unpleasant emotions associated with the inability to clearly define the purpose of life.
The study was the results of a survey of 179 people aged 18 to 66.
Previous research cites several reasons for porn consumption. For example, people use porn to increase attraction and arousal before or during intercourse
Others turn to porn due to a lack of relationships or the ability to make emotional connections.
Also, viewing pornography for the purpose of obtaining sexual pleasure is one of the ways to relieve stress.
So, in countries where quarantine restrictions were introduced during the pandemic, an increase in Internet requests for porn content was noted.
It also supports the hypothesis that pornography consumption correlates with boredom.
Boredom is defined as a negative emotion, whose main characteristic is the inability to focus and hold attention.
A person in this constant state cannot be interested in anything, as he/she is not involved in his activities.
This is a symptom of a deeper problem: the loss of the meaning of life or the inability to clearly define it.
As a result, a person may experience irritability, anxiety, or impulsivity in order to escape from unpleasant emotions.
Now, Moynihan’s team has explored the link between pornography, boredom, and lack of meaning in life.
Last year, the same group of researchers published a paper on how promiscuity among hetero- and homosexual men correlates with boredom.
This year, the team continued to explore the topic of boredom by interviewing 179 people: 104 men and 75 women.
The group consisted of:
- 143 heterosexuals
- 21 bisexuals
- 11 homosexuals
- 1 asexual and
- 3 people who chose not to report their sexual preferences.
All participants had the same biological sex as gender.
The initial requirement for participation in the study was the consumption of porn content.
Subjects were asked to rate their frequency of porn use on a scale where
- never = 0
- rarely = 1
- sometimes = 2
- often = 3
- always = 4
Then the participants rated the statement “There is no clear purpose in my life”, where 1 is absolutely false, and 7 is absolutely true.
Boredom was assessed through the statement “Most often it is difficult for me to find an interesting activity for myself”, where 1 is completely disagree, and 7 is completely agree.
After that, the participamts filled a questionnaire about the consumption of pornography from one of the previous studies.
Three scales were combined into one: participants were required to confirm or disprove the statements:
- "Pornography helps me distract from life's difficulties"
- "I watch porn to diversify my life"
- "I watch porn to get turned on"
Then, the subjects had to rate themselves from 1 to 5, where 1 is never, 5 is always.
According to the survey, the feeling of boredom was positively correlated with:
- the meaninglessness of existence,
- frequency of porn viewing
- avoidance of negative emotions
- stimulation of arousal
- sexual pleasure.
The team finally analyzed the associations between these variables and found that there was an indirect relationship between the sense of meaninglessness of life and the frequency of porn consumption.
So, porn serves as one of the ways to avoid negative emotions associated with the loss or inability to determine the meaning of life for oneself.
This deep conflict manifests itself in the form of boredom.
- Personality and Individual Differences: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886922003075#bb0140
- PsyPost: https://www.psypost.org/2022/09/pornography-might-serve-as-a-means-of-existential-escape-among-those-suffering-from-boredom-63907
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