The Internet Sex Screening Test: Selected demographic variables were compared, as well as seven empirically derived subscales on the ISST. Introduction Harmless electrons pass through cables to create an infrastructure of connections known as the Internet. Developed by the US Department of Defense as a failsafe communication method in case of nuclear disaster, the Internet has evolved into one of the most important technological advances of our century.
The result of this interpretation may be a photograph, email correspondence, or the results of a research project.
It may also be a cybersex chat room, hard core pornographic images, or illicit sexual photographs of children. The Internet is a microcosm of the world in which we live. As in the real world, some places are safer to visit than others. Some websites provide useful knowledge and life saving information, while others are deceptive and deviant. Regardless of whether the Correspondence to: This article focuses on the use of the Internet Sex Screening Test ISST; Delmonico, to assess individuals on their level of sexual compulsivity and various behaviours on the Internet.
The purpose of this article is to compare individuals who are sexually compulsive with their non-compulsive counterpart on selected demographic characteristics and online sexual activities through the use of the Internet Sex Screening Test ISST.
Literature review Survey research of online sexual behaviour Cooper et al. Based on this research, Cooper et al. This study takes the current research one step further by measuring both general sexual compulsivity and cybersex compulsivity concurrently with the use of two empirically derived instruments.
The Internet Sex Screening Test ISST; Delmonico, has been used as a self- administered, screening instrument to help individuals determine if their Internet sexual behaviour has become clinically problematic. These three areas are: The Internet Sex Screening Test utilized these three basic criteria to develop questions that could help assess an individual who has crossed into compulsive online sexual behaviour.
The nine items used for the abbreviated scale have been shown to differentiate sexual compulsives from non- compulsives in clinical samples Carnes, personal communication, May 20, To date, online sex research has utilized self-report surveys to determine who engages in Internet sexual activity, what they do while online, and the impact of their online behaviour.
Based on this survey research and anecdotal case examples, various screening instruments have been developed to help detect online sexual problems Weiss, ; Young, These instruments may be clinically useful; however, they have not yet been psychometrically analysed nor empirically validated. Although the focus of this article is not on the psychometric properties of the ISST, reliability analyses were performed and a factor analysis was used to empirically establish the subscales that are analysed in this study.
The administration of these two-measures, allowed for a two- dimensional comparison that was not previously available. In addition, at the time of the survey by Cooper et al. Since that time, multiple theories have emerged about individuals The Internet Sex Screening Test who use Internet sex. This study examined one segment of the model proposed by Carnes et al.
The model suggested that there are three basic types of problematic users: Although other models have been proposed there are striking similarities in all the various characterizations of the user categories. However, when they discover cybersex they almost immediately become compulsive with their online sexual behaviour. This group has learned to establish internal and external controls that help prevent inappropriate sexual behaviour. The discovery of online sexual behaviour seems to remove some of these pre-established controls, and allows the person to experience their sexual behaviour to the point that it becomes problematic or compulsive.
Individuals in this group have struggled with their sexual behaviour their entire lives and Internet sex becomes an extension of an already existing pattern of compulsive sexual behaviour.
They may have been in therapy for sexual problems, or have had legal, educational, or relational consequences as a result of their GSC.
Sexual Addiction Screening Test. Out of those that are available, even less were empirically derived or have supporting reliability and validity data.
The SAST has limited reliability and validity research available; however, the 25 items on the SAST were empirically created based on a factor analysis, lending some content and construct validity. In addition, the SAST was found to differentiate between white, male, sexual compulsives, and their non-sexually compulsive counterparts.
The SAST-A was based on an empirically derived instrument and was analysed for its own psychometric properties within this study. Early research reported that males and females engaged in different forms of online sexual behaviours Cooper et al.
Other cybersex users enjoy the social interaction associated with the online sex e. These isolating and social forms of cybersex are analysed in the study through the use of two subscales on the Internet Sex Screening Test: Other online behaviours Two other variables explored in this study were the use of cybersex in the workplace and the viewing of illegal material online.
These variables are important factors that illustrate the societal relevance of studying cybersex behaviour. Non-home use of the Internet. This study also compared sexual compulsives and non- sexual compulsives on their use of the Internet in a workplace setting.
