The more frequently men use prostitutes, the more likely they are to be sexually aggressive towards other women, according to new research.

Extensive interviews with 110 men between the ages of 18 and 77 who had paid for sex found that prostitution adversely affected their behaviour towards other women, and one in 10 said they would go as far as committing rape if they were not caught.

The Glasgow-based Scottish Women's Group, which campaigns to protect women and children, used newspaper adverts to get in touch with "punters" and paid them £20 each to be interviewed.

The men were questioned about the circumstances in which they bought sex, their personal relationships, views about women in the sex trade and what they thought were the most effective punishments.

The results will form part of an international study, including research into male users in India, Spain and the US.

Almost half of the men were currently in a relationship with a wife or girlfriend and three-quarters of them had first bought sex by the age of 25.

The report states: "54% of the men who frequently used women in prostitution had committed sexually aggressive acts against non-prostitute partners compared to 30% of the less frequent users.

"The more frequently a punter used women in prostitution, the more likely he was to have committed sexually coercive acts against non-prostituting women.

"Prostitution affects not only how men think about women, it also influences their actual behaviour toward women, including sexual aggression against non-prostituting women."

The study, which was funded by the NHS, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, also found that, of those who had kerb-crawled, used saunas and illegal brothels for sexual services, some 89% would stop using prostitutes if "named and shamed" on the sex offenders' register.

Only 56% would be deterred by the requirement to attend an educational programme and 69%-79% said they would be deterred by greater criminal penalties such as higher fines, having their car impounded or a prison sentence.

Some 93% of the men in Edinburgh bought sex indoors compared to 74% in Glasgow.

The report suggests: "This may reflect the two cities' differing approaches to prostitution. Indoor prostitution has been tolerated in Edinburgh, whereas Glasgow has adopted a strong anti-prostitution approach since 1998.

"Indeed, several of our interviewees assumed indoor prostitution was licensed in Edinburgh, which may be a reflection of Edinburgh's policy of managing rather than challenging prostitution."

Many of the men believed that the money paid cancels out the harm caused.

Jan Macleod, development officer with the Women's Support Project, said: "This is a real opportunity for public education of these men. Somehow they kid themselves that these women are there out of choice and that they are earning lots of money and that it means they are doing nothing wrong.

"One of the most worrying findings was that the more frequently they used prostitutes, the more likely they were to be sexually aggressive towards other women."