Online Pornography

Online Pornography: An Epidemic to the Students

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In Bangladesh, over 1,800 institutions provide education to approximately 800,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Privately owned institutions have a fundamental role in providing tertiary education in Bangladesh, and 38% of all university students are enrolled at a privately owned university. Tertiary educational institutions are pioneers of adopting the latest ICT regardless of their geographic location. Private and public universities in Bangladesh are at the forefront of the country providing free internet access to its students. Furthermore, the development of infrastructures due to economic growth has increased the number of internet users across Bangladesh. For example, internet subscriptions grew from 31,140,804 in 2012 to 62 million in 2016, and it is estimated that the majority of these internet subscribers are students. As a result of their education, university students are more technologically inclined, particularly in developing countries. Similar to other nations, the increased access to the internet also has increased access to online pornography in Bangladesh. For example, Google search statistics indicate that search terms “porn” were used 800,000 times in Bangladesh in 2016.

However, no significant studies have investigated the relationship between online pornography addiction and normal behavioral patterns among university students, and currently, no studies are available from developing countries such as Bangladesh. Due to disparities such as infrastructure, culture, religion, and income, the generalizability of the findings of the aforementioned studies is restricted and context-specific. With increased access to the internet, rising consumption of online pornography, and the growing number of university students, it is imperative to investigate the relationship between online pornography consumption and behavioral patterns among undergraduate students in Bangladesh. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe the frequency of online pornography consumption from demographic, socio-behavioral perspectives, and identify associations between addiction to online pornography and behavioral pattern.

Theoretical Background

The prevalence of pornography has been on the rise for several decades and the effects are more prominent every day due to the accessibility, affordability, and lack of accountability associated with pornography use. It is common knowledge that pornography has been around for many years and that use increased as pornography has become more accessible. The casual attitude towards pornography and its unrestricted use is problematic. Even though it seems to have become the social norm, pornography use can have catastrophic consequences in social situations and dramatically impact an individual’s behavior and thoughts. Such aggression could have a major impact on our society and how individuals function with that society. Pornography may have such an overreaching grasp that it leads to many violent crimes such as rape and kidnapping. The abundance of pornography in our culture has created desensitization to it and it needs to be changed. Pornography is a harmful and addictive substance to those who use it, especially to youth and our culture. Thy psychological community needs to take action to prevent youth from viewing this media.

Problem Statement

The empirical research on pornography reviewed thus far demonstrates that Internet pornography may have harmful effects on the students of Dhaka University. For many students, viewing pornography is acceptable. This study was completed with students attending from various departments of the university. There is a particular population of students for whom viewing Internet pornography is considered unacceptable and immoral by the colleges they attend and by the religious faith tradition they follow.

Research Objectives

  • To increase awareness of the prevalence of sexual messages.
  • To recognize the pervasiveness of pornography.
  • To identify roof issues of pornography.
  • To provide resources and solutions.

Justification of the Study

This study was significant for several reasons. The first reason was to study a population within higher education that has received very little empirical attention. No research studies could be found that focused on Internet pornography access among male students attending Dhaka University. The second reason this study was significant was to establish empirical data that could serve as a foundation for helpful support. The two studies completed with students attending Evangelical Christian colleges demonstrate that Internet pornography is accessed. More empirical guidance was needed to help leaders within the University of Dhaka who want to understand the extent of the problem as a foundation for developing strategies to help students having difficulty controlling their Internet pornography behavior and experiencing guilty feelings in response.


In total, 50 undergraduate students at the University of  Dhaka were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The questions included socio-demographic characteristics, online-based pornography consumption habits, and socio-behavioral characteristics. Chi-square test and binary logistic regression analysis were performed to examine correlations between online pornography addiction and socio-behavioral factors such as socializing habits, nature of interactions, university attendance and study focus, sleeping habits, and consumption of main meals.

Data source

A stratified sampling strategy with a simple random sampling technique was used, and each department was considered as a primary sampling unit (PSU). The study participants were from various departments in this study.


Students were selected from each PSU (i.e., department) using a random sampling technique. The following formula was used for calculating the sample size from each PSU:

Where n = required sample size, N = population size (students from each department), d = marginal error. The formula provided that the significant sample size was 50 for this study. Therefore, 50 students were randomly selected from each PSU.

