Study: Watching Pornography Doubles Likelihood of Divorce


Beginning to watch pornography negatively affects happily married couples, according to a new study by sociologists from the University of Oklahoma. Findings of the study, to be presented at the 111th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, suggest starting to consume adult video content doubles the risk of divorce for couples who were not very religious, newly married or happy in their marriage.

Researchers examined data collected from 5,000 adults who were interviewed at two-year intervals between 2006 to 2014 as part of the U.S. by the General Social Survey. The research team reportedly focused on the 373 married people who had not watched porn during one interview, but started watching it subsequently. About 71 percent of the total respondents said they did not watch porn at any point during the entire study time frame, and 15 percent reported watching adult content regularly through the survey years. Only 7 percent started watching porn during the survey.

“Beginning pornography use between survey waves nearly doubled one’s likelihood of being divorced by the next survey period, from 6 percent to 11 percent, and nearly tripled it for women, from 6 percent to 16 percent,” Samuel Perry, lead author of the study, said in a statement released Monday. “Our results suggest that viewing pornography, under certain social conditions, may have negative effects on marital stability.”

The study, which is not peer-reviewed or published, found that chances of divorce were higher for younger adults.

“Younger Americans tend to view pornography more often than older Americans, and older Americans generally have more stable marriages since they tend to be more mature, financially established, and likely already have more time invested in the relationship,” Perry said. “So, we thought it made perfect sense that the effect of pornography use on divorce would grow weaker with age.”

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