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Study: Men's Porn Habits Hurt Women's Self-Esteem

When does a harmless habit become hurtful?

By Kristin Wong Jun 4, 2012 4:39PM

Photo: Patrick Sheandell O'Carroll/Getty ImagesAs a generation of men are growing up with virtual sex lives, their real-life partners are becoming increasingly unhappy, a new study finds. Specifically, young women with porn-loving partners feel they just can't measure up to Jenna Jameson—or whoever happens to tickle their man's fancy.

Destin Stewart is a clinical psychology intern at the University of Florida. After her clients began complaining about pornography use in their relationships, Stewart decided to study exactly how porn use is affecting those relationships.

She surveyed 308 college women (ages 18 to 29) and asked them about their current partner's pornography habits. She also wanted the women's perspectives on their relationship quality, sexual satisfaction and self-esteem. Stewart found that the ladies who reported their partners looked at porn more frequently were not only less happy with their relationships, they also had less self-esteem and were less satisfied with their sex lives.

Stewart told LiveScience that when some women discovered pornographic material on their partner's computer, it made them "feel like they were not good enough, like they could not measure up."

While one might argue that the men weren't there to confirm their habits in the study, it's apparent that pornography is negatively affecting an increasing number of relationships. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge studied the effects of porn use in his patients and then reported the findings in his book, The Brain Changes Itself:

"They reported increasing difficulty in being turned on by their actual sexual partners, spouses or girlfriends, though they still considered them objectively attractive." Doidge wrote about his patients. "When I asked if this phenomenon had any relationship to viewing pornography, they answered that it initially helped them get more excited during sex, but over time had the opposite effect."

Stewart says that when porn becomes a problem in relationships, she advises women not to compare themselves to porn stars. She also urges couples to communicate and compromise.

"It's just about trying to do some education about what is realistic and unrealistic and trying to get couples to be honest about what their wants and needs and desires are," Stewart said.

As much as we women would love our men to only have eyes for us, let's face it. As long as there are women willing to do anything, everything and put it out there for the world to see, men are going to look. But Aristotle said to seek moderation in all things, and while I don’t think he was referring to watching online porn, it's not bad advice.

Tell us on Facebook: Do you think porn is hurtful or harmless?

Photo: Patrick Sheandell O'Carroll/Getty Images

More on love & sex from MSN Living:

10 Ways to Improve Your Love Life (Right Now!)
The Secrets to Great Sex (in 50 Words or Less)
5 Sexy Steps to Get Out of Your Date Rut

 
1006Comments
Jun 4, 2012 9:01PM
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The woman asking the questions of the other women is probably the one that's causing the problems. I think it's been proved that 78% of all women's breast cancer is caused by men that smoke.  They don't know what causes men's breast cancer.
Jun 4, 2012 9:00PM
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Women have used sex against men since the written word. If they are so concerned about their mans sexual appetite let their man know  by non verbal communication. What is amazing to me, even at a church women put on the sexual charms to attract a man once married NO MORE SEX!
Jun 4, 2012 8:58PM
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They just realized this now?

It doesn't just hurt self-esteem, it also hurts trust. My brothers got addicted to it when they were 10, and after some counseling and numerous ways to secure our computers, it took YEARS for me to trust them around me again. As far as I know, since I'm in college now and thus not home for half a week, they're still struggling not to pick it up again.

I have good self-esteem, but I know I would feel upset like this and more if my future husband ever views this trash.
Jun 4, 2012 8:55PM
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You cannot view pornography and love your wife or woman the way she should be loved.  I know from experience.  I know from talking with other men.  I know it in my heart. 

 

While you may think pornography is harmless, it is not.  In articles like this it seems that they treat pornography like there is a useful purpose for it.  It is useless.  Men, if you are single and "use" it, you'll find yourself inept when you do find a woman.  If you have a woman and "use" it, it is making you inept. 

 

Women, you should demand that your husband or boyfriend NOT view pornography.  It always negatively affects your relationship - ALWAYS...

 

My Two Cents Worth

Jun 4, 2012 8:52PM
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My ex was the porn king of the world.  Of course, he expected his hard-working, exhausted breadwinner wife to be a willing participant in these escapades after a long day.  If I had to do it all again, I'd tell him to take a flying leap off a cliff rather than try to please him.  We're divorced.  Hope his expensive porn collection is keeping him warm at night - ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Jun 4, 2012 8:52PM
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I am pretty sure that the reason men FAIL at relationships, is because none of them were ever taught the Code of Chivalry.

Women deserve totally equal rights, AND possible MORE - due to the fact that they bring new life into this world, where as "men" - are just the fetilizer...

If Women Ran the Goverment - there would be NO WAR...

period

And I bet nobody would be hungry, or cold - and we would all be wrapped in our Mother's arms - and we the children could finally have a decent nights sleep.

Perhaps the Nations here and NOW, should try that tactic, before they destroy themselves, and thier children. And us...

Aloha

*please think deeply about my post before you trolls flame me, k?

Jun 4, 2012 8:52PM
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Sex is for the one you love.  Anything else is cheating.

Jun 4, 2012 8:50PM
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I would have thought the biggest problem with porn on the computer would be carpel tunnel syndrome
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