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Cyber-sex surfers suffer from porn addiction

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Looking at too much sex on the Web won't just make you go blind, it's addictive and can damage your mental health, according to Californian academics. And it's not particularly arousing either, they claim. Surfers who regularly dip into the Internet in search of porno material risk psychological damage through addiction. They are most at risk from sexually-compulsive behaviour, according to the study from Stanford University and the San Jose Marital and Sexuality Center in California. The report was covered in that most upright of organs, the Daily Mail today. The research, which was carried out online, revealed that around eight per cent of those who regularly used the Internet spent at least 11 hours a week looking for naughty pics and vids -– sometimes at work. 9177 anonymous replies flooded in for the 59-question document, printed in the American Psychological Association journal, Psychology: Research and Practice. The majority were from men in relationships, half of whom confessed to regularly looking porn for over the Web. Six per cent said this behaviour went on in the office as well as at home. Respondents found penetrating the Internet easier than reaching for top shelf mags -– though all said they were over 18 and legally entitled to buy their porn in the shops. Experts said the sheer volume of such material on the Web was tempting vulnerable people. Up to eight per cent of the sex searchers were at risk from "sex addiction", higher than the estimated five per cent in the general population. One researcher commented: "Most people appear to use sexual material on the Internet as a source of entertainment more than for sexual release, and said that online experiences were satisfying but not particularly arousing." "Sex" is still the most frequently looked up word by those searching for sites on the Internet. It can even slip in and out of filter engines, including those claiming to be family-friendly. ®

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