Pornography

Watching Porn Predicts Divorce? A Few Reasons To Be Skeptical

Watching porn "may have negative effects on marital stability," said sociologist Samuel Perry.

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Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye/Newscom

For married folks, watching pornography can nearly double the divorce risk—or at least that's how a new study on the topic is being spun. Behind the dire headlines, however, lies a much less alarming scenario.

Let's start with what the study, "Till Porn Do Us Part? Longitudinal Effects of Pornography Use on Divorce," actually measured: using longitudinal data from America's General Social Survey, researchers honed in on married respondents who initially reported that they didn't consume pornography but started watching it at some point before they were next surveyed (a group that comprised about 7 percent of all respondents). This group was compared to married respondents who never reported watching any pornography.

Led by Samuel Perry, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, the researchers discovered that beginning to watch porn between survey waves was associated with an increased likelihood of getting divorced by the next survey period, compared to couples who said they never watched porn. Overall, "beginning pornography use between survey waves nearly doubled one's likelihood of being divorced by the next survey period, from 6 percent to 11 percent, and nearly tripled it for women, from 6 percent to 16 percent," said Perry.

There are several plausible explanations for this finding that don't posit porn causing divorces. Perhaps for those who don't watch porn when they first get married, taking up the habit signals something going wrong in the relationship—a lack of sexual satisfaction, more time being spent alone, etc. In this scenario, viewing porn and divorce are both symptoms of marital unhappiness. Or perhaps people prone to watching porn are, in general, somewhat more likely than those who don't to struggle with monogamy, value sexual variety, eschew strict religious rules on sex and marriage, or possess some other trait that could cause a higher likelihood to divorce; put the reverse way, those who have never watched porn might be more beholden to cultural or religious mores against both adult entertainment and divorce. In this scenario, viewing porn and getting divorced (or doing neither) are both rooted in some third factor related to values or personality.

Perry and his team did entertain some of these possibilities, examining how things such as age, length of time married, religious beliefs, and marital happiness affected the link between porn and divorce. And indeed, these things did have a moderating influence, leading Perry to conclude that "viewing pornography, under certain social conditions, may have negative effects on marital stability" (emphasis mine).

What we wind up with isn't Watching Porn Doubles Your (i.e., everyone's) Likelihood of Divorce! but that for some couples—those who abstain from porn at the beginning of their marriage and are likely to be younger, married for a shorter time period, and less religious—starting to watch porn is linked to likelihood of divorce in some indeterminate way.

Because Perry's paper was just presented at the 2016 American Sociological Association conference Saturday and has not yet been published (or peer-reviewed), there are also large gaps in what we know about the data in question. I would be interested to learn how the group compare to couples where one or both spouses said from the beginning that they sometimes watched porn.

Vocativ talked to neuroscientist Nicole Prause, who has done a lot of her own research on pornography's effects, about the study, and she pointed out several problems. "Since masturbation almost always occurs with sex film viewing, [not controlling for masturbation] s a gross oversight,," Prause said. She also faulted Perry's team for failing to control for other variables, such as job loss, that might explain "greater free time that would allow more masturbation, but also stress the relationship."

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173 responses to “Watching Porn Predicts Divorce? A Few Reasons To Be Skeptical

  1. THERE ARE NO COMMENTS

    On a pr0n post?

    1. People that replace the letter “o” with the number “0” in the word “porn” are more likely to watch porn alone.

    2. Can’t type…hands not free!

  2. “[not controlling for masturbation] s a gross oversight”

    So I guess we aren’t even going to bother with euphemisms anymore.

    Seriously though, did they not compare to those couples who watched porn when they first got married? That would seem to be a pretty glaring whole in the study.

    1. “hole” in the study.

    2. A gross oversignt? I hear masturbating causes blindness, so maybe that explains it.

      1. It doesn’t cause blindness but the dinosaurs did did out because you touch yourself at night.

    3. My question as well.

  3. Nearly doubles the risk!!
    For guys who didn’t watch porn before (WTF??) and who started watching it the risk of divorce went frmo 6% to 11%.

    Talk about misleading use of statistics. It is like where the advertisers say it is the fastest growing brand of X (last year people bought 1. This year people bought 2. 100% growth rate!)

  4. I think what this really means is that people who are bad at lying about their porn consumption are more likely to get divorced (going on the assumption that almost all men look at porn).

    1. Or that people in happy marriages are less likely to “use” porn.

  5. I sort of wish this study wasn’t such obvious bullshit. Pr0n eroding the foundations of marriage would be just one more reason to love pr0n.

    1. Plus, no discussion on the effects of gay porn on straight marriage, as God intended.

      1. No need for discussion. It is well known that gay anything destroys straight anything with one touch of its throbbing, oily cock.

