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The Role of Internet Pornography Use and Cyber Infidelity in the Associations between Personality, Attachment, and Couple and Sexual Satisfaction


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Although adults in romantic relationships currently show more openness to online sexual behaviors [1], these behaviors can nevertheless increase couple conflicts and instability [2]. In the current study, we assess the mediating role of Internet pornography use and cyber infidelity in the relationship between 1) personality and attachment, and 2) couple and sexual satisfaction. A total of 779 participants in couple relationships (average age = 29.9 years) completed a series of online questionnaires. According to their responses, 65% of participants visited an adult site at least once during the six months preceding the study, while 16.3% did so multiple times per week. Path model results showed that Internet pornography use and cyber infidelity were sequential mediators between, on the one hand, personality and attachment, and on the other hand, couple and sexual satisfaction. The discussion highlights the importance of properly documenting the correlates of online sexual behavior to better understand new couple realities and dynamics.
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Social Networking, 2017, 6, 1-18
ISSN Online: 2169-3323
ISSN Print: 2169-3285
DOI: 10.4236/sn.2017.61001 November 19, 2016
The Role of Internet Pornography Use and
Cyber Infidelity in the Associations between
Personality, Attachment, and
Couple and Sexual Satisfaction
Anik Ferron1, Yvan Lussier1*, Stéphane Sabourin2, Audrey Brassard3
1Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada
2Université Laval, Québec, Canada
3Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
Although adults in romantic relationships currently show more openness
online sexual behaviors [1]
, these behaviors can nevertheless increase couple
conflicts and instability [2]
. In the current study, we assess the mediating role
of Internet pornography use and cyber infideli
ty in the relationship between
1) personality and attachment, and 2) couple and sexual satisf
action. A total of
779 participants in couple
relationships (average age = 29.9 years) completed a
series of online questionnaires. According to their responses, 65% of partic
pants visited an adult site at least once during the six months preceding the
udy, while 16.3% did so multiple times per week. Path model results showed
that Internet pornography use
and cyber infidelity were sequential mediators
between, on the one hand, personality and attachment, and on the other hand,
couple and sexual satisfact
ion. The discussion highlights the importance of
properly documenting the correlates of online sexual behavior to better u
derstand new couple realities and dynamics.
Internet, Pornography, Cyber Infidelity, Couple Satisfaction, Sexual
Satisfaction, Personality, Attachment
1. Introduction
Accessible, anonymous, and affordable are terms that adequately describe the
online pornography industry [3]. Although pornography is increasingly accept-
able in Western cultures [4], its use can trivialize monogamy, lead to infidelity
How to cite this paper:
Ferron, A., Lussier,
., Sabourin, S. and Brassard, A. (2017
The Role of Internet Pornography Use and
Cyber Infidelity in the Associations b
tween Personality, Attachment, and Couple
and Sexual Satisfaction
Social Networking
, 1-18.
October 21, 2016
November 16, 2016
November 19, 2016
Copyright © 201
7 by authors and
Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative
Commons Attribution International
(CC BY 4.0).
Open Access
A. Ferron et al.
[1] [5], diminish sexual satisfaction, and even reduce sexual attraction to one’s
partner [6] [7] [8]. What’s more, women’s perception of their partner’s porno-
graphy use is linked to couple dissatisfaction and sexual dissatisfaction [9].
However, sexual well-being can be enhanced when both partners use pornogra-
phy [10]. Due to the sheer number of adult sites and their widespread appeal,
researchers are increasingly interested in their role within couple dynamics [1]
[2] [11] [12] [13].
The popularity of online pornography is an important factor in adult sexual
dissatisfaction. Social surveys have shown that levels of sexual dissatisfaction can
reach 60% [14]. The goal of the present study was to examine the role of Internet
pornography1 use and cyber infidelity (sequential mediating variables) in the as-
sociations between 1) personality and attachment insecurities (exogenous va-
riables), and 2) couple and sexual dissatisfaction (endogenous variables).
The definition of pornography varies for each culture and can differ depend-
ing on social context, personal beliefs, and individual experiences [15]. Sexual
behaviors such as pornography use are constructed sexual scripts that have been
learned through social interactions [16]. Traditional North American sexual
scripts suggest that men have urgent sexual needs; their sexual behaviors are va-
lued by society, whereas female sexuality is associated with emotion and com-
mitment. In a North American context, a woman who is very sexually active has
an inferior social status. These sexual scripts change depending on the nature of
the interpersonal relationship. Modifying or maintaining sexual scripts is an ac-
tive process involving significant human effort [17]. Today, breaking away from
traditional sexual scripts can contribute to increased gender equity and offer
more opportunities for sexual satisfaction [18].
et al.
