Pornography and Relationship Quality: Establishing the Dominant Pattern by Examining Pornography Use and 31 Measures of Relationship Quality in 30 National Surveys

AUTHOR(S)

Perry, Samuel L.

PUBLISHED

2020 in Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2020 May;49(4):1199-1213

KEY FINDINGS
  • Analyzing data from 30 nationally representative surveys, this study found that pornography use was associated with poorer relationship quality, if at all, and was virtually never associated with better relationship quality. This was true for men and women, and married and unmarried participants alike.
ABSTRACT
Numerous studies have examined the association between pornography use and various measures of relationship quality. Yet scholars have also pointed out the limitations of many such studies, including inconsistent findings for men and women, non-representative samples, and negatively biased measures that could result in misleading findings. The purpose of this study was to establish a dominant pattern in the association between pornography use and relationship quality in a way that mitigated these issues. Data were taken... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "Using 31 measures of relationship quality across 30 nationally representative surveys, the current study sought to mitigate these issues in order to establish a dominant trend in the association between pornography use and relationship quality for representative samples of unmarried and married men and women. That dominant trend seems to be that pornography use in the general population—either at all or in higher frequencies—is either unassociated with romantic relationship quality or is weakly associated with poorer relationship quality. This was true for married and unmarried Americans alike as well as for men and women. Conversely, more frequent pornography use was almost never associated with better relationship quality, at least on average."
  • "This study sought to establish a dominant trend in the association between pornography use and relationship quality using representative samples of married and unmarried men and women and 31 measures of relationship quality across 30 nationally representative surveys. Trends demonstrated that pornography use in the general population (whether men or women, married or unmarried) is either unassociated with romantic relationship quality or associated with poorer relationship quality. Pornography use is almost never an indicator of better relationship quality in general. And indeed, these patterns hold true across slightly different measures of pornography use and after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic factors."
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