        1. So that explains how the Spartans won at Thermopylae.

          1. That’s not gay. That’s just showing a dude some respect.

          2. But what explains your not knowing who actually won at Thermopylae?

            1. You know what he means.

              1. You know what he means.

                I’m not sure he understands the difference between a strategic victory and a tactical one.

            2. Yes, the 300 Spartans (and the 1000 or so Thespians and several hundred Thebans, and their retainers) “lost” at Thermopylae in terms of not being able to hold the “hot gates” for more than a few days.

              However, the Spartans knew (at least according to Herodotus) that by fighting to the last man, they could give courage to the other, wavering city-states. So in a very real way, the Spartans did win at Thermopylae. They accomplished their goal which was to fight so fiercely as to give the Persians pause and to inspire the other Greek city-states. Hence the following year at Plataea, at which the Spartans led the fighting forces, was complete victory against the Persians.

              1. Plus they kicked that dude down the well in slo-mo.

              2. This was merely my response to a certain “pedant” who thinks he knows more than all of the others here, but in all likelihood, knows just as much as they learned at the movies. Or perhaps their sophomore year in high school.

                1. Hell, that describes most of us. It describes *most people in general*.

      2. “Plus, no discussion on the effects of gay porn on straight marriage, as God intended.”

        Or the effects on man–man friendships.

  6. Perhaps for those who don’t watch porn when they first get married, taking up the habit signals something going wrong in the relationship

    I decided to read the article first before commenting.

    Boom. Yes, when marriage predictably becomes… you know, like marriage, the porn consumption goes through the rizzoof.

    1. Yep. Perhaps the porn viewing starts because there’s issues with the sex life and the marriage, in which case the porn is just a symptom of a troubled marriage, and not a cause.

      It’s like saying that attending marriage counseling predicts divorce.

      What I’m trying to say is: ban marriage counseling just in case. For the children.

      1. Or perhaps some people are just capable of greater self discipline and commitment? You know like how Ayn Rand was always saying people are poor because they aren’t creative and committed enough like Hank Reardon.

        1. Oh dammit you’re a Tulpa sock, aren’t you?

            1. Tulpa splooges into him and then stuffs him behind the bed?

              1. I think we have to assume that’s the case.

              2. Yes, but without porn. He goes to SIV’s blog.

                1. Most of my tumblr followers consider my family-friendly SFW top quality fashion/culture content to be pornography. Who am I to tell them they’re wrong?

          1. Sam’s been around for a while, concern trolling us for being too libertine or some such bullshit.

            I guess it could be a Tulpa long sock though.

            1. How is it concern trolling for someone who doesn’t support libertinism but who is sympathetic to libertarianism to oppose that kind of pro-libertinism drift.

        2. When my wife and I married, there was absolutely no commitment made, by either of us, that we couldn’t indulge in “self-love” or watch porn. And denying oneself too much dessert is self-discipline. Having an occasional piece of cake or pie, is enjoying life. Denying one’s self TOO much porn (or masturbation) is self-discipline. But occasionally indulging when the wife isn’t in the mood, or if one of us is on a business trip is hardly an issue of self-discipline. Particularly when both partners don’t mind if the other does it. Because neither of us consider it cheating.

          1. Hey this super long story would be great if I made that claim that no marriage survived porn (and again you are just an anonymous guy on the internet so your story could be made up) but I didn’t. I took issue with the reflexive reaction of every commenter here to immediately dismiss the possibility of his article because hands off my porn. I really don’t care what you do on business trips or what your wife does after her tennis lesson my point is that saving marriages is an undeniable good and if this study encourages couples to stop watching porn good so be it. But instead every erupts like they’ve been personally harmed by this study.

            1. I freely admit that many of us may be somewhat reflexive about this topic. And of course there is no requirement that libertarians be libertines. Though, I freely admit that I tend towards that at times.
              The only real argument here is that many of us don’t believe the study actually made the case it was trying to. And that there is no doubt there will be folks on both the religious right and feminist left who will put this study into their list of arguments why porn needs to be outlawed. Because obscenity isn’t protected by the First Amendment, amiright?

              If you want to argue that porn is bad for marriages, fine. We will debate the merits based on the data, which is what most of us were doing here (or enjoying some humor). But as soon as someone says “X is bad for family, marriage, kids etc.”, then there are people who will try to restrict it. And in those cases I will absolutely yell HANDS OFF MY PORN!

              1. I freely admit that many of us may be somewhat reflexive about this topic.

                I think most of us here are pretty predictably reflexive on the topic of “New Study Shows….” articles. It’s a well-known fact that 79.2% of all new studies are seriously methodologically-flawed non-reproducible statistical bullshit and 98.3% of all the news articles written about new studies are bullshit written by people who don’t have the fifth-grade-level math and science skills necessary to identify bullshit when they see it. Fortunately, a good portion of the commentariat here are easily as well-educated as the average fifth-grader and can call into question some of the conjectures and conclusions drawn by both the study and the reportage.