[4] define Internet pornography as online photos and/or videos
presenting explicit nudity with the goal of enhancing sexual arousal. Internet
pornography can also include erotic videos that focus less on genitalia and more
on sensuality. Online sexual behaviors can include but are not limited to having
an emotional component. These online activities can be performed alone (view-
ing pornography and masturbating) or in the presence of others via the Internet
(webcam or live chat) [19]. If the individual is already involved in a romantic re-
lationship, these behaviors can be considered acts of cyber infidelity.
Prevalence and relational correlates of pornography use
A recent study in the United States by Doran and Price [5] explored the por-
nography use of 20,000 men and women in romantic relationships. Their results
showed that 17% of men and 3% of women had visited sexually explicit sites in
the last 30 days. These results support similar findings by Carroll
et al.
[4], who
found that, in a population of young adults, 27% of menbut only 2.2% of
womenviewed pornography once or twice per week. Thus, men are more like-
ly to consume pornography and do so for different reasons [20] [21] [22].
Women also reported less sexual arousal when viewing sexually explicit material
1For reasons of brevity, the term pornography will be used throughout the text when referring to e
plicitly sexual adult sites.
A. Ferron et al.
[23]. Because men’s pornography use is often problematic and compulsive, re-
searchers have devoted less attention to women’s patterns of use.
Some researchers have conceptualized pornography use as a modern form of
sex addiction [24] [25]. However, few have attempted to demonstrate how the
personality traits and attachment insecurities of individuals who use online
pornography are related to cyber infidelity, couple satisfaction, and sexual satis-
faction within adult romantic relationships.
Previous studies have shown that several personality traits (neuroticism, ex-
troversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) are
associated with couple dissatisfaction (see Malouff, Thorsteinsson, Schutte,
Bhullar, & Rooke, [26] for a review), and more rarely with sexual dissatisfaction
[27]. Some of these traits might account for different online behaviors, such as
pornography use and cyber infidelity. In turn, these behaviors might predict
couple and sexual satisfaction. Until now, this model has not been the focus of
empirical research.
In a study by Egan and Parmer [28], only neuroticism, agreeableness, and
conscientiousness were related to mens pornography use. Heaven
et al.
[29] had
similar results. These findings suggest that low altruism (agreeableness) and an
active imagination (openness) are associated with pornography use. In the
present study, we expect that these relationships will also reach significance.
Emmers-Sommer, Hertlein, and Kennedy [30] showed that, regardless of gend-
er, pornography use is related to openness and intentions of being unfaithful.
Very few studies have explored the relationship between personality and cyber
infidelity, focusing primarily on in-person infidelity [31] [32]. Low levels of
agreeableness and conscientiousness as well as extroversion are the principal
characteristics associated with extra dyadic sexual involvement. The current
study therefore aims to identify, in both women and men, if these different per-
sonality traits are associated with pornography use and cyber infidelity.
Studies have shown that the two key aspects of attachmentanxiety and
avoidance insecuritiesare related to couple dissatisfaction [33] and sexual dis-
satisfaction [34]. To our knowledge, the relationship between attachment, por-
nography use, and cyber infidelity is poorly documented [35]. People who score
high on attachment-related anxiety and avoidance experience greater couple
dissatisfaction [36] and sexual dissatisfaction, and pornography use is related to
the quality of romantic relationships [35]. It seems relevant to consider the at-
tachment insecurities of pornography users in order to better understand their
interpersonal and sexual dynamics.
Attachment-related anxiety is characterized by a persistent fear of being un-
loved and rejected by one’s partner. Anxiously attached individuals generally
find sex reassuring and emotionally fulfilling [37] [38]. Attachment-related
avoidance, on the other hand, is characterized by discomfort with intimacy and
emotional dependence. Avoidantly attached individuals are more likely to satisfy
their sexual desires without considering how this will affect their romantic part-
ner [33]. In her review of the literature, Dewitte [39] recommended that re-
searchers better document the mechanisms that connect anxiety and avoidance
A. Ferron et al.
to sexual dissatisfaction.
In their study examining antecedents and consequences of men’s pornogra-
phy use, Szymanski and Stewart-Richardson [35] showed that gender role con-
flict in men is directly related to relationship and sexual satisfaction, but also in-
directly related due to the sequential effects of attachment and pornography use.
