Study Claims Men Who Watch A Lot Of Porn Have Less Happy Relationships

A new study has seemingly settled the age-old debate of whether porn has a place in healthy, happy relationships.

Their findings, perhaps unsurprisingly, suggest the answer is no.  

The study, published in the journal Human Communication Research, reviewed decades of research and concluded that porn consumption is associated with less happiness in relationships – at least for men.

Researchers analyzed 50 studies encompassing more than 50,000 participants around the world. In some of the studies, participants were surveyed about their porn-watching habits, while others involved watching participants respond to porn in a lab setting (so at least that isn’t your job... unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

In most of the studies, participants answered questions about their happiness in their relationships or how sexually fulfilled they were.

In all the articles, researchers with the new study found no link between women’s relationship satisfaction and porn viewing, but male participants’ porn habits were associated with lesser sexual and overall happiness in their relationships.

The researchers suggest their findings may have something to do with the fact that men are more likely to consume porn alone instead of with a partner, which could be more damaging and “displace coupled sex.”  

Some anti-porn activists have celebrated the study, like Dawn Hawkins of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, who said in a statement: “Pornography rewires an individual’s sexuality to pixels on a screen rather than to a real person, which is inherently inconsistent with healthy, organic relationships.”

Others haven’t been so quick to condemn porn as a whole following the study’s release. David Ley, author of “Ethical Porn for Dicks: A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure,” calls the research “further validation that sex, and porn, are complex, individualized issues with different effects in different people.”

“The overall message is [that] porn may indeed correlate with negative relationship satisfaction in some people, but not others, and that in order for our society to have better conversations about helping those people, we need to be having much more nuanced conversations about porn,” said Ley. “The whole Chicken Little routine regarding porn is increasingly distant from the real facts.”

We’ll let you – and your browser history – be the judge.

h/t Vocativ

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