              2. Also, there’s nobody’s got the right to say what’s good for another person family. It’s an inescapably subjective value judgment that no one can make without lying except the owner.

            2. Because it’s obvious poppycock. I don’t need to read a study whose basic premises are so unquestionably fiddle-faddle, except perhaps to find some datums that they may’ve gathered to use for other purposes. We don’t need to look for evidence for X if it turns out X is logicly impossible. It’s basic epistemology, ignoramus. Of course, everyone ignore the elephant in the room, the two things which have been very solidly shown to promote divorce. The first is the woman making herself uninteresting. The second is the man making less money. Anecdotally, I’ve seen many cases where the two are undeniably linked and create a sort of weird feedback where each factor drives the other, till the whole fucking thing falls apart. Even then, it only falls apart most of the time because people never have a reason to get marrid in the first place and because once they do get marrid they won’t fucking commit and insist on arsking themselves on a regular basis, “Should I get a divorce?” It’s like we’re back in the motherfucking 1920s again.

          2. People needs to get over themselves. In the scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. I remember when I was preparing to marry somebody, I considered everything that PROBABLY WOULD go wrong at some point if we didn’t get killed right off the bat, and then thought about the things that might go wrong if we were less than lucky, and it really put everything in perspective and it blows my mind to see the weird trivial crap people agonise about in their cocksucking marriages. Also the stuff they don’t even think about, like major differences of fundamental philosophy, or even a reason for getting married other than that the state is giving out these licenses…

        3. So how long have you been happily married?

  7. “This group was compared to married respondents who never reported watching any pornography.”

    Why do we still find it necessary to lie about our pr0n consumption?

    1. Why do you insist on projecting?

      1. Sorry if I find it hard to believe that there is a large enough sample size of married people who have never watched any pornography.

        And I never lie about my porn consumption.

        1. I’d say people my parents’ age have a good shot of having never seen any, due to accessibility.

          My mother can barely turn on an iPad without a team of computer and ergonomic experts on hand to assist in the operation. He’s the last guy in the world who’s gonna find out that you can get to Naughty Nymphos XVII with about 10 seconds of Google searching.

          1. My grandparents have been married for longer than I’ll likely live and I found a copy of this on their shelves when I was younger. It was quite titillating for an era when porn images on the net were 150px square.

            Also my grandfather has had sexy ’80s pinup girls in the garage workshop for as long as I can remember.

            sample size of one two and all, but I think people got their jollies how they got their jollies in the past.

              1. Of?

                It’s one of the mid-’80s Snap-On pinups. Not this one, but kind of like it. I’ll see if Google Goggles can figure it out next time I’m back east.

            1. Whoa, Grandpa! Nice!

              I agree with you. People are the same as they ever were. I’m convinced a good many petroglyphs were actually primitive attempts at porn.

            2. Right, but cheesecake pin-ups aren’t exactly on the same level as what you can find on the internet today. I’m not even trying to say that in a pejorative way; it is what it is. Back then, everything sexual was either very out in the open and somewhat playful (flapper girls, cheesecake shots, etc), or very private and somewhat hard to get ahold of. Today I would say that just about anything that would have been hard to get back in the day is available with an iPhone and 10 seconds of your time; anything that would have been nearly impossible to see can be seen with the dark net and 10 minutes.

              That may not even be a bad thing, but it is different and there are definitely people whose exposure to porn was nil or close to it.

              1. Another note:

                My dad was introduced to sex by his dad taking him to a whorehouse and having the local talent show him what went where. That wasn’t a terribly uncommon experience in the Age Before Porn; I’d say it’s practically non-existent in the West now. Most of the real traditional religions have no problem marrying off the kids quick and some of those farm kids learned how things worked pretty damn quick from watching the livestock. There will always be sex and the sexual drive, it’s just a matter of how it is channeled and where self-control’s gonna be applied.

              2. I disagree. What is pornography/obscene is whatever is just out of the reach of polite society. In the ’90s it was scrambled Spice Network and hoping you were rubbing one out to a tit instead of a blurred kneecap, and before that Victoria’s Secret catalogs. I used to rub one out to the early UFC fights if I was hard up. Just because the internet has changed what is mundane, titillating and shocking doesn’t mean that we aren’t comparing those tiers to each other they’ve just all adjusted to a different point.

                You can’t judge the pornography of the past by today’s standards, you can only judge it by its own standards.

        2. Who said anything about never watching porn. We are talking about not watching porn once you get married.

          1. “Who said anything about never watching porn.”

            Maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here, it’s the quote I lifted from the article?

    2. I help folks out with their home computers so they can use them to do what they want without ever knowing what the fuck they are doing. I have two clients who do not watch porno. It exists. But one does an awful lot of sneaking around other men’s women. Deficient porno use seems to characterise the few compulsive sneakers I’ve known well. So maybe not watching porno causes somebody to fuck another man wife?

