Those with higher cybersex addiction, in turn, found the pictures more exciting, felt more cravings, were also more sensitive to sexual excitation, had more problematic sexual behaviors, and had more psychological symptoms.
Most of the comparisons of interest involved the IPUs vs. Compared to the NIPUs, the IPUs were more likely to watch softcore photos and videos, but they were even more likely to visit hardcore photo and video websites.
They also were more likely to engage in riskier sexual behavior.
For example, they were more likely than NIPUs to agree, "My sexual thoughts and fantasies distract me from accomplishing important tasks," and "I feel like my sexual behavior is taking me in a direction I don’t want to go." They also agreed that they "do things sexually that are against my values and beliefs." Clearly, both men and women can become cybersex addicts.
In the experiment, the pictures served as cues, similar to those that also trigger other addictive behavior, such as alcohol-related cues that trigger alcohol use.
The bottom line is that whether male or female, people who use the Internet for sex are doing so because they find online depictions to be reinforcing.