A number of authors have explored the implications of cybersex in the workplace Cooper et al. Aside from lost productivity companies may face certain legal liabilities for the behaviours in which their employees engage while on company time. This study compares individuals with general sexual compulsivity GSC to non-sexual compul- sives on their reported use of the computer at work for cybersex behaviours. The use of computers for illegal sexual behaviour is splashed on the headlines of newspapers across the country on a daily basis.
Deirmenjian explored cyber-stalking behaviour, while Freeman-Longo studied the effects of Internet sexuality on children and adolescents. This study examined whether those with general sexual compulsivity GSC differed from non-sexual compulsives on their reporting of illegal behaviour on the Internet.
Method A questionnaire about demographic and internet usage information and two rating scales were administered to participants via a web form delivered on the Internet. Internet usage questions included the number of years using the Internet, hours spent online per week, and hours spent online for Internet sex per week.
Table I provides a listing of the seven subscales and the corresponding items that factored onto that subscale. Second, Online Sexual Behaviour-Social OSB-S , a measure of the tendency to engage in interpersonal interactions with others during online sexual behaviour e. Miller scales because they measured important aspects related to the theory of OSB. The second single item scale measured the tendency to view illegal sexual material on the Internet and was entitled Accessing Illegal Sexual Material.
The remaining items administered as part of the ISST were not considered for analysis. The nine items used for the abbreviated scale were shown to differentiate general sexual compulsives from non-compulsives in clinical samples Carnes, personal communication, May Principal axis factor analysis using the eigenvalue greater than one criteria for extraction was conducted on the SAST-A with the current sample.
I have made promises to myself to stop using the Internet for sexual purposes. I sometimes use cybersex as a reward for accomplishing something e. When I am unable to access sexual information online, I feel anxious, angry, or disappointed. I have punished myself when I use the Internet for sexual purposes e.
I believe I am an Internet sex addict. Online Sexual Behaviour - Social I have participated in sexually related chats. I have a sexualized username or nickname that I use on the Internet.
I have met face to face with someone I met online for romantic purposes. I use sexual humour and innuendo with others while online. Online Sexual Behaviour - Isolated I have searched for sexual material through an Internet search tool.
I have masturbated while on the Internet. I have tried to hide what is on my computer or monitor so others cannot see it. I have stayed up after midnight to access sexual material online. Online Sexual Spending I have joined sexual sites to gain access to online sexual material. I have purchased sexual products online. I have spent more money for online sexual material than I planned. Interest in Online Sexual Behaviour I have some sexual sites bookmarked. I spend more than 5 hours per week using my computer for sexual pursuits.
Participants visiting the SexHelp web site http: Data collection over the period of about two years, resulted in a total of 16 participants. Thirty-nine participants were eliminated due to missing data. Ninety-six duplicate cases were deleted.
Participants reporting their age as less than 18 or greater than 89 were also eliminated. For each gender group, those with scores above the 75th percentile were considered sexual compulsives and those with scores below the 25th percentile were considered non-sexual compulsives controls.
Data were then analysed to identify multivariate outliers using Mahalanobis Distance. Higher scores indicate more problematic behaviour. One-way between-subjects multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA was performed on ten dependent variables age, hours online, hours of viewing sexual material online, online sexual compulsivity, online sexual behaviour-social, online sexual behaviour-isolated, online sexual spending, interest in online sexual material, nonhome computer use for online sexual behaviour, and accessing illegal sexual material separately for the male and the female groups.
The independent variables were two levels of general sex compulsivity: Univariate results are reported in the following groups of dependent variables: Miller online sexual behaviour, non-home computer use for online sexual behaviour, and accessing illegal sexual material.
Although MANOVA is robust to unequal sample sizes, for the present study the sample sizes are so different for males and females it was determined that separate MANOVAs would be conducted for each gender group. As indicated above, Mahalanobis Distances were analysed and multivariate outliers were removed from the sample. Evaluation of the assumptions of normality, linearity, homogeneity of variance- covariance matrices, and multi-collinearity were met satisfactorily. Effect sizes are reported in partial eta squared terms.