Harsh, violent pornography is said to have wreaked havoc on young Americans’ psyches, warping their perceptions of relationships and sex.
But now experts warn that even the more ethical, “soft-core” variety is harmful and leads to poorer happiness with your partner.
Researchers from Brigham Young University surveyed 3,500 people in relationships, around the age of 38, about their pornography use and satisfaction with their partner.
They were asked whether they had watched hardcore pornography – including violence or rape – and soft core – including consensual sex.
Even watching soft porn is bad for your relationship, study finds – borrow from the habit (stock image)
Regardless of category, those who watched pornography were more likely to say they were dissatisfied with their relationships.
The experts encouraged people to stop watching pornography altogether to help them maintain committed relationships.
Dr. Brian Willoughby, an associate professor at the university who led the study, said: “Couples need to know that viewing pornography is a risk factor in their relationship.”
He added on Utah-based news site KSL: “I [had] suppose we would find that perhaps it was the aggressive, non-consensual pornography use that affected relationships.
‘[But] We found that there was no difference. Pornography use or increase was always associated with less stability and less relationship satisfaction – no matter what we looked at.”
About one in four Americans — or 82 million people — watch pornography each month, data show. Men watch it four times more often than women.
Many doctors warn that pornography changes the way people view relationships as the worst and can cause problems in the bedroom.
This has been linked to an increase in erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation and decreased sex drive. Some experts warn that it also causes anxiety.
In the latest study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers looked at couples across the United States who were interviewed by polling firm Qualtrics.
They were about 38 years old on average and had been in a relationship for almost nine years.
55 percent were married for the first time, 23 percent were cohabiting, 12 percent were remarried, 8 percent were dating, and 2 percent were in an open relationship.
72 percent of the couples were heterosexual and 17 percent homosexual. The rest said they were bisexual.
Participants were asked what type of pornography they used, if any, and how satisfied they were with their relationships.
Pornography use was divided into two categories.
Softcore was defined as images of “a heterosexual couple having sex that shows the man’s penis penetrating the woman,” “two naked women or men manually stimulating each other,” or “a woman or man alone.” masturbate.
Hardcore was defined as “a video of a man forcing a woman to have sex against her,” “a man hitting or hitting a woman while she is having sex,” or “a woman who several men are ejaculated.” .
The results were analyzed taking into account factors such as gender, type of pornography use and relationship perceptions.
Overall, the researchers found that people who used pornography were less happy in their relationships.
They also reported lower levels of perceived relationship stability, or how likely it was that the participant thought the relationship would continue.
This was true regardless of the type of pornography they were viewing.
Broken down by group, men and religious men were most likely to say that pornography negatively affects their relationship.
DR Willoughby suggested this could be because pornography tends to target straight men.
He said: “The general thought is that so much mainstream pornography is aimed at straight men – that’s pretty much the core audience.
“So maybe they are more influenced by comparing themselves to other men, by having unrealistic expectations of themselves, their bodies or what they think their partner should be doing.”
For those who were religious, scholars suggested that religion might make them more conflicted when it came to witnessing sexual acts with others.
In the study, they suggested that viewing pornography “may facilitate the acquisition of sexual scripts that may impair the quality of a healthy long-term relationship.”
They added, “Because much pornography content emphasizes casual sexual encounters and multiple partners, it is possible that frequent exposure to these types of sexual messages may alter sexual and relationship scripts in ways that undermine stability.” [in a relationship].’
Researchers also found that pornography use was rarely discussed during couples counseling.
That needs to change, they said, so couples can grow together.
One of the limitations of the study was that it included only a few participants from low-income backgrounds.
It also included a larger group of lesbian and gay couples than is representative of the general population.
When asked about this group, Dr. Willoughby told DailyMail.com: “We didn’t look at how sexual orientation affected the results, so I can’t really say what the effect might be.
‘[But] In general, those who identify as non-straight report higher rates of pornography use than those who identify as straight, and this was the case in this data set.
Crystal Leahy is an author and health journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a background in health and wellness, Crystal has a passion for helping people live their best lives through healthy habits and lifestyles.