Adult Materials and Their Impact on Relationships

The personal consumption of adult materials has only increased in recent years with the proliferation of those materials to more places than just a specific part of the web. This increase in consumption has started to draw more attention to research on the individual and the role those adult materials play on personal wellbeing, but what about if that person is in a relationship? Research is currently lagging behind when it comes to the impact of adult material on relationships and those in them, luckily researchers are starting to catch up.

A team from Brigham Young University gathered a sample of 3,750 adults in the US who were in a committed relationship, with the average length of their relationship being 8.75 years. The breakdown of the adults was skewed heavily in the female direction, with 71% of the sample being female. The mean age of the sample lined up with the current mean age of Americans at 38 years old. The participants were asked how often they consumed adult materials, various questions on relationship satisfaction, relationship stability, and how religious they are, as well as measures on pornography addiction.

The results were interesting, the use of adult materials was negatively associated with relationship stability, the more someone used adult materials the more they thought their relationship was not stable. However, the interesting part is that the use of adult materials had no direct relationship with relationship satisfaction. The negative impacts on relationship stability were also moderated by perceived religiousness and perceived addiction. In other words, the more religious/higher perceived addiction, the more unstable the participants felt. They also found no association between the type of content and relationship stability and satisfaction.

As will all studies there are some issues that would need to be addressed. One such issue is the sample, as it is very non-representative sample of the US population. Another issue is that Brigham Young University is a religious school, and as such may hold bias towards a specific result, so more research by others is very much needed.


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