More specifically, indirect effects showed that gender role is linked positively to
attachment-related anxiety and avoidance, which in turn is related to online
pornography use. Only online pornography use was related to couple and sexual
satisfaction. According to Szymanski and Stewart-Richardson, individuals with
attachment-related anxiety are likely to use pornography because they feel vul-
nerable in their relationships. Individuals with attachment-related avoidance are
less likely to be sexually intimate with a romantic partner, and pornography
helps them satisfy their sexual needs. However, the abovementioned authors
only studied men’s attachment insecurities. In the present study, we explore
these relationships both in men and women.
Regarding the relationship between attachment and cyber infidelity, research
has primarily focused on in-person infidelity as opposed to online infidelity. In-
dividuals with attachment insecurity are more inclined to seek out extradyadic
sexual encounters [32] [40] [41] [42]. This is especially true for those with ex-
treme attachment-related anxiety [43] [44] [45]. We suppose that both insecure
dimensions of attachment are related to online infidelity.
Pornography and infidelity
Research has shown that visiting sexually explicit sites is associated with a
greater likelihood of infidelity [1] [5], especially in men during their first years of
marriage [5]. In a study by Stack, Wasserman, and Kern [46], adults who had
used pornography more than three times in the last month were more likely to
be unfaithful than adults who did not report extradyadic sexual behaviors. Wy-
socky and Childers [47] demonstrated that men were five times more likely to
develop an online extramarital relationship if they had engaged in cybersex,
while women were three times more likely. In sum, pornography use and cyber
infidelity are important issues to consider when examining couple satisfaction
and sexual satisfaction, and were therefore chosen as mediating variables in the
present study. However, until now, no study has specified the direction of the
relationship between pornography and cyber infidelity. Based on previous stu-
dies, we propose that pornography use is associated with online extra dyadic
sexual behaviors.
Pornography, couple satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction
In general, pornography use is negatively associated with couple satisfaction
[1] [2] [5] [8] [48] [49]. Willoughby
et al.
[12] have argued that the association
between pornography use and couple dissatisfaction can be explained by men’s
aggressiveness, women’s lower sex drives, and poor within-couple communica-
tion. Muusses
et al.
[48] have stated that men’s pornography use is associated with
low couple satisfaction and sexual satisfaction, which supports findings by Lan-
dripet and Štulhofer [50]. Women’s use of pornography is linked to greater marital
A. Ferron et al.
satisfaction [11] for both partners [2]. The combined results of these studies form
the basis of the present model, which proposes that pornography use explains
couple and sexual dissatisfaction through cyber infidelity. Based on previous
studies, this relationship should differ depending on the participant’s gender.
Cyber infidelity, couple satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction
In recent years, cyber infidelity has been increasingly studied [51] [52] [53].
The overall consensus is that cyber infidelity is potentially harmful to the couple
[54] [55]. In some studies, the prevalence of cyber infidelity reached 63.6% [47].
However, this statistic should be taken lightly as the participants were recruited
via Ashley Madison, a social networking site for extramarital relationships. We
propose that cyber infidelity is related to couple and sexual dissatisfaction. Be-
cause rates of infidelity among men are known to be higher than among women
[56] [57] [58], gender should be addressed when looking at cyber infidelity.
The current study proposes a cascade model where pornography use and cy-
ber infidelity explain the associations between, on the one hand, personality and
attachment, and on the other hand, couple and sexual satisfaction. We hypo-
thesize that personality and attachment variables are related to pornography use,
which in turn is associated with cyber infidelity. Finally, we propose that cyber
infidelity is associated with couple and sexual satisfaction. Furthermore, because
women and men show distinct patterns of pornography use (e.g., Hald & Mulya
[21]), we hypothesize that the model will differ according to gender.
2. Methods
The sample consisted of 779 French-Canadians (524 women and 255 men)
living in Quebec who used a computer and were currently in a couple relation-
ship. Since the study was conducted online and a number of participants
dropped out midway, the number of participants changed from one question-
naire variable to the next. Among those who reported visiting adult sites during
the past six months, 230 were men and 272 were women. Four inclusion criteria
were applied: participants were in a couple relationship at the onset of the study,
were between the ages of 18 and 65, had access to the Internet, and had com-
pleted the section of the online questionnaire about adult sites. Regarding the
participants’ education, 17.5% (
= 102) had finished high school, 6% (
= 35)
had a diploma of vocational studies, 36.9% (
= 215) had a college degree (in
Quebec, College education generally spans 2 or 3 years after high school and
precedes university undergraduate studies), 25.3% (
= 147) had an undergra-
duate university degree, and 14.9% (
= 87) had a graduate university degree. In
total, 456 participants were employed at the time of the study (79.4%). Partici-
pants were primarily heterosexual (91.4%), while 3.1% were homosexual and
5.5% were bisexual. Regarding relationship status, 14.8% of the participants were
in a couple relationship but were not cohabiting, 36.2% were married, 41.1%
A. Ferron et al.
were common-law partners, and 7.9% were separated or divorced currently en-
gaged in a couple relationship with a new partner. The average age of partici-
pants was 29.85 years (
= 9.91) and the average length of their relationship
was 6.36 years (
= 6.57).
