The increase in consumption of pornography over the past few decades has seen people grow more concerned over its potential to impact relationships negatively. Is human intimacy affected by pornography?
In 1989 Douglas Kenrick researched this effect. He claimed that men considered their wives unattractive after they view phonographic materials. His claims created controversy around how healthy pornography exposure is and how female partners are disadvantaged by it.
Since the study, several concerns have been brought forward concerning the validity of the findings. A study conducted in a laboratory environment saw men exposed to some pornographic images. These effects did not last long and disappeared quite fast.
Another study conducted in 2015 in Canada, not once but thrice, failed to back claims by Kenrick, This prompted questions on the impact pornography has on how men view their partners and their view on relationships.
The prevalence of sexual adverts in the world right now may be the reason why researchers failed to find results similar to those of the 1989 research. The impact of nudity may be indiscernible now that it has become common to see under-dressed women all over the media.
Research conducted in 2017 on the effects of pornography in both men and women revealed some distinct impact on both genders. The research, which was a combination of results from several separate studies, concluded that the satisfaction from relationships for women did not change after viewing pornography. However, men experienced lower satisfaction after viewing pornography
This research seems to suggest that there is a possibility that men who experienced lower satisfaction, both sexually and in their relationship with their partners, are more likely to be consumers of pornography. However, it may not be caused by pornography – instead, they consumed pornography because they are not satisfied in their relationship.
Another study conducted in the United States aimed at investigating the effect of violent and non-violent pornography affected the attitudes of violence towards females. The research concluded that the consumption of both these types of pornography affected attitudes that support sexual violence.
Research conducted by the University of Texas challenged these findings. They claimed that pornography might be a way of alleviating sexual aggression. They used crime and pornography intake statistics. They argued that even though there has been an increase in pornography intake, there has been a significant reduction in sexual assault cases.
It is difficult to find a straight answer as to the adverse effects pornography has on a relationship. Besides, the drive behind viewing pornography or the underlying issues that leads one to view pornographic material may be the cause of relationship issues, not the actual viewing of pornographic material. Simply put, problems in relationships may be the cause of a partner viewing pornography.
If one partner has negative perceptions regarding pornography, it may cause them to feel betrayed when they discover their significant other consumes it. Additionally, the other partner may have a sense of guilt when they find out their partner’s view on their habits. This explains the difference in the research findings.