  8. OK, let’s accept ENB’s alternate explanation:

    “those who have never watched porn might be more beholden to cultural or religious mores against both adult entertainment and divorce. In this scenario, viewing porn and getting divorced (or doing neither) are both rooted in some third factor related to values or personality.”

    So it seems that in her zeal to defend porn, ENB has actually put in a good word for traditional/conservative “cultural or religious mores.”

    1. Huh? Yeah, in the same sense that you’re putting in a good word for unhappy marriages.

      1. Yes, unhappy marriages exist.

        Of course, if we’re talking from purely utilitarian perspective, then I don’t see how people as a whole will be happier if married people are encouraged to constantly look for reasons to be dissatisfied and be ready at a moment’s notice to trade in their spouse for a flashier looking model.

        1. You think porn viewing is aspirational in nature?

          Think less House Hunters and more House Hunters International.

          1. I was *accepting,* at least for argument’s sake, that porn does not contribute to marital breakup.

            1. It doesn’t. Behavior does.

              1. So is watching porn not behavior now.

                1. I don’t let my wife watch any film or television program that features simulated sexual situations.

                2. Porn is a thing, just like alcohol or the internet. The if, when, and how are behavior.

        2. The fact that someone watches porn, in no way indicates that they necessarily don’t want to be married to their spouse. Perhaps their libidos are just not in sync, but one person doesn’t want to leave and do anything with anyone else.
          Plus, sometimes giving one’s imagination some freedom can sometimes just be fun.

          1. Like I said, I was assuming for the sake of argument that porn doesn’t harm marriages.

          2. What the hell is imaginative about watching a porno. I guess you’d have a point if we were talking about something like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty but we aren’t.

        3. I think the percentage of people who watch porn with an eye towards trading their spouse in for what they are watching is in the low single digits.

          Which is not to say that somewhere north of 50% of people would say yes if someone with pornstar good looks came on to them but they aren’t watching it thinking “I gotta dump my frumpy middle aged spouse for one of those” either.

          Now trolling Adult Friend Finder and similar sites, maybe they’re thinking about an upgrade there (although more likely they are just looking for some strange on the side) but watching porn, no that’s just about getting off

      2. Huh? Yeah, in the same sense that you’re putting in a good word for unhappy marriages.

        Redundant wording removed.

        I am here all ze veek.

    2. Lot of assumptions baked into that conclusion, Eddie. Not the least of which are that porn is bad and so is divorce.

      1. I actually believe in divorce.

        It’s called “divorce a mensa et thoro.” Serious misdonduct by one spouse allows the other spouse to separate.

        I suppose you’re talking about the “right” to remarry when your spouse is alive – that’s the heart of the dispute, since as I said, I’m totally OK with divorce as above stated.

        1. Uh what? If you get divorced or the other person dies, they are no longer your spouse. But yes, while we’re on the subject, I do believe in the right to marry again while you’re still married.

          1. Hugh is married to his job, but looking to upgrade.

          2. Just as a matter of terminology, a divorce a mensa et thoro is still a divorce.

            1. Actually I understand the Catholic position on this. The sin isn’t in the divorce. Because the divorce itself doesn’t get rid of the sacrament that is marriage. It is more functional than official. The sin is in having relations with someone else, or even worse, getting married. Because, if I understand it properly, the Church acknowledges that some situations just can’t be lived with. So spouses can completely separate their lives. But since marriage is a sacrament for life, you can’t enter into a new marriage.

              1. Right, with these wrinkles – the Church allows divorce for non-consummated marriages (Petrine Privilege) and in certain extreme cases allows a Christian spouse to divorce a non-Christian and then remarry when the non-Christian is still alive (Pauline Privilege).

                I don’t think that a secular polity like the United States should recognize the Pauline Privilege because the applicability of that privilege depends on one’s religion, which would contradict the First Amendment.

                So my own view is that anyone wanting to use the Pauline Privilege should move to a country which follows Catholic canon law on this matter, and not stay in the U.S.

          3. I think that’s a fancy latin way of saying “I want my marriage annulled.”

    3. So it seems that in her zeal to defend porn, ENB has actually put in a good word for traditional/conservative “cultural or religious mores.”

      1. Not sure why that should be a surprise. If she agrees with it, she agrees with it. I don’t think she is really the sort to disagree with something just because social conservatives also do.
      2. That said, unless you are assuming that porn and divorce are always bad, no she hasn’t.

    4. Obviously, ENB has never lived closely amongst traditional/conservative communities for any extended period. Where I grew up, divorce was a huge scandal and very rare in the native population (chiefly, from what I can tell, simply because people could commit to it, and, also, they didn’t seem to think that pain was avoidable). Porno was also as rampant as the technology permitted. When somebody got a VHS player and was renting it out, he also got a selection of videos to rent. In his starting selection there, about half was porno.