Participants were recruited through local newspapers, Facebook, discussion
forums, and emails sent out from March to September 2011. Participants had to
visit the
Survey Monkey
website and complete an online questionnaire. The
website’s software ensures participants’ confidentiality and follows strict ethical
standards (including data encryption). Participants were informed of the study’s
objective: to examine the individual factors that motivate pornography use and
assess their impact on the couple relationship. Participants were asked to com-
plete a consent form. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board.
As compensation, five $100 gift certificates were drawn at random and distri-
buted to participants who had agreed to share their email address.
Participants completed several questionnaires, including a demographic ques-
tionnaire. On average, participants completed the online questionnaires in 45
Personality. Personality was assessed using 15 items [59] [60], which meas-
ured, on a five-point Likert scale, dimensions of the Five-Factor personality
model [61]: neuroticism (low emotional stability, low adaptive capacity in re-
sponse to stressors;
= 0.79), extroversion (highly involved in interpersonal re-
lationships, confident;
= 0.73), openness to experience (curious about the
world, interested in varied experiences;
= 0.63), agreeableness (friendly, em-
pathetic, helpful;
= 0.71) and conscientiousness (highly controlling of emo-
tions and impulses, organized, dependable;
= 0.79).
Attachment. The original questionnaire evaluating attachment in romantic
relationships consisted of 36 items [62] [63] assessing two dimensions: anxiety
and avoidance. Their internal consistency is high, varying between 0.84 and 0.86.
et al.
[64] developed an abridged version of the attachment ques-
tionnaire. In the present study, ten items were retained. Cronbach’s alpha coeffi-
cient values for the anxiety dimension (
= 0.86) and the avoidance dimension
= 0.85) were adequate.
Couple satisfaction. Couple satisfaction was assessed with a short four-item
version of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS, Spanier [65]), developed by Sa-
bourin, Valois, and Lussier [66]. Sabourin
et al.
[66] demonstrated that the ab-
ridged version is just as effective as the original 32-item version in distinguishing
between distressed and happy couples. The abridged version had an adequate
internal consistency (
= 0.84) in the present sample.
Sexual satisfaction. Sexual satisfaction was assessed with five items (e.g., “Are
you satisfied with the variety of sexual activities you engage in with your current
partner?” “Are you satisfied with your sex life in general?”) rated on a six-point
Likert scale developed by Nowinsky and Lopiccolo [67]. Cronbach’s alpha coef-
ficient for the five items reached 0.93.
A. Ferron et al.
Adult sites. One item rated on a seven-point scale asked the respondents if they
had visited an adult site (online explicit nude photographsgenitals, breasts, or
buttocksand/or XXX videos—sex, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal sex, etc.of men
and women over the age of 18) in the past six months (1 = no to 7 = every day).
Cyber infidelity. Two items based on a dichotomous scale were developed to
assess if emotional or sexual infidelity had occurred on the Internet: 1) “Have
you ever been emotionally involved with someone other than your romantic
partner on the Internet while you were in a stable couple relationship? (e.g.,
acted seductively, expressed or felt feelings of love, given compliments)” 2)
“Have you ever had sexual exchanges with someone other than your romantic
partner on the Internet while you were in a stable couple relationship? (e.g.,
watched someone sexually stimulate themselves)”. The internal consistency
coefficient was KD = 0.56.
One question was also developed to better understand how participants de-
fined cyber infidelity. Six scenarios were presented and participants were asked
to select those that described an act of infidelity: visiting adult sites, exchanging
personal information via live chat, having sexual exchanges via webcam, having
sexual exchanges without webcam, being a member of an adult site, and having
cybersex via webcam.
