Pornography use: who uses it and how it is associated with couple outcomes

J Sex Res. 2013;50(1):72-83. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.648027. Epub 2012 Mar 26.


Very little is known about how pornography use is related to the quality of committed relationships. This study examined associations among pornography use, the meaning people attach to its use, sexual quality, and relationship satisfaction. It also looked at factors that discriminate between those who use pornography and those who do not. Participants were couples (N = 617 couples) who were either married or cohabiting at the time the data were gathered. Overall results from this study indicated substantial gender differences in terms of use profiles, as well as pornography's association with relationship factors. Specifically, male pornography use was negatively associated with both male and female sexual quality, whereas female pornography use was positively associated with female sexual quality. The study also found that meaning explained a relatively small part of the relationship between pornography use and sexual quality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Erotica / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Young Adult