Data Analysis Plan

All the face-to-face interviews were conducted by one of the authors using a structured questionnaire. Data pertaining to the consumption of internet pornography for at least an hour/once a month were collected using pre-coded open-ended questions. This study included information relating to several socio-behavioral characteristics of the participants. The socio-behavioral characteristics included socializing with friends, late-night socializing with friends, arguing/fighting with friends, fighting with friends due to affair/relationship, and fooling around with friends (e.g. face to face with someone or using social media). Some more factors included regular university attendance, punctuality to class, focus on studying, going to bed on time, consuming three meals a day, and participating in the social programs.

Limitations of the Study

Students of Dhaka University have been asked to reflect back on their first exposure to online pornography and to judge its verisimilitude. They have been asked to think about how they felt about pornography initially and currently and what they think that they may have taken from it/ feel about it overall. It will be great if the students genuinely seem to have answered honestly and openly about their feelings and experiences. However, there was no follow-up over time and there is no way to assess either, whether their feelings or experiences change, nor how they might change in the future. Also, due to time constraints, it was not possible to reach all students. Whatever, it was possible that they might have been unwilling to disclose activity in response to some of the more intrusive questions asked. These limitations are acknowledged to help maintain a cautionary note in drawing inferences from this research report.

Presentation and Analysis of Empirical Data


Figure 1

Association between addiction online pornography and socio-demographic factors.

                                                                Watching pornography

Variables n (%) no yes










Place of residence Urban












Type of family













Monthly Family






























Read Newspaper?
















Watch Television

















The majority of the study participants were male students. More than 57 percent of male students consumed online pornography compared to their female counterparts. Those students who are addicted to watching porn, most of them don’t read newspapers & watch television regularly.

Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4

In figure 2, it is seen that 42 percent of students said that they have watched pornography, 46% of students said that they didn’t watch & 12% of students didn’t give an answer.

In Figures 3 & 4, the comparison between male & female students in watching pornography is seen. More male students watched pornography than their female counterparts.


This is the first study to describe the internet pornography consumption and associated socio-behavioral factors of students attending a public university in Bangladesh. Marjory of the study participants was aged between 21 and 25 years and were males. Bangladeshi male students consume more pornographic materials than females.

The relationship between behavioral patterns and consumption of online pornography among adults was not well investigated. However, a small, but growing, body of research indicates that adolescents and adults are increasingly struggling with compulsive internet use for erotic materials, which impact their behavior patterns. For example, delinquent behaviors (e.g., police contact, physically assaulting another person, purposefully damaging property, and stealing property), problematic behaviors (e.g., obsession, compulsion, and consequences), and sexual behaviors related to internet pornography and cybersex were reported in association with compulsive internet use. The findings from the current study indicated that those students who frequently argue/fight with their friends are more likely to consume pornography online. It is possible that the partners might feel betrayed if their loved ones need to consume erotic material online to be sexually satisfied. Frequent fighting with friends is likely to be related to obsession or compulsion of pornographic addiction. Due to the structural nature of the interviews, the reasons/triggers for the fights/arguments were not examined. Moreover, this is a limitation of this study. This study found that those students who organized gathering with friends or had late-night gatherings with friends are more likely to watch online pornography. The findings can be explained by using up time for sharing and watching pornography. Owing to the structure of the survey interviews, the reasons for these were not examined. Further qualitative studies are needed to fully explore the nature of these gatherings. Typically, university students are highly sociable were the significant aspect of academic experience involved participating in social activities.
Difficulty concentration on studies and inability to go to bed on time might also be related to the addictive nature of pornographic materials. Pornography is an expression of fantasies that can rewire pleasure centers of the brain and alter structures and functions.  It has been hypothesized that pornography can stimulate the brain’s reward system intensively, which can bring about significant changes in the brain similar to what can be seen in drug addictions.
The regression analysis showed that addiction to online pornography had a significantly adverse effect on social behaviors such as fooling around with friends and sleeping in time. Studies that have revealed associations between behavioral patterns and addiction to online pornography among university students based on regression analysis are not well documented. Thus, the findings cannot be compared.


The study provides the first overview of online pornography consumption. A significant proportion of male students consumed erotic materials online than females. Students who did not go to bed emerged to consume online pornography. Such behaviors can have negative impacts on studies education outcomes as well as wider social and moral impacts for students and the society as a whole. In this digital era, technology has invaded every aspect of our lives, with increasing access to the internet. Therefore, it is imperative to provide specifically designed and culturally appropriate pornography addiction education programs to educate students about the adverse effects of pornography. Furthermore, targeted treatment programs for sexual addiction, sexual abuse, and pornography abuse are needed to support the individuals who are addicted to pornography. Further research is needed to fully explore the complex nature of online pornographic consumption and associated factors. Future studies should consider a larger nationally representative sample.

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