Research Paper, 11 pages (2500 words)

Free research paper on online access to pornography

Effect of amount of pornography consumed by men on satisfaction wife has on the relationship and the self esteem, trust, and intimate issues the wife developes


Pornography is problematic in modern society. There is increased evidence that pornography has led to failed marital relationships. Pornography is getting treated clinically using therapist to help save relationships in the society. Young men in the society are hooked to pornography. Internet survey through filling of questionnaires helped to carry out the research. The survey got conducted on both men and women but had a high number of men. Some analyses have shown that different people view pornography differently. Majority of the people view it as problematic while others do not. Those who do not see it to be wrong engage in viewing pornographic pictures and videos. Engaging in casual sex and pornographic exposure has no relationship according to some studies conducted. The studies showed that pornography had effects on casual sex.


Pornography is an international industry that generates about ten billion dollars annually. The sale of pornographic materials has been made successful by the introduction of internet (Jones & Tuttle, 2012). Pornographic materials can easily get accessed and has become much available and get accessed anonymously. The pornographic industry continues to expand daily in a dramatic way. Therapists have been called to help individuals with pornographic addiction problems due to negative effects of addiction. This research paper looks at ways in which pornography gets addressed by therapists to save relationships and the approaches that they use to treat it. To treat pornography it is important for the therapist to have the right attitudes towards pornography and get familiar with the subject. Their level of training on the job matters so that it can get determined on their orientation in feminist therapy (Jones & Tuttle, 2012). Researchers have frantically tried to define pornography but without any success. Some scholars have argued that pornography is not just any material that gets sexually explicit. They say such materials can have violence towards female, degradation or subordinate. During therapist session the therapist gets required to learn definition of pornography as by the client to assess the treatment each client should receive.

Study carried out by Zitzman & Butler (2005) has shown that access of sexually explicit content has become easy. It is estimated that about 30% of internet users engage in sexual behaviors’ online via adult websites and a recent review showed that sex often tops the list of most searched words on the internet. A purchase of pornographic materials gets mostly done via the internet and about 10% of internet users used about 12 hours weekly to view and search for materials with sexual contact. Another common trend is cyber sex that involves discussion of sexual thoughts, online fantasies, between two online users. Initially, pornography got viewed as a potential activity that could benefit marital intimacy. The clinicians have become worried with the continued internet pornography use and access and have realized its negative effects on relationships. Increasingly, couples are seeking help due to pornography addiction by male partners (Zitzman & Butler, 2005).

Effects of pornography

Evidence showed in various studies conducted indicates that pornography has negative effects on its users. Pornography has got linked to aggression and acceptance of myths of rape in the society. Studies conducted have linked the effects of pornography with focus on male user of pornography who have partners that are female (Wright, n. d). The studies show that women experience negativity in their relationships that lead to loss of trust contribution and emotional connection between spouses and lead women to lose their self esteem.
In contrast, some research has shown that pornography stimulates some women and raises their emotional and sexual closeness with their partners. The women’s view of body image increases in a couple that uses pornography to enrich their marital intimacy. But, where one person in a relationship decides to use pornography negative consequences arise; trust gets lost, couples sexual relationship tends to decrease and also time spent with children decreases too. Children also get at risk of being exposed to pornographic material in the house, divorce and separation arise too.

Cyber affairs

Studies carried put have shown that cyber affairs are very common among internet users who get exposed to pornography. Cyber affairs get initiated through online access to pornography and get maintained online through electronic communications of emails and social media applications such as twitter and face book. As a result, the spouse involved in cyber affairs withdraws socially and emotionally from the relationships that they have in the real life to engage fully in cyber affairs (Sinkovic et al., 2012).

Partner abuse

The perpetrators of sexual and physical abuse against women are husbands, boyfriends and partners. Women get vulnerable to physical and emotional abuse when in romantic and intimate relationships. Research conducted has shown the link between sexual violence and long term exposure to pornography. Also, there is significance when the odds of abusing a female get increased due to use of pornography by their partners.

Sexual addiction

Over twenty million people have access to sites with pornographic content. In fact sexual addiction has been referred by some people as a new disorder. Research has got conducted on sexual addiction and the impact it has on relationships that get romantic. Studies have shown addicts to the internet use pornography as an escape place, or to find a place where they belong and to avoid being lonely. Partners with a sex addiction problem often neglect their spouses and family, they experience changes in personality and loss of interest in physical sex. Overall they decrease their commitment in relationships.

Approaches to treatment of pornography

It is important for therapist to first do an assessment thoroughly on the use of pornography and sex addiction. The therapist should put responsibility of change on the partner involved in pornography to avoid placing responsibility inappropriately on the other partner. When a pornography addiction gets diagnosed and the client’s partner has distress calls from the relationship, the treatment focus should get done on termination of porn use and look at underlying dynamics of the couple that could get addressed. Feelings of the client’s partner should get validated to ease up on the healing process. Most important professionals get advised to be up to date with information and attend trainings that are professional.


A qualitative approach was used to show the interaction of pornography and its attachment to relationships.
The participants were clients to two therapist based in California and New York. 25 couples got recruited to participate in this research and 2 were declared ineligible because they the participants were involved in extramaritalaffairs other than getting involved in pornography. 20 had completed therapy and 3 were still under therapy. The age group of participants was from 20- 25 at 30 % and 26-37 at 50% and 38- 45 at 14% and 46- 59 at 6%.


The method of data collection focused on addiction of pornography by husbands putting into consideration its prevalence among men. Detailed use of questionnaires enhanced the reliability and validity of findings that helped to describe the dynamics of relationships. Pornography use was accessed by answering the first exposure to pornographic material by indicating age. The question stated (“ How old were you when you started using pornographic materials?” Also frequency of pornography use was tested using a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being often and 5 being seldom (Twohig et al., 2009). The DVs used were age, income, and unhappiness, exposure to pornography, casual sex and self esteem. The design method was within independent groups.