  9. Not doing much to dissuade people that libertarianism is anything more than high school outcast antinomiansm. How is this a libertarian issue at all?
    It’s really revealing that the thought of a happy porn free marriage just triggers a whole bunch of libertarians. Almost like the thought that people are capable of self control and restraint fills libertarians with such bitterness that the have to deny its possible. The tendency is exactly the same as those who yell “you didn’t build that” – refusal to accept that some people are just flat more disciplined and committed than you.

    1. How is this a libertarian issue at all?

      Maybe it isn’t.

      Maybe it was just a topic the author found interesting and decided to write about.

      Or are you one of those obnoxious “the personal is political” types?

      1. I’m confused. Here I am questioning why this is a political issue at all and why libertarianism needs to have a stake in denying that porn might be destructive to marriages and you think I might be the personal is politics type. I take it back you are clearly the confused one.

        1. In all fairness, a “study” like this will be used by political groups (socons and hard-core feminists) to try to limit the legal ability to watch porn.

          Reason authors comment on studies of all kinds. Mostly because some group will try to use them as ammunition in political debates.

          1. I’d love to hear about some of the efforts socons have made to restrict access to pornography.

            1. You are kidding, right? Try the National Center on Sexual Exploitation just for starters. I am at work, so I can’t do a very good search on the topic, but this is one example. Remember the Meese commission during the Reagan years? (And I am a huge fan of Reagan for most things!).

              Though I will certainly acknowledge that there are more socons these days who while personally against porn, don’t seek to ban it. Meanwhile the feminist left is increasingly against porn and works to ban it.

        2. I’m confused.

          Yes, you are.

          Here I am questioning why this is a political issue at all

          No, you weren’t. You were questioning why Hit ‘n Run isn’t just an RSS feed of white papers from the Cato Institute. I understand such a format would be more soothing to you, as you are on the spectrum. Additionally, with such a format, you wouldn’t have to undergo the anxiety of being confronted with humor and wit, as evidenced by your reaction to my joke.

          I apologize for traumatizing you, and I suggest you use this to calm down.

          1. More projection from the spergotarian. Maybe the guy with the elevator videos bookmarked should be a little careful talking about the spectrum.

            1. “I know you are, but what am I?”

              Your rapier-like wit has no rival, Sam!

              1. Wait, rapier?

                I didn’t know he was related to Steve Smith

    2. Shorter Sam: “Harrumph!”

    3. “refusal to accept that some people are just flat more disciplined and committed than you.”

      How virtuous of you, never having to use your own judgment, think for yourself, or reflect on your own actions and beliefs.

      Can I subscribe to your one-solution-for-all newsletter?

      1. i think it’s the people saying no way that all that porn I watched was responsible for my whore wife leaving me would be the people who refuse to reflect on their actions and beliefs. I’m doing the opposite I’m point out how silly and self indulgent it is to attack this study simply because you really like watching porn. But this is a pretty good distillation of Reasonoid libertarianism- watching porn is thinking for yourself. That might as well be on the mast head.

        1. “no way that all that porn I watched was responsible for my whore wife leaving me ”
          Said nobody ever.

          “But this is a pretty good distillation of Reasonoid libertarianism- watching porn is thinking for yourself.”

          Lemme fix that for you:

          watching porn Making your own choices is thinking for yourself.

          Watch porn or don’t. Doesn’t matter to me. It’s seems like you’re the one with the issues here.

          1. Playa, I believe the good gentleman would simply like to know why the rest of us haven’t solved life. Mr. Haysom didn’t have much difficulty, why should we?

            1. Is there no place in this world for a man with a 100 IQ?

              /Homer Simpson

            2. The opposite actually I’m not married and I’m not actually offering any advice here. I’m sticking up for the idea that maybe just maybe self control is an important part of life.

              1. Oh, so you’re one of those stick in the ass puritans who thinks watching porn means you have no self control.

                I bet you complain about the amount of skin teenage girls show at the mall too.

                1. I don’t spend much time analyzing teenage girls at the mall’s outfits at all honestly.

              2. Oh god, you’re an /r/NoFap person, aren’t you?

              3. Oh, I thought self control was making it all the way to the end.

                Huh.

              4. Learning moderation is self control. Abstinence is the opposite of self control; it’s blind (pun intended) obedience.

                Still haven’t found that special someone? It just means that you aren’t disciplined and committed enough. You seem like a great catch, but you aren’t trying hard enough. Don’t change a thing.

                1. This isn’t even a good semantics argument.

              5. The opposite actually I’m not married and I’m not actually offering any advice here. I’m sticking up for the idea that maybe just maybe self control is an important part of life.

