KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Pornography may seem a taboo topic to discuss in Malaysia.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for its consumption amongst emerging adults here.
A recent sexual health study published on Csiro Publishing found that over 81 per cent of Malaysians who participated in the survey admitted that they have a lifetime intentional exposure to pornography.
It said between 60 and 70 per cent of the respondents reported positive attitudes toward pornography content.
The study, titled Pornography consumption and sexual health among emerging adults from Malaysia: an observational study, examined the attitudes, motivations and behaviours related to pornography consumption and their association with sexual health.
According to the results, about half of the respondents said they typically consume pornography content more than once a week.
"After pornography consumption, people reported the highest feelings of sexual arousal and positivity, followed by guilt, disgust, embarrassment, empowerment and depression.
"Men were more likely to feel good or positive, empowered and depressed than women.”
Based on the study, the most endorsed reasons for pornography consumption among the respondents were "as an arousing visual aid during masturbation”, "to get sexually aroused” and "to learn about sex”.
Some of the common keywords used by the respondents when searching for pornography content included "Asian”, "sex”, "Japanese”, "big”, "lesbian” and "massage”.
The study also found that participants generally used keywords related to sexual behaviours (60.0 per cent), target characteristics (44.5 per cent), media or production characteristics (23.6 per cent) and context of interaction (18.6 per cent).
A small percentage (3.6 per cent) used keywords that described tools such as sex toys, vibrators and strap-ons.
The study, conducted by Pei Hwa Goh, Li Ann Phuah and Yi Hwa Low, argued that the findings revealed that most men and women have consumed pornography intentionally, hold positive attitudes toward pornography consumption and were most likely to consume pornography for sexual gratification.
The researchers noted that with the expansion of the internet and globalisation, pornography had become more accessible and sexual content has become more prevalent in mainstream media.
"Indeed, Malaysians remain active consumers of pornography despite its ban in the country.
"Thus, rather than enforcing a blanket ban on pornography, which is ineffective and may potentially impede sexual health maintenance, young Malaysians need to be provided easy access to credible knowledge to help them make informed decisions about their sexual health.”
The survey polled 319 Malaysians aged 18 to 30, using a cross-sectional survey that was conducted online between May and October 2020.