Typologies of sexually explicit media use among MSM: an application of latent class analysis

Darin J. Erickson, Dylan L. Galos, Derek J. Smolenski, Alex Iantaffi, B. R Simon Rosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The viewing of sexually explicit media (SEM) is widespread, especially among men, and research linking SEM viewing and sexual behaviour has shown a variety of results, some positive (e.g., sexuality education) and some negative (e.g., poorer body image). These results might be due to limitations in measuring SEM consumption, particularly around typology. The goal of the current study was to examine potential patterns of SEM viewing activities. Using data from an online survey of men who have sex with men, we conducted latent class analyses of 15 SEM activities. Results suggested a three-class solution. The most prevalent class included over 60% of men and was characterized by viewing primarily safer sex or conventional behaviours. The second class included 32% of men and had a similar, albeit amplified, pattern of viewing. The final class included just 7% of men and was marked by high levels of viewing of all activities, including fetish and kink. Compared to the conventional or safer sex class, the other classes had lower internalized homonegativity, lower condom use self-efficacy and higher SEM consumption or dose. Implications for HIV prevention, sexuality research and the SEM industry are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-43
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Understanding Effects of Web-based Media on Virtual Populations was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health Center for Medical Health Research on AIDS [grant number 5R01MH087231]. All research was carried out with the approval of the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, study number 0906S68801.

Funding Information:
National Institutes of Health and the study was conducted under the oversight of the Institutional Review Board of the researchers’ home institution. Finally, a refuse to answer response option allowed participants to opt out of answering any item.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • latent class analysis
  • men who have sex with men
  • pornography
  • sexually explicit media


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