The participants were randomly selected with the help of two licensed marriage and family therapists based in California and New York. The therapists had an experience of over ten years each. The therapist helped to identify the couples who had come for couple therapy regarding the husband’s use of pornography. The consent to participate in the research was obtained. The distribution of the questionnaires was done by the two therapists. The debriefing of the research was also done with help of the therapists.
This design was appropriate because the couples had different dynamics leading to pornography. The sample chosen was most appropriate because it included both partners and hence they were able to express their feelings and seek help holistically.


With the help of the two therapist appropriate questionnaires got develop touching on the six DVs. The mean number of years in marriage was about 8. With a range of 1 to 20 years. All participants’ wives had strong religious affiliations. One of the measures used was unhappiness. Participants were asked to rate their level of happiness before and after they started viewing pornographic materials that they readily accessed from the internet. Those who reported to be very happy were about 33% while those who were pretty happy were 54%. Those who were not too happy were 13%. The mean was 2 with a standard deviation of 0. 72.
Self esteem as a measure consisted of self acceptance, self worth. Pornography got related to negative impact leading to depression and anxiety among wives due to pornographic addiction by their husbands (Stack , n. d). Another measure was exposure to pornography. Exposure to pornography was started by asking the participants if they had watched a pornographic movie in the previous year. 80 % percent admitted to having watched a pornographic movie while the rest had not. Casual sex was also a measure during participation where Participants were asked if they had one sexual partner in a year. They were also asked if these sexual partners were spouses or regular partners. 80% of participants engaged in casual sex while 10% engaged in sex with strangers, while the rest engaged in committed sex. Sexual satisfaction got assessed with a sexual satisfaction subscale. The participants needed to rate how their sexual needs were getting met and if they were getting met at all. Higher scores indicated high sexual satisfaction. Sexual satisfaction had a slight relationship with contraceptives (Stack, n. d). Some participants indicated that contraceptives hindered sexual satisfaction. Analysis of data was done using gender, age and education in reference to income levels and effects of pornography. Changes in provided variables helped to come up with valid results that helped to support the hypothesis stated for the research (Zitzman, 2009).


The hypothesis stated that pornography caused low self esteem to wives. This hypothesis was supported because results showed high prevalence of pornography among men and wives suffered as a result. The table below shows the significant relationship between various variables to pornographic addiction.
The above results show that pornographic addiction has negative effects and some of the causes of pornographic addiction could get circumstantial. The numbers are in percentage form according to ratings given by the couples. The above results are based on clinical therapy attended by both spouses with men having being the first to seek help. Findings suggest that the above DVs and pornography are related (Zitzman, 2009).


The objective of this research was to show implications of individual and couples use of internet pornography and the low self esteem caused to wives. An emphasis got placed on the various issues affecting the marriage and family such as divorce and separation cases as a result of pornography addiction. Some of the potential unexpected factors are that adolescent and adult women have led to the growth of people taking place in consumption of pornographic materials (Zitzman, 2009).
Limitations experienced in this research include insufficient studies that look at pornography and its effects on marriage and family (Stewart & Szymanski, 2012).
More limitations in this study are that there was little consideration of couples from low income background facing problems brought about by pornography. Also, there was little consideration for short term relationships and relationships that were less committed because they were less aware of pornographic use by their partners and their attitudes too on pornography due to the relationship nature. Partners in a relationship that is close are likely to share space and become aware of behaviors’ that their partners have and also to alter plans and goals. For example, students in college do not experience intimacy and commitment of their partners because at their stage they are still developing. Long distance relationship can contribute to pornography habits in marriage (Zitzman, 2009).
In future, research should get done holistically to include both men and women because they equally have access to internet pornographic materials. The change in demographic of consumption need to get reflected on research literature. Another characteristic that has not yet been set precedent about internet pornography is the simplicity by which children and young adults are having access to internet pornography. In the past restricted movie theaters and adult bookstores bared minors from accessing pornographic materials. Today anyone can have access to pornographic materials due strategic targeting of consumers that is well organized for the online audience. The directions for future research are that more research needs to get done about how women get affected by use of pornography by their partners and how minority sexual orientation affects them (Zitzman, 2009). Future research also needs to include long term relationships in their samples together with married women and should include other groups from other contexts (Ayres, 2009).
Investigations need to get done on assessment of men on pornography and get used to predict the psychological point of view of their partners. Such examinations can show if differences exist between women aware and not aware of their partner’s pornography addiction. Previous research has shown that women are less favorable about pornography and their perspectives should get done to give a clearer picture on effects of pornography on women (Ayres, 2009).


The problems related to pornography have become hugely dismissed and have been linked to deception. Even though internet pornography is an individual problem, it has destabilized the whole family system and the corporate circles. The marital relationship is in danger because online pornography can easily lead to destabilization of marriages due to pursuits of sexual partners outside marriage. During pornographic debates, marriage is a priority because marriage has impact as compared to consumption of pornographic materials by college students who have less responsibilities and commitments (Ayres, 2009). Clinicians and even some couples have revealed that using pornography in an open manner is good for marital intimacy. Couples who use pornographic materials are unlikely to seek medical attention because it does not affect their relationship negatively. Investigations should however get done to determine the differences between mutual use of pornographic materials and alone use without consent from their partners (Ayres, 2009). Internet pornography does not work well with couples, because it is mostly used in solitary and have negative effects such as cyber affairs. Pornography should not get publicly exposed to the society because individuals have different reasons of engaging in it. The society should seek protection measures in internet pornography seeing that internet has become readily available and cheap.


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