March 14, 2017

Statement: New Research Shows Using Pornography Decreases Satisfaction

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


Washington DC –new meta-analysis–a reliable method for combining relevant data from various studies for greater statistical power—examining the impact of pornography consumption on individuals’ interpersonal satisfaction was recently published, and its findings contradict previous misleading research.

“Pornography is sex-negative,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Pornography rewires an individual’s sexuality to pixels on a screen rather than to a real person, which is inherently inconsistent with healthy, organic relationships. A wide body of research is bringing attention to the various ways pornography negatively impacts both women and men, and this latest meta-analysis contributes important findings to that on-going dialogue.”

The paper, entitled Pornography Consumption and Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis, concluded that “Pornography consumption was associated with lower interpersonal satisfaction outcomes in cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys, and experiments.” Specifically, pornography was linked to significant “lower sexual and relational satisfaction” among male viewers.

“This new meta-analysis contradicts previous research that implied pornography is beneficial to its users. The meta-analysis included more than 50,000 participants from 10 countries, used sound methodology, and found clear and consistent results, which starkly contradicts the widely reported article Porn Sex Versus Real Sex: How Sexually Explicit Material Shapes Our Understanding of Sexual Anatomy, Physiology, and Behaviour.Those researchers asked survey participants questions about the effects of their pornography consumption using a faulty methodology which could only yield positive results, and then presented the results as unbiased and valid despite the skewed methodology,” Hawkins added.

These findings of pornography’s negative impacts on relational satisfaction are consistent with an Open Letter on Porn written by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, world-renowned researchers and clinical psychologists. In their letter the Gottmans stated: “We are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony.”

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

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