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Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1157–1176 | Cite as

Are Pornography Users More Likely to Experience a Romantic Breakup? Evidence from Longitudinal Data

  • Samuel L. Perry
  • Joshua T. Davis
Original Paper

Abstract

Previous research suggests that pornography use, under certain circumstances, may negatively influence the quality of romantic relationships. Yet we still know relatively little about whether watching pornography is associated with the stability of romantic relationships later on. This study examined whether Americans who use pornography, either at all or more frequently, are more prone to report experiencing a romantic breakup over time. Longitudinal data were taken from the 2006 and 2012 waves of the nationally representative Portraits of American Life Study (N = 969). Binary logistic regression analyses demonstrated that Americans who viewed pornography at all in 2006 were nearly twice as likely as those who never viewed pornography to report experiencing a romantic breakup by 2012, even after controlling for relevant factors such as 2006 relationship status and other sociodemographic correlates. This association was considerably stronger for men than for women and for unmarried Americans than for married Americans. Analyses also showed a linear relationship between how frequently Americans viewed pornography in 2006 and their odds of experiencing a breakup by 2012. The findings affirm that earlier pornography use is associated with lower stability within Americans’ romantic relationships, especially for men and the unmarried. Data limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Pornography Romantic relationships Marriage Breakup 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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