                No, you’re implying that the average human being is so weak and craven that the mere exposure to the nude form will cause him or her to be more apt to commit adultery. You are of the same mentality that motivates the denizens of to drape their wives and daughters in the niqab lest the brutish nature of their fellow man induce them to ravish the hapless women at the mere slight of their raven locks. You, in fact, are championing the opposite of self-control, believing human nature to be inherently selfish and vile. If I am a “libertine”, then you are merely a bitter, execrable misanthrope, who, had he been born a mere 8,000 miles east of his birthplace, would be ululating Allahu akbar! at the top of his lungs with the utmost zeal as he brained his “immodest” sister’s skull open with a rock for the crime of besmirching his family’s “honor”.

                1. “the denizens of to drape”

                  I am forced to conclude that this phrase was edited to appease the nation/region in question. The MOOSLEMS have have finally conquered that last great bastion of freedom, the H&R blog. The terrorists have won.

          2. I’m actually the one saying it’s ridiculous to dismiss this study just because you have a porn addiction. In other words I’m standing up for the old libertarian saw about personal responsibility. The fact that every poster he took a look at this study and immediately attacked it rather than thinking hmm maybe it would be good to limit my lustful thoughts directed at people that aren’t my wife might make for a more solid marriage is indicative of just how anti-making your own choices this site can be if those choices involve any kind of self control or restraint.

            1. it would be good to limit my lustful thoughts directed at people that aren’t my wife might make for a more solid marriage

              That’s a fallacious statement. That it why it was rejected.

            2. I’m actually the one saying it’s ridiculous to dismiss this study just because you have a porn addiction.

              You have no idea. I had dinner with him last week and he spent the whole time looking at his phone and playing pocket pull.

              1. Ahem. Pocket Pool. It’s ball play. Pocket Pull would be… logistically difficult, especially with company over.

            3. The fact that every poster he took a look at this study and immediately attacked it rather than thinking hmm maybe it would be good to limit my lustful thoughts directed at people that aren’t my wife might make for a more solid marriage is indicative of just how anti-making your own choices this site can be if those choices involve any kind of self control or restraint.

              What about those of us who literally fucking love science?

            4. You define anyone watching porn on occasion as having a porn addiction. Therefore, anyone who watches porn has no self-control or restraint.

              MAYBE WE JUST DON’T THINK IT IS EVIL! I would say that those marriages that have broken up over porn, are those in which both spouses don’t look at it the same way. If both spouses don’t think it is a big deal, I might consider that they are no more likely to get divorced than those spouses who agree that they shouldn’t watch it. But alas, one of the criticisms of the study was that they didn’t compare those folks at all.

            5. People aren’t dismissing the study because they’re “porn addicts”. They’re dismissing the study because it has some serious methodological issues with the claims that at least its title seems to make.

          3. “no way that all that porn I watched was responsible for my whore wife leaving me ”
            Said nobody ever.

            Well, who didn’t consider themselves to be a lowlife anyway.

    4. I take it you’re still working on the aspect of self-control that stops you from casting aspersions on people with different values or tastes than you?

      1. Hugh you cast aspersions all day long. Spare this kind of concern trolling.

        1. Look at that, Tulpa learned a new word in this thread!

          1. He’ll be happy to know that just last weekend, I watched porn with my Jew wife while drinking Jew coke and camping in a public park next to a food truck.

            1. See guys this is what imagination look like.

            2. What is Jew coke and why have I never heard of this?

              1. Kosher for passover Coca Cola is made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, and is usually available in March-April. Similar to Mexican Coke, but cheaper and made domestically.

                Tulpa accidentally bought some, and was so upset that he contacted the attorney general claiming he had been defrauded.

                1. That sounds delicious, I’ll have to look for it next year.

                  And that totally sounds like something Tulpa would do.

                  1. Looks the same as regular, but has a different color cap with a Kosher certification.

                    After Passover, they used to go on sale for $.69 per 2 liter bottle. And then the hipsters found out.

                    1. Wait, are they selling it again in CA?

    5. This isn’t specifically a libertarian issue. But taking apart this kind of study and related arguments helps in refuting people who think that anti-obscenity laws are a good idea. And fighting obscenity laws is a libertarian issue.

    6. How is this a libertarian issue at all?

      Reason isn’t strictly a libertarian politics magazine? it’s a magazine that examines everything with a libertarian point of view. That’s why there are movie reviews here.

      1. You’re confusing the poor guy.

        Context? Multiple modalities of discourse? Who has time for that?

    7. Homework kids. Libertarianism isn’t easy. Read the links below and I want a 1,000 word essay on the libertarian worthiness of this article compared and contrasted with the ASA’s general positioning, the NAP, and the role KY plays in marital happiness.

      http://www.asanet.org/sites/de…..report.pdf

      http://www.asanet.org/about-as…..al-records

      And I wouldn’t turn down an apple or two…

      And for extra credit, one further concept – intelligentsia.

      1. and the role KY plays in marital happiness.

