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Taking Another Look at the Pornography Problems Due to Moral Incongruence Model: Does Gender Play a Role?

The pornography problems due to moral incongruence (PPMI) model is a premier framework for understanding problematic pornography use (PPU). However, past studies have generally examined men or entered gender as a covariate in primary analyses. Such approaches mask between-gender differences. Additionally, dysregulation constructs are also thought to be relevant to PPU, yet it is unclear the degree to which they incrementally predict PPU beyond moral incongruence constructs in non-pathological populations. We addressed these gaps by gathering a large sample of college students (n = 295 men, n = 838 women). Analyses with pornography users (n = 251 men, n = 407 women) were consistent with the PPMI model, adjusted for pornography use frequency. Findings did not change when dysregulation constructs of impulsivity and emotional resilience were added to the model. No paths significantly differed between genders. Altogether, among college student pornography users, religiosity was strongly positively correlated with moral disapproval (β = .65 men, β = .62 women), moral disapproval was moderately positively correlated with PPU (β = .41 men, β = .29 women), religiosity was initially moderately positively correlated with PPU (r = .21 men, r = .22 women), but became non-significant in the full model (β = - .21 men, β = - .04 women), and indirect effects of religiosity to PPU through moral disapproval were significant (indirect β = .27 men, β = .18 women). None of the dysregulation constructs significantly predicted PPU. The full model accounted for 23-22% of the PPU variance in men and women, respectively. Implications, future directions, and limitations are discussed.

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