Study: Watching Pornography Can Lead to Divorce

Gavel pornography divorce

Extramarital Infidelity is the leading cause of divorce in the United States.  When researchers investigated the effects of porn on marriage, they found that it normalizes the concept of extra-marital affairs, making viewers see cheating as a regular and rewarding thing.

Published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, researchers investigated the relationship between porn-viewing and divorce.  In the study abstract, authors wrote that,

“Extramarital sex is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce.  U.S. adults who have more positive extramarital sex attitudes are more likely to engage in extramarital sex.  Given pornography’s positive portrayal of extramarital sex, several recent studies have explored whether people who consume pornography have a more positive attitude toward extramarital sex.”

The study analyzed a survey asking 551 married couples whether or not they had viewed pornographic videos within the past year, and also how they felt about extra-marital relations.  The results showed that those who had viewed pornography were more unconcerned and open about extramarital infidelity.

Porn Makes You More Accepting of Extra-Marital Affairs

According to researchers, the more a person watches porn, the more accepting of extra-marital affairs that person will be.  [quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”If pornography consumption leads to more positive extra-marital sex attitudes as the results suggest, porn may be a contributing factor in some divorces via extra-marital sex behaviour,” emphasized the researchers.[/quote]

Pornography Causes Instability and Distrust in Marriages

Dr. Patrick F. Fagan found that pornography use causes instability, and distrust in marriages,  which can severely damage the bond between a husband and wife.

Additionally, “Viewers of pornography assign increased importance to sexual relations without emotional involvement,” says Dr. Fagan.  “The emotional distance fostered by pornography… can often be just as damaging to the relationship as real-life infidelity, and both men and women tend to put online sexual activity in the same category as having an affair.”

Therapist Dr. Jill Manning has found that 56 percent of divorces involved a spouse with a pornography obsession, which, Dr. Kevin Skinner called a “sobering statistic,” in an article for Psychology Today.

“Every year for the past decade there have been roughly 1 million divorces in the United States,” wrote Dr. Skinner. “If half of the people divorcing claim pornography as the culprit, that means there are 500,000 marriages annually that are failing due to pornography.”


– PubMed