        How on Earth does the state of Kentucky make a marriage happier?

      2. Great, a lube joke. Now Jesse is going to make the thread weird.

        1. I’m hurt you don’t think I’ve made the thread weird already.

          And because I’m hurt, I’m not going to link the high quality 55-gallon drum of silicone/water-based lubricant and instead I will link this 55-gallon drum of apparently industrial lubricant that is just about half the cost and comes in a delightfully retro metal drum instead of the classy blue plastic one that Passions comes in.

          So there.

          1. Product Features

            Well-Suited for Hand, Pouring, or Pumping Action
            Clear and Colorless for Quick and Easy Clean Up
            Exceptional Lubricity for Super-Fast Pulls
            Safe to Use With All Cable Types
            Environmentally Safe – Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable and Non-Corrosive; Leaves a Non-Combustible Residue

            I laughed at each one.

    8. How is this a libertarian issue at all?

      This is exactly the kind of study used by people who want to censor the Internet or enact new, ridiculous anti-obscenity laws or gov’t-sponsored anti-porn campaigns to bolster their cause, so while refuting its premises might not be directly tied to libertarianism in this post or at this moment, I think it’s generally related

      1. This.

        Thanks ENB.

        BTW, what’s your take on Elizabeth Smart’s recent statements? It infuriated me for many reasons….

        1. Yeah, Robby and I were talking about this earlier. They’re infuriating, but at the end of the recent article I read it was like “Smart has a book coming out in early 2017,” which I think explains all we need to know about why she’s on this all of a sudden

        2. elaborate on your thoughts? curious

          1. I think that she could have been a great advocate. She has the knowledge and credibility to be very effective as either a:

            1) A spokesperson for the awareness and prevention of child abduction, kidnapping, and rape

            or

            2) An advocate for victims of these crimes horrible crimes, assisting survivors with the the difficult process of healing and recovering.

            She could do some real good in this world doing either one. I also would have respected her choice to move on from her horrible ordeal by living out the rest of her life in privacy and anonymity. She doesn’t owe anyone anything.

            Instead, she is capitalizing on her public notoriety as an abduction victim by fighting against the scourge of…… PORN?????

            She went through something so awful that I can’t even comprehend it, and it’s a shame that she’s lending her credibility to the whole “porn causes rape” thing. Rapists cause rape, but the Mormon Church doesn’t seem to want to let a good opportunity go to waste… so PORN!!!!

    9. In my experience, a porn-free marriage is better than the alternative, especially when one of the two of you isn’t into the kink.

      That said, the people who want to watch porn should be transparent about it so that the people who aren’t into it won’t marry them (or at least, will go into it with eyes wide open). Less marriages with happier people is a hell of a lot better than a bunch of culturally pre-programmed, unhappy marriages.

    10. It’s a libertarian issue because it depends upon a utilitarian idea of objective value, and so is in the face hostil to freedom.

  10. “Since masturbation almost always occurs with sex film viewing”

    Really? I watch porn in order to deny myself my essence.

    1. If true, I’ve been using porn all wrong by viewing it myself rather than showing it to others.

      1. Oh, definitely wrong. If you have selfies or “home movies”, always show them to others. Especially when they’re not ready for it.

        Wall papers, screen savers, even sneak it in to the slideshow of your vacation pictures. You’ll have a 5-10% success rate, so for best results, you’re going to need to make sure to do it to at least 20 people a day. More on weekends.

    2. I’ve watched porno with people on a number of occasions just because it was interesting, and on several of those occasions nobody started jerking me off at any point. I’ve read considerably more porno, mainly because it can be such a fascinating artform (with tons of potential) , rarely with any prurient interest.

  11. The part of the breakdown ENB missed here is that the rate of divorce of people who saw a porn film that (previously unbeknownst to them) featured their spouse was over 80%.

    1. You found out what your ex-wife did with that dog before she starred in Deep Throat?

      1. It explained why every time she gave me a handie, she’d chant, “RED ROCKET, RED ROCKET!”

  12. Clearly a porn in his side.

  13. Watching a lot of porn also guarantees that you will never have to bother worrying about getting married. Trust me.

  14. I’m hoping that our society’s openness about sex will start being a really good thing and after we’re done fucking up people’s lives by lying to each other about where we actually stand.

    People who aren’t into marriage won’t marry and will look for like-minded people to hook up with, without fucking up people who really do want to marry and have long-term commitment.

    People who are into marriage won’t rope people who are completely unsuited to commitment into the thing.

    People who are into marriage + whatever else (porn, open relationship, etc) will be upfront about it with potential partners.

    People really liked the Christian idea of sex and that became the dominant paradigm. People who are not Christian and who didn’t choose that paradigm shouldn’t be bound to it. Let a thousand flowers bloom, and if Christianity has some value when it comes to this issue people will see it and be willing to pay the price of admission for the types of committed relationships idealized by the religion. And if not, then we’re better off because the new paradigm will at least be honest and upfront about where people are at and what they think works for them and their kids.

