Pornography and Marriage (2014)

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Journal of Family and Economic Issues

December 2014, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 489–498

DOI: 10.1007/s10834-014-9391-6

Cite this article as:

Doran, K. & Price, J. J Fam Econ Iss (2014) 35: 489. doi:10.1007/s10834-014-9391-6


We used data on 20,000 ever-married adults in the General Social Survey to examine the relationship between watching pornographic films and various measures of marital well-being. We found that adults who had watched an X-rated movie in the past year were more likely to be divorced, more likely to have had an extramarital affair, and less likely to report being happy with their marriage or happy overall. We also found that, for men, pornography use reduced the positive relationship between frequency of sex and happiness. Finally, we found that the negative relationship between pornography use and marital well-being has, if anything, grown stronger over time, during a period in which pornography has become both more explicit and more easily available.