A condom
Men who watch condomless porn are less likely to use condoms themselvesGetty Images

Porn where actors use condoms could encourage men to practice safe sex themselves, a study has found. Researchers discovered men are more likely to use condoms when they watch porn where condoms are used. Conversely, they also found men who watch condomless sex are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour.

Pornographic actors are legally obligated to use condoms in Los Angeles to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections. Findings of the latest research, published in PLOS One, suggests this type of legislation could be used to promote safe sex to the public.

Researchers from Columbia University ran an online survey of 265 men that have sex with other men. All had watched porn in the last three months. They were asked to report if condoms had been used in the film. They were also asked about how many times they had had sex in the last three months and whether encounters involved condoms. Findings showed condoms in porn had a positive effect on safe sex.

"A man who viewed [porn] containing condoms 'most' of the time would be 38% more likely [to use condoms themselves] than a man who only viewed it 'some' of the time," Eric Schrimshaw, researcher working on the study, told IBTimes UK. He added that even watching porn with condoms 'some' of the time led to increased use compared to those who viewed mostly porn with no condoms.

In a statement, he said: "Men who viewed more pornography containing condom use engaged in fewer condomless anal sex encounters. Even those who took part in compulsive pornography viewing were not more likely to engage in condomless anal sex."

In contrast, 48% of participants said watching the condomless porn had led them to engage in riskier sexual behaviour themselves.

The researchers say their findings indicate the use of condoms in porn could have a positive impact sexual health. "Our finding that viewing pornography that contains condom use is associated with fewer condomless anal sex encounters suggests that pornography may have a potentially important protective function by encouraging men to use condoms," the study said.