3. Results
Descriptive analyses
Regarding the frequency of pornography use, results showed that 35.6% (
277) of participants had never visited an adult site, 15.8% (
= 123) had only
been once, 12.1% (
= 94) went once a month, 6.8% (
= 53) twice a month,
11.2% (
= 87) once a week, and 16.3% (
= 127) multiple times a week. Only
2.3% (
= 18) visited adult sites every day. The
-test results (
(777) = 19.30,
0.001) indicated that men (
= 4.68,
= 1.7) visited adult sites more frequent-
ly than women (
= 2.18,
= 1.5). The effect size was 1.52 (Cohen’s
), which
is a strong effect. The percentage of participants who selected one or more of the
six scenarios describing potentially unfaithful behaviors were: 12.1% (
= 94) for
visiting adult sites, 30.3% (
= 236) for exchanging personal information via live
chat, 82.9% (
= 646) for having sexual exchanges via webcam, 76.9% (
= 599)
for having sexual exchanges without webcam, 27.3% (
= 213) for being a mem-
ber of an adult site, and 90.1% (
= 702) for having cybersex via webcam.
Preliminary analyses
The bivariate correlations between personality traits, attachment, pornogra-
phy use, cyber infidelity, couple satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction are pre-
sented in Table 1.
Path model
The path model was assessed using mediation analyses, based on procedures
proposed by Preacher, Rucker, and Hayes [68]. The model confirmed the pres-
ence of sequential mediation effects, which implies that participants’ pornogra-
phy use and cyber infidelity are mediators of the relationship between 1) per-
A. Ferron et al.
Table 1. Correlations among pornography use, personal, relational, and sexual variables (
= 779).
Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1. Extroversion -
2. Agreeableness 0.25** -
3. Conscientiousness 0.00 0.17** -
4. Neuroticism 0.16** 0.13** 0.04 -
5. Openness 0.28** 0.28** 0.00 0.20** -
6. Avoidance 0.16** 0.19** 0.11** 0.07* 0.12** -
7. Anxiety 0.23** 0.10** 0.10** 0.38** 0.16** 0.16** -
8. Pornography 0.03 0.08* 0.21** 0.10** 0.11** 0.17** 0.03 -
9. Cyber infidelity 0.05 0.00 0.13** 0.01 0.07 0.13** 0.11** 0.27** -
10. SS 0.08* 0.09* 0.00 0.09* 0.05 0.42** 0.10** 0.09* 0.16** -
11. CS 0.08* 0.14** 0.00 0.13** 0.06 0.57** 0.18** 0.11** 0.22** 0.67**
Note: SS = sexual satisfaction. SC = couple satisfaction. *
< 0.05. **
< 0.01.
sonality and attachment (exogenous variables), and 2) couple and sexual dissa-
tisfaction (dependent or endogenous variables). The path model was estimated
[69]. The missing data was analyzed using the full information
maximum likelihood estimation (FIML), which uses maximum likelihood to es-
timate the model’s parameters using as much raw data as possible [70]. Three
indices were used to verify the model’s fit: the comparative fit index (CFI), the
Tucker-Lewis index (TLI), and the root mean square error of approximation
(RMSEA). Hoyle [71] has shown that a CFI and TLI above .90 and .95 indicate a
satisfactory and excellent fit to the data, respectively, and RMSEA values equal
or inferior to .08 are acceptable [72].
The proposed mediation model indices indicated that the theoretical model of
the relationship between variables was a good fit to the data (
2(3) = 1.547,
0.67, CFI = 1.00, TLI = 1.02, RMSEA = 0.000 [95% CI = 0.000, 0.047]). The
Bootstrap method was used to test the significance of the indirect or mediating
effects (using 5000 random samples, with replacement from the original sample)
in order to construct bias-corrected confidence intervals. Analyses showed that
all effects were significant at
< 0.05.
Figure 1 shows that neuroticism, conscientiousness, attachment-related an-
xiety, and attachment-related avoidance were directly related to couple dissatis-
faction. Avoidance also had a direct negative association with sexual satisfaction.
Interestingly, avoidance explained couple and sexual satisfaction through por-
nography use followed by cyber infidelity, or simply through cyber infidelity
(total direct and indirect effects).
As hypothesized, the analysis of indirect effects showed that pornography use
did not directly explain couple or sexual satisfaction; rather, the relationship was
mediated by cyber infidelity. Thus, low neuroticism, high openness, low con-
scientiousness, and high anxious or avoidant attachment explained pornography
A. Ferron et al.
Figure 1. Model linking personality, attachment insecurities, pornography use, cyber infidelity, couple satisfaction, and sexual
satisfaction. Only significant (
< 0.05) standardized regression coefficients (
) are presented. The covariance between exogenous
variables was estimated. The links between these variables are not presented to simplify the diagram.
use, which predicted cyber infidelity, which in turn predicted couple and sexual
dissