Pornography Use: Who Uses It and How It Is Associated with Couple Outcomes


pornography, relationships, committed relationships, sexual quality


Very little is known about how pornography use is related to the quality of committed relationships. This study examined associations among pornography use, the meaning people attach to its use, sexual quality, and relationship satisfaction. It also looked at factors that discriminate between those who use pornography and those who do not. Participants were couples (N = 617 couples) who were either married or cohabiting at the time the data were gathered. Overall results from this study indicated substantial gender differences in terms of use profiles, as well as pornography's association with relationship factors. Specifically, male pornography use was negatively associated with both male and female sexual quality, whereas female pornography use was positively associated with female sexual quality. The study also found that meaning explained a relatively small part of the relationship between pornography use and sexual quality.

Original Publication Citation

Poulsen, F. O., Busby, D. M., & Galavan, A. M. (2013). Pornography use: Who uses it and how it is associated with couple outcomes. Journal of Sex Research, 50, 72-83.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


The Journal of Sex Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor