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Research Suggests That Men May Prefer Porn Over Getting Married

13.3Kshares The amount of marriages happening in the United States is continuing to decline. Fewer and fewer men are finding it necessary to enter into the ultimate show of commitment…

The amount of marriages happening in the United States is continuing to decline. Fewer and fewer men are finding it necessary to enter into the ultimate show of commitment known as marriage. But the reason behind this decline may (or may not) surprise you. As reported on by the Washington Post, one contributor to this trend may be something that hasn’t really been considered a factor until recently—free internet porn.

It’s true. A team of researchers, who published their findings in The Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany, determined that the rise of free online porn may have created not only a correlation with the decline in percentage of young males who are married, but that it may actually be contributing to the trend.Malcolm, M., & Naufal, G. (2016). Are pornography and marriage substitutes for young men? Eastern Economic Journal, 42(3), 317-334. doi:10.1057/eej.2015.7COPY 

The study notes that, “The results in this paper suggest that such an association exists, and that it is potentially quite large,” and that “Instrumental variables and a number of robustness checks suggest that the effect is causal.”

The researchers used information from the General Social Survey, a national comprehensive survey, in order to analyze the online behavior of men ages 18-to-35. The researchers focused on how many hours each guy spent online each week, and how many reported using the internet to watch porn in the past 30 days.

RelatedWhen I Realized I’ll Never Compare To The Women In My Boyfriend’s Porn

Dr. Michael Malcolm, a professor at the University of West Chester, Pennsylvania, one of the study’s authors, said, “We asked ourselves, what is helping determine whether people are married or not? One of those things, we thought, could be the use of pornography.”

In order to test the hunch, the researchers adjusted things which have been shown to be correlated with marriage such as age, income, education, religious affiliation, and employment. They then measured the correlation between porn use and marriage rates among the more than 1,500 males that they studied.

Interestingly, across the board, higher internet usage meant lower marriage rates. But here’s the really interesting part: porn use in particular was more closely linked to the men who were unmarried more than any other form of online behavior, such as regular visits to financial websites, news websites, sports websites, gaming, etc.

Starting to get the picture?

Related: Porn Is Taking Away Men’s Ability To Have Actual Sex

Now a lot of people might say that the reason is obvious, that guys who aren’t married look at porn more than guys who are. And while that may be true, it still doesn’t fully explain the magnitude of these findings. The researchers insisted that the correlation between the two actions (porn and marriage) “likely runs in the direction that we assert.”

Why are the researchers so sure that increased porn consumption may lead to decreased married men? Dr. Malcolm said it is likely tied to the relationship between marriage and sexual gratification. If porn is being used for sexual gratification, then it is undercutting the need for marriage to serve that function.

Wow. How sad is that? “If porn is being used for sexual gratification, then it is undercutting the need for marriage to serve that function.” Translation: a lot of people are thinking to themselves, why enter into a loving, committed relationship, with real intimacy, when I can get that from my laptop?

How is this healthy?

Given that some research estimates that as many as 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume porn,Solano, I., Eaton, N. R., & O'Leary, K. D. (2020). Pornography Consumption, Modality and Function in a Large Internet Sample. Journal of sex research, 57(1), 92–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1532488COPY  it’s no surprise that this “behind-closed-doors” activity has started to have real effects on the ways people think and behave—especially when it comes to attitudes around sex. And unfortunately, it’s likely that we’re just seeing the beginning of it.

This Is Why We Fight

Now that we better understand some of the factors contributing to the decline of committed relationships, we can actively fight back. We don’t think that something as toxic and fake as porn should ever be considered an alternative to real love, and it doesn’t have to be. We know from the research and from the countless people around the world who have shared their stories with us that a porn-free life tends to be a healthier life. Porn can’t offer healthy connection, but the benefits from real relationships can last a lifetime.

Porn may seem like an awkward topic to talk about, but it’s one we have to be bold and shine a light on. Pornography is robbing people of meaningful relationships and genuine happiness, and we can make a change just by starting a conversation about it. By taking a stand and fighting for love, we are not only bettering our own lives and protecting our relationships with those who mean the most to us, we are bettering our world as a whole. Real love is worth fighting for. You with us?

What YOU Can Do

If you think two people in love actually committing to be in a relationship is what’s truly sexy, SHARE this article and help spread the facts on the harms of porn.

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