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Explicit Sex Materials Modestly Influence Sexual Behaviors

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of sexually explicit material (SEM) has a modest, but significant, effect on sexual behaviors, according to a study published online April 26 in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Gert Martin Hald, Ph.D., from the University of Copenhagen, and colleagues conducted an online cross-sectional survey of 4,600 young people aged 15 to 25 years from the Netherlands to investigate SEM consumption patterns and assess the strength of the correlation between SEM consumption and various sexual behaviors.

The researchers found that, in the past 12 months, 88 percent of men and 45 percent of women had consumed SEM. After accounting for other relevant variables there was a significant correlation between SEM consumption and a range of sexual behaviors. SEM consumption accounted for 0.3 to 4 percent of the total explained variance in sexual behaviors.

"Frequency of SEM consumption may account for only a modest proportion of variance in a broad range of sexual behaviors of young people," the authors write. "These novel findings provide further insights to address the substantial public and scientific concerns about possible effects of SEM consumption on at least some sexual behaviors, and contribute to better informing policy makers and program developers involved in sexuality education and sexual health promotion for young people about effects of SEM consumption on young people's sexual behaviors."

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