Advertisement

Premature Speculation Concerning Pornography’s Effects on Relationships

  • Taylor KohutEmail author
  • Lorne Campbell
Commentary

The possible effects of pornography use on romantic relationships, as well as other outcomes more broadly, are a deeply divisive issue. Partially reflecting public concern regarding the dangers of pornography (Montgomery-Graham, Kohut, Fisher, & Campbell, 2015), much of the accumulated research appears to indicate that pornography use may undermine relationship quality (Wright, Tokunaga, Kraus, & Klann, 2017). There is, however, a minority position that has been critical of the view that pornography harms relationships, which has criticized the existing literature on both methodological and conceptual grounds (Campbell & Kohut, 2017), and pointed to select studies that indicate potential relational benefits of pornography use (see Kohut, Fisher, & Campbell, 2017). It is within this empirical milieu that Leonhardt, Spencer, Butler, and Theobold (2018) proposed a theoretical framework for understanding the effects of sexual media on different aspects of relationship quality. Their...

Notes

References

  1. Campbell, L., & Kohut, T. (2017). The use and effects of pornography in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 6–10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.03.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ellis, D. A., Davidson, B. I., Shaw, H., & Geyer, K. (2018). Do smartphone usage scales predict behaviour? PsyArXiv Preprints. http://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/6fjr7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fisher, W. A., & Barak, A. (2001). Internet pornography: A social psychological perspective on internet sexuality. Journal of Sex Research, 38(4), 312–323.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490109552102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Flake, J. K., Pek, J., Hehman, E., & Thorndike, E. (2017). Construct validation in social and personality research: Current practice and recommendations. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(4), 370–378.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617693063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gunter, B. (2001). Media sex: What are the issues?. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kohut, T. (2014). An empirical investigation of the conccept of pornography. Doctoral dissertation, Univesity of Western Ontario, London. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/2063/.
  7. Kohut, T., Balzarini, R. N., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2017). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 655–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kohut, T., Balzarinin, R., Shaw, A., Russel, M., Dobson, K. A., McNulty, J., … Campbell, L. (2018). Sexual and relationship satisfaction also vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use and these associations are stable over time. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  9. Kohut, T., Campbell, L., & Fisher, W. A. (2016). Anxious attachment differentiates responses to partners’ hypothetical pornography use: The “burrito” study. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Toronto.Google Scholar
  10. Kohut, T., Fisher, W. A., & Campbell, L. (2017). Perceived effects of pornography on the couple relationship: Initial findings of open-ended, participant-informed, “bottom-up” research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 585–602.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0783-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Leonhardt, N. D., Spencer, T. J., Butler, M. H., & Theobald, A. C. (2018). An organizational framework for sexual media’s influence on short-term versus long-term sexual quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-018-1209-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. LoPiccolo, J., & Friedman, J. (1988). Broad spectrum treatment of low sexual desire: Integration of cognitive, behavioral and systematic therapy. In S. R. Leiblum & R. C. Rosen (Eds.), Sexual desire disorders (pp. 107–144). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  13. Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2013). The role of attachment security in adolescent and adult close relationships. In J. A. Simpson & L. Campbell (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of close relationships (pp. 66–89). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Montgomery-Graham, S., Kohut, T., Fisher, W., & Campbell, L. (2015). How the popular media rushes to judgment about pornography and relationships while research lags behind. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.  https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.243-A4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Montoya, R. M., & Horton, R. S. (2013). A meta-analytic investigation of the processes underlying the similarity-attraction effect. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30(1), 64–94.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407512452989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Newstrom, N. P., & Harris, S. M. (2016). Pornography and couples: What does the research tell us? Contemporary Family Therapy, 38(4), 412–423.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-016-9396-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pascoal, P. M., Narciso, I. S., & Pereira, N. M. (2014). What is sexual satisfaction? Thematic analysis of lay people’s definitions. Journal of Sex Research, 51(1), 22–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Reis, H. T., & Patrick, B. C. (1996). Attachment and intimacy: Component processes. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 523–563). New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  19. Sagarin, B. J., Lee, E. M., & Klement, K. R. (2015). Sadomasochism without sex? Exploring the parallels between BDSM and extreme rituals. Journal of Positive Sexuality, 1(November), 32–36. Retrieved from http://journalofpositivesexuality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Parallels-Between-BDSM-and-Extreme-Ritual-Sagarin-Lee-Klement.pdf.
  20. Scharkow, M. (2016). The accuracy of self-reported internet use—A validation study using client log data the accuracy of self-reported internet use—A validation study using client log data. Communication Methods and Measures, 10(1), 13–27.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19312458.2015.1118446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Short, M. B., Black, L., Smith, A. H., Wetterneck, C. T., & Wells, D. E. (2012). A review of internet pornography use research: Methodology and content from the past 10 years. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(1), 13–23.  https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2010.0477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tylka, T. L. (2015). No harm in looking, right? Men’s pornography consumption, body image, and well-being. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16(1), 97–107.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weaver, J. B. (1994). Pornography and sexual callousness: The perceptual and behavioral consequences of exposure to pornography. In D. Zillmann, J. Bryant, & A. C. Huston (Eds.), Media, children, and the family: Social scientific, psychodynamic, and clinical perspectives (pp. 215–228). Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  24. Willoughby, B. J., & Busby, D. M. (2016). In the eye of the beholder: Exploring variations in the perceptions of pornography in the eye of the beholder: Exploring variations in the perceptions of pornography. Journal of Sex Research, 53, 678–688.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2015.1013601.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Kraus, A., & Klann, E. (2017). Pornography consumption and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 43, 315–343.  https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations