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See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 25, Issue 1

For Porn Use, Honesty Is the Best Policy

Women whose partners tried to cover up porn use were less happy overall
A Japanese couple holding hands on the beach



Wikimedia Commons/Muramasa

In Brief

  • Top 4 types of Couple trouble
  • INSECURITY: Unsafe neighborhoods or a lack of support from family, friends or culture can take a toll.
  • MENTAL DISORDERS: Depression, substance abuse and anxiety cause strife.
  • STRESS: Sources include major illnesses, child-rearing and unemployment.
  • POOR INTERACTION: Bad communication, aggression and insufficient time together can become core problems.

Of things better left unsaid, information about your pornography use may not be among them, suggest findings of a recent study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. Among 340 heterosexual women who answered online questionnaires, those who reported that their partners were honest about their pornography use scored higher on measures of relationship satisfaction and had lower levels of distress related to their partners' viewing of pornography, as compared with women whose partners were deceitful about the topic. Women who reported mutual viewing of pornography with their partners also showed less distress than those who did not report mutual use. The study did not assess frequency or amount of pornography consumption, however, and the authors suggest that future research should include these and additional variables.

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