INTRODUCTION: To date, multiple models of problematic pornography use have been proposed, but attempts to validate them have been scarce.
AIM: In our study, we aimed to evaluate the Pornography Problems due to Moral Incongruence model proposing that self-appraisals of pornography addiction stem from (i) general dysregulation, (ii) habits of use, and (iii) moral incongruence between internalized norms and behavior. We investigated whether the model can be used to adequately explain the self-perceptions of addiction to pornography (model 1) and a broader phenomenon of problematic pornography use (model 2).
METHODS: An online, nationally representative study was conducted on a sample of 1036 Polish adult participants, of whom, 880 declared a lifetime history of viewing pornography.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The outcomes were self-perceived pornography addiction, problematic pornography use, avoidant coping, frequency of pornography use, religiosity, moral disapproval of pornography, and related variables.
RESULTS: Our results indicated that avoidant coping (an indicator of general dysregulation), frequency of pornography use (indicator of habits of use), and the distress connected with incongruence between own sexual behavior and internalized norms, attitudes and beliefs positively contributed to self-perceived addiction (model 1) as well as problematic pornography use (model 2). This broadly confirms the basic shape of the PPMI model. There were, however, notable differences between the models. Moral incongruence related distress was only weakly related to self-perceived addiction (β = 0.15, P < .001), with a stronger relation for problematic pornography use (β = 0.31, P < .001). When controlling for other factors, religiosity weakly predicted problematic pornography use (β = 0.13, P < .001), but not self-perceived addiction to pornography (β = 0.03, P = .368). Frequency of pornography use was the strongest predictor of both self-perceived addiction (β = 0.52, P < .001) and problematic pornography use (β = 0.43, P < .001).
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Factors proposed within the PPMI model are distinctly relevant intervention targets, and they should be considered in the process of diagnosis and treatment.
STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: The presented study is the first to evaluate PPMI model. Its main limitation is that it has a cross-sectional design.
CONCLUSION: The PPMI model is a promising framework for investigating the factors related to self-perceived addiction and problematic pornography use. Despite the differences between the models and in the strength of specific predictors, (i) dysregulation, (ii) habits of use, and (iii) moral incongruence all uniquely contribute to self-perceived addiction and problematic pornography use. Lewczuk, K., Glica, A., Nowakowska, I., et al. Evaluating Pornography Problems Due to Moral Incongruence Model. J Sex Med 2020;17:300-311.
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Lewczuk, Karol; Glica, Agnieszka; Nowakowska, Iwona; Gola, Mateusz; and Grubbs, Joshua B., "Evaluating Pornography Problems Due to Moral Incongruence Model" (2020). Psychology Faculty Publications. 47.
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