Body Image, Depression, and Self-Perceived Pornography Addiction in Italian Gay and Bisexual Men: The Mediating Role of Relationship Satisfaction

Massimiliano Sommantico, Francesca Gioia, Valentina Boursier, Ilaria Iorio, Santa Parrello


The international literature has shown that self-perceived problematic pornography use is often related to lower levels of relationship satisfaction, as well as to higher levels of negative body image and depression. In this study, 158 Italian gay (65.8%) and bisexual (34.2%) men reported on their body image, Internet pornography use, and indicators of their individual and relational well-being. We hypothesized that individuals who report higher levels of relationship dissatisfaction, negative body image, and with higher self-perceived problematic pornography use would also present higher levels of depression. As predicted, relationship satisfaction was inversely related to male body image, self-perceived problematic pornography use, and depression. We also hypothesized the direct and indirect effects of depression on self-perceived problematic pornography use, through the mediating variable of relationship satisfaction. As predicted, depression, via relationship satisfaction, was related to self-perceived problematic pornography use. Implications for future research and policies are discussed.


Self-perceived problematic pornography use; Male body image; Depression; Relationship satisfaction; Gay/bisexual men.

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