Porn Harms Relationships

Porn creates unrealistic sexual expectations between couples about sex. It puts undue pressure on the non-user (usually the female) to conform to unrealistic and unpleasant sex that is devoid of intimacy. Research demonstrates how pornography harms relationships:

It places undue pressure on partners.

One study showed that almost eight out of ten young women (77%) claim that pornography has pressured them ‘to look a certain way’, while 75% say that it has led to pressure ‘to act a certain way.’[1]

It contributes to erectile dysfunction disorder.

This disorder reduces the sexual fulfilment of both partners, however, the deep irony is that many men think that exploring pornography will help them sexually. In fact, due to porn’s neuroplastic power, it corrupts one’s arousal mechanisms, reducing the chance of enjoying physical sex with a single partner, though there is no trouble being sexually aroused by porn. One study found over 50% of porn users experienced diminished libido or erectile function in real relationships [2, 3].  

It aggravates dishonesty, mistrust and insecurity in relationships.

Research suggests that couples who are both non-users of pornography have higher sexual and relational satisfaction, whilst when one or both partner use porn, they have much lower sexual satisfaction[4]. Furthermore, when a woman discovers her husband’s porn use, she experiences trauma akin to if her husband were cheating on her, resulting in lower self-esteem and a deeply altered perception of her husband’s character and trustworthiness [5]. Honesty leads to relationship satisfaction amongst women, so secrecy places a wedge between seeking out joy in a relationship and actual relationship satisfaction[4].

It contributes to adultery and can reach far beyond your marriage.

Studies confirm that porn users are inclined to perceive extra-marital romantic relationships as superior, and therefore seek them out [6]. One 2014 survey of 350 members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers suggested that 56% of divorces were related to ‘obsessive interest in pornographic sites’ [7]. Ultimately, when a relationship breaks down, there are always broader costs impacting finances, ministry, friendships and family. 

Credits

1. Parker, I. and I.f.P.P. Research, Young people, sex and relationships: The new norms. 2014: Institute for Public Policy Research.

2. Park, B.Y., et al., Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 2016. 6(3): p. 17.

3. Voon, V., et al., Neural correlates of sexual cue reactivity in individuals with and without compulsive sexual behaviours. PloS one, 2014. 9(7): p. e102419.

4. Resch, M.N. and K.G. Alderson, Female Partners of Men Who Use Pornography: Are Honesty and Mutual Use Associated With Relationship Satisfaction? Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 2014. 40(5): p. 410-424.

5. Newstrom, N.P. and S.M. Harris, Pornography and Couples: What Does the Research Tell Us? Contemporary Family Therapy, 2016. 38(4): p. 412-423.

6. Gwinn, A.M., et al., Pornography, Relationship Alternatives, and Intimate Extradyadic Behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2013. 4(6): p. 699-704.

7. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/is-the-internet-bad-for-your-marriage-online-affairs-pornographic-sites-playing-greater-role-in-divorces-76826727.html

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