Italian men suffer 'sexual anorexia' after Internet porn use
But condition is reversible, experts say04 March, 15:17
(ANSA) - Rome - More and more young Italian men are suffering from 'sexual anorexia' and are unable to get erections because of Internet porn use that started in their mid-teens, experts have said.
A survey of 28,000 users found that many Italian males started an "excessive consumption" of porn sites as early as 14 and after daily use in their early to mid-20s became inured to "even the most violent" images, said Carlo Foresta, head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS).
After developing their sexuality largely divorced from real-life relationships, Foresta said, the effects were gradual but devastating.
"It starts with lower reactions to porn sites, then there is a general drop in libido and in the end it becomes impossible to get an erection".
However, the condition is not irreversible.
"With proper assistance recovery is possible within a few months," Foresta said.
Other data presented at SIAMS's annual conference showed that 7.8 million of Italy's 27 million Web users, or 28.9%, frequented porn sites.
This placed Italy in fourth spot in Europe behind Germany with 34.5%, France with 33.6% and Spain with 32.4%.
Of the most frequent users, 73% were men.
Some people, 3.9%, start before they turn 13, rising to 5.9% in the 14-18 age bracket, 22.1% in the 25-34 bracket and 25.4% between the ages of 35 and 44.
This falls off to 20.1% between 45 and 54 and declines to 12% among the over-55s.