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Pornography use and romantic relationships: A dyadic daily diary study

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Abstract

Pornography use is now considered a normative sexual activity, including for partnered individuals. Although there are documented positive and negative effects of pornography use on romantic relationships, studies to date suffer from key limitations, narrowing their clinical relevance. Most rely on vague recall measurement that may inadequately capture actual pornography use, and all are exclusively based on mixed-sex couples. This study used a 35-day dyadic daily diary design to examine the associations between an individual’s daily pornography use and their own and their partner’s relationship satisfaction, partnered sexual desire, and probability of partnered sexual activity in mixed-sex and same-sex couples (N = 217 couples). For women, regardless of partner’s sex, using pornography was associated with their own and their partner’s higher sexual desire and with higher odds of partnered sexual activity. For men, regardless of partner’s sex, using pornography was associated with their partner’s lower sexual desire; for men coupled with women, with lower odds of partnered sexual activity, and for men coupled with men, with higher odds of partnered sexual activity. For all participants, pornography use was unrelated to relationship satisfaction. The current study demonstrated that an individual’s pornography use is associated with same-day couple’s sexual dynamics, with different associations according to users’ and their partners’ sex.

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APA

Vaillancourt-Morel, M. P., Rosen, N. O., Willoughby, B. J., Leonhardt, N. D., & Bergeron, S. (2020). Pornography use and romantic relationships: A dyadic daily diary study. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(10–11), 2802–2821. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520940048

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