By Andrew M. Potts

University of Sydney researchers are embarking on a first-of-its-kind study into how addiction to internet pornography may be affecting people’s work, finances and relationships.

Dr Gomathi Sitharthan, the researcher behind the study and deputy coordinator of Sydney University’s Graduate Program in Sexual Health, said about 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women access pornography over the internet.

Sitharthan said that in extreme cases, viewing online pornography could become such a preoccupation that some people ended up watching it for nearly their entire waking day, with serious impacts on relationships, work, studies and finance.

“In recent years, we have seen increasing numbers of clients coming to counselling practices with online porn addictions. They come from all walks of life: students, teachers, lawyers, health practitioners and priests,” Sitharthan said.

“Often they will come to counselling with another problem, and the underlying problem of addiction to internet porn may come out after two or three sessions. The sensitive nature of this issue means many people find it very hard to talk about.”

Sitharthan said internet porn addiction was a growing problem due to its easy accessibility in the comfort of people’s homes, but due to a lack of research there were limited treatment options for now.

Researchers hope the study will further understanding of problematic use of internet porn, and how to best help people overcome it.

Members of the public are invited to take part in the survey which takes around half an hour to complete online.
The survey is completely anonymous, with no questions that could identify interviewees asked at any time.
Researchers hope to complete the study and release their results before the end of the year.

info: The survey can be accessed through the University of Sydney Graduate Program in Sexual Health’s home page www. sydney.edu.au/health_sciences/sexual_health under current research, or at www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22A2HEFBZDA the survey which takes around half an hour to complete online.
The survey is completely anonymous, with no questions that could identify interviewees asked at any time.
Researchers hope to complete the study and release their results before the end of the year.

info: The survey can be accessed through the University of Sydney Graduate Program in Sexual Health’s home page www. sydney.edu.au/health_sciences/sexual_health under current research, or at www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22A2HEFBZDA

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