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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Porn use doubles chance of divorce in the next 2 years, study finds

Porn use doubles chance of divorce in the next 2 years, study finds 

Ben Johnson

Beginning to watch pornography nearly doubles the chance that a couple will divorce in the next two years or less, according to a new study. Porn use had a greater impact on younger couples and those who did not attend religious services at least weekly. 

“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 six percent to 16 percent,” said the study’s lead author, Samuel Perry, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma.
"The negative impact of pornography on marriage is very real," Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), told LifeSiteNews. "This study provides further evidence that pornography is a public health crisis not only because of its negative impacts on attitudes and behaviors of the individuals who use it, but also because of the harm it causes to marriage and family relationships every day.”
“The news of this research will resonate deeply with the countless women and men whose marriages have dissolved because of pornography's toxic influence. As they know all too well, the ideas and values communicated in pornography have consequences — consequences that damage intimate relationships,” Hawkins told LifeSiteNews.


Other studies had found that porn use had a worse impact on church-going couples than secular couples. But Perry and co-author Cyrus Schleifer, also of the University of Oklahoma, reached just the opposite conclusion.
Ceasing to view pornography decreased the chance for marital break-up – but only for women. Women who continued using porn were three-times more likely to divorce in the next two years than those who stopped.
They found no correlation for men, something they attributed to men being more consistent in their porn habits.
“Previous longitudinal research on married couples has demonstrated that those who used pornography more often reported lower satisfaction with their sex-life and decision-making as a couple,” Hawkins told LifeSiteNews. “Thus, it is not surprising that beginning pornography use after marriage translates into a nearly two-fold increase for the risk of divorce."
Beginning to watch porn increased the potential for a couple that did not attend weekly religious services to divorce from six to 12 percent within the next two years. But it had almost no effect on those who attend services at least weekly.
“Our findings suggest that religion has a protective effect on marriage, even in the face of pornography use,” Perry said. “Because religious groups stigmatize divorce and prioritize marital stability, it is likely that married Americans who are more religious will experience a greater combination of community pressure and internalized moral pressure to stay married, regardless of pornography’s effect on their marital quality.”
Researchers, who interviewed couples every two years for a four-year period before reviewing divorce data, also found that beginning porn use inflicted a greater toll on happy couples than less satisfied pairs.
Society has been increasingly aware of porn’s harmful effects. Hawkins was on hand when Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared porn a public health crisis in April. The 2016 Republican Party platform makes a similar declaration, and Donald Trump signed a pledge to prosecute pornographers for violating anti-obscenity laws.
The University of Oklahoma researchers said they were not motivated by political goals. They just wanted couples to know the damaging effects their eight-year-long study uncovered.
“We have no desire to push a ‘ban pornography’ agenda on the grounds that it can be harmful to marriages. Neither one of us is on a moral crusade,” Perry said. “Americans should be aware of the potential consequences of pornography under certain circumstances.”
The paper – “Till Porn Do Us Part? Longitudinal Effects of Pornography Use on Divorce” - was presented on Monday at the 111th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle.

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