The Porn Gap: Differences in Men’s and Women’s Pornography Patterns in Couple Relationships

AUTHOR(S)

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PUBLISHED

2017 in Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, Vol. 16(2), pp. 146-163.

KEY FINDINGS
  • This study found that there are large differences between the pornography use rates between coupled men and women.
  • Differences between men's and women's pornography use levels lead to conflict for many couples.
ABSTRACT
Perhaps the most notable finding of pornography research to date is the sizeable gender gap that exists between men and women when it comes to their personal use and acceptance of pornography. This disparity raises a number of questions about couple formation patterns and the relationship dynamics that arise between men and women related to pornography use. In this study, the authors used both a nationally representative weighted data set of individuals who are in committed heterosexual couple relationships (n = 21,555)... READ FULL ABSTRACT
EXCERPTS
  • "The findings reported in this research brief confirm and extend other studies that have found that there is a persistent difference in pornography patterns between men and women across relationship commitment levels. Specifically, there is a notable gap in reported use levels with women being about twice as likely to report that they never use pornography compared with men of similar relationship status. This pornography gap is particularly clear when frequency of pornography use is examined–with men being far more likely to report weekly or more often patterns of use compared with their female partners. In the heterosexual relationship context, these findings suggest that many women are partnered with men who regularly use pornography while they report little or no use. Further, this study also found that many of the couples who experience congruence or a similar pattern of use between partners are those in which both abstain from using pornography."
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