.- A recent analysis of 50 studies found that pornography was negatively associated with sexual and relational satisfaction among men.
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.
The analysis included a combined 50,000 participants across 10 countries, and contradicts another recent study that claimed that pornography has a positive impact on its consumers.
“Pornography is sex-negative,” Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), said in a statement about the new analysis.
According to their website, the NCOSE is a national organization dedicated to opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, and addiction.
“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.”
Hawkins noted that the analysis contradicted a recent study, Porn Sex Versus Real Sex: How Sexually Explicit Material Shapes Our Understanding of Sexual Anatomy, Physiology, and Behaviour, which claimed that pornography positively affected relationships and sexuality after asking participants about the perceived impact pornography was having on their life.
“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.
Pornography has been receiving increasingly negative attention as more groups and individuals highlight its destructive effects on people’s well-being and relationships.
Last year, the GOP at the Republican National Convention declared pornography a public health crisis as part of their platform, a few months after the state of Utah declared the same.
British comedian Russel Brand, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rashida Jones, and former NFL player and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews are just some of the celebrities that have recently spoken out against pornography, its addictive properties and its harmful effects on relationships.
Smartphones and other technology have made pornography more accessible than ever before, increasing the prevalence of pornography addiction. However, in response, numerous online community groups, smartphone apps and educational videos - both secular and faith-based - have launched, with the goal of helping people quit porn.
Still, despite scientific evidence to the contrary, strong biases in favor of pornography as a healthy part of sexuality still exist.
“Pornography is so pervasive today that many individuals grew up watching it and therefore assume it is a normal and healthy part of sexuality,” Haley Halverson, director of communications for NCOSE, told CNA.
“Yet, like cigarettes in the 1950s, we know that just because a practice is popularly accepted doesn't mean it is healthy or beneficial.”
There have also been recent arguments made that pornography simply needs to be produced more ethically. However, Halverson said, it is not possible to make an “inherently unethical” practice more ethical.
“Pornography inherently involves dehumanizing a person by reducing them to a mere collection of body parts for one’s own selfish sexual pleasure. This is an inherently unethical way to view or treat another person,” she said.
“Some people may try to make pornography ‘less’ unethical in different ways, but but such attempts can never change the fact that pornography objectifies human beings. Only a society that rejects pornography can fully respect the human dignity of each person.”