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Does Pornography Use Affect Marital Happiness?

J Sex Res; ePub 2017 May 12; Perry, Schleifer

The association between beginning pornography use and the probability of divorce was particularly strong among younger Americans, those who were less religious, and those who reported greater initial marital happiness, according to a recent study. The study examined the relationship between pornography use and one such institution: marriage. Researchers drew on 3-wave longitudinal data from 2006 to 2014 General Social Survey panel studies to determine whether married Americans' pornography use predicted their likelihood of divorce over time and under what social conditions. They employed a doubly robust strategy that combined entropy balancing with logistic regression models and found:

  • The probability of divorce roughly doubled for married Americans who began pornography use between survey waves (n=2,120), and that this relationship held for both women and men.
  • Conversely, discontinuing pornography use between survey waves was associated with a lower probability of divorce, but only for women.


Perry SL, Schleifer C. Till porn do us part? A longitudinal examination of pornography use and divorce. [Published online ahead of print May 12, 2017]. J Sex Res. doi:10.1080/00224499.2017.1317709.

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