Why Do Individuals Watch Pornographic Content? Influential Factors and Key Motivations for Watching Pornographic Content

İncekara H. İ., Bayram S., Ulaş E.

CURRENT APPROACHES IN PSYCHIATRY, vol.15, no.1, pp.452-463, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.18863/pgy.1346971
  • Journal Indexes: Academic Search Premier, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.452-463
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study is to examine why individuals who watch pornographic content watch pornography and to explore the motivations underlying their watching behavior. The research was conducted based on phenomenological design which is one of the qualitative research methods. The research was determined by having semi-structured interviews with 8 participants (6 males and 2 females) who engage in problematic consumption of pornographic content and by purposive sampling method. In the study, researchers used a Personal Information Form and a semi-structured interview form as data collection tools. Semi-structured interview questions were posed to participants through online video conferencing using the “Zoom” program, and the responses given by the participants were recorded. These recordings were analyzed using the content analysis method. The data analyses of individuals who watch pornographic content were grouped under six themes named (1) watching motivations, (2) watching outcomes, (3) perspectives on content, (4) effects of content, (5) knowledge and (6) different pursuits. The study results indicate that curiosity and information-seeking, traumatic family life, role models and lack of social skills, emotional avoidance, stress, and boredom constitute the motivations for watching pornographic content. The participants were observed to report experiencing intense feelings of guilt, shame, and regret after watching pornographic content, and to have difficulties with adaptation to the work, school, or social environment in daily life. The research is thought to contribute to both experts and individuals interested in the research on providing psychological support for problematic consumption of pornographic content in the matter of deciding on which information can be used.