Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 317–334 | Cite as

Are Pornography and Marriage Substitutes for Young Men?

  • Michael Malcolm
  • George Naufal


Substitutes for marital sexual gratification may impact the decision to marry. Proliferation of the Internet has made pornography an increasingly low-cost substitute. We investigate the effect of Internet usage, and of pornography consumption specifically, on the marital status of young men. We show that increased Internet usage is negatively associated with marriage formation. Pornography consumption specifically has an even stronger effect. Instrumental variables and a number of robustness checks suggest that the effect is causal.


pornography divorce marital formation 

JEL Classifications

J12 O33 


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Copyright information

© Eastern Economic Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Malcolm
    • 1
  • George Naufal
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA
  2. 2.Timberlake Consultants LimitedLondonUK
  3. 3.Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9, D-53113 BonnGermany

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