    1. The problem with this is that what people want changes with time and for those with interests even a little outside of the mainstream holding out for someone whose interests align frequently means years to decades to sometimes an entire life of involuntary absitnance

      1. That sucks but it is a whole lot more honest and upfront than lying someone into a relationship that they would not have been in if they’d been given the option. If I wanted an open relationship and feel like monogamy is hard work, I don’t have the right to lie to someone by pretending to be monogamous while having some strange on the side. If my wife’s monogamous and would have preferred me to be when we married *but married me anyways knowing that I have no intention to be monogamous* — that’s a little different. I’m a Christian and still don’t think that’s great, but she went in eyes wide open and if I sleep around, you can’t say I didn’t warn her. Same with anyone who is upfront about what they like and what they will do when they get married. Anything other than that is lying, and is lying to someone about what is one of 4-5 of the biggest decisions that person will ever make. If someone did that to you with a car, you’d think they were a piece of shit.

        I’m saying that if you want a Dodge, buy a Dodge. If you want an F-150, buy an F-150. If I sell you those things, fine. But if you want a Tacoma and I sell you a goddamn Smart Car, you’re well within your rights to beat my pinko, small-car loving ass.

        1. I don’t disagree that it is better.

          I’m just saying that when you combine the fact that what a person wants when they are 20 is not always the same thing as what they want when they are 23 or 30 or 45 and the reality that relatively few of us have the luxury of holding out for exactly the kind of relationship they dream about it doesn’t make for very helpful advice.

          Maybe you went into the marriage wanting monogamy but 10 years later find it stiffling and want more freedom, maybe you went into it wanting an open marriage but years later want to close it off for at least a while to focus more time on each other and having a family.

          On the other hand maybe you wanted an open/monogamous (either one, doesn’t matter) marriage but knew you didn’t have very much chance at getting one and decided to settle and try to make it work the best you could and maybe you go through your entire life successfully settling for it but are permanently a little unhappy because of it.

          Yes everyone being honest and upfront about what they want is an ideal situation but it still doesn’t help prevent or resolve unhappy marriages because at the end of the day even when people go into relationships with the best of intentions life has a way of screwing them up.

          1. Disagree. Repression is the way to go. Keep it all bottled up.

          2. Happiness is overrated. Most people go through life vaguely dissatisfied throughout life and find happiness almost incidentally. Happiness is subjective and difficult to obtain, but always seems more within one’s reach than it actually is. Honor and honesty are concrete and simple to obtain, but always seem more out of reach than they in fact are. So while I agree with your assessment, rationality suggests that self-discipline and honesty in attaining your ideals is more workable (and potentially kinder to others that you are close to) than attempting to realize a preferred and purely internal emotional state.

  15. Divorce porn?

    Brb.

  16. Look, if your wife blimps up to 300 lbs after you get married, you have a duty to take her to pound town 5 times a week while she watches Iron Chef. Thinking about anything else shows a lack of commitment and self discipline.

  17. Thou shalt watch porn.

    1. If I wasn’t already committed to the Aesir and Vanir, I might have to ask you for a subscription to your newsletter!

  18. Not understanding basic statistics doubles the likelihood that someone will have a paper published in a scientific journal.

  19. Saving the comment thread on the “porn, masturbation, and marriage” article until I am not at work, thanks.

    1. Remember to lock that office door, Dean.

  20. Did anyone study women coming in and blabbing about nothing when we’re watching football or hockey as a predictor of divorce because I swear to God, . . .

    1. + a million

  21. RE: Watching Porn Predicts Divorce?

    Porn does cause divorce. It also causes acne, cancer, male pattern baldness, the New York Giants to come in last place, flat tires, droughts and hurricanes.
    One can only hope The State will ban all porn so we little people wouldn’t suffer so much.

  22. the most avid porno viewers I’ve known were also the most vigorously monogamous.

  23. The author is grasping at straws in an attempt to discredit this study. For example, quoting Nicole Prause as claiming that “controlling for masturbation” would somehow change the fact that porn use is strongly related to divorce. This study aligns with dozens of other studies that have reported that porn use is correlated with sexual dysfunctions and less sexual and relationship satisfaction. Here’s a list of over 40 studies linking porn use to poor sexual function and less relationship satisfaction – http://pornstudycritiques.com/…..al-images/

    1. No, the scientist actually identified an uncontrolled covariate. That’s what “always occurs with” means. She is totally right. It is impossible to blame the changes on porn because masturbation always occurs with porn. That’s what covariate means. A little light on our stats courses, are we?

  24. Also, notice “not peer reviewed”. Like these charlatans, these academics pushed out data that have not even been submitted for peer review to try to make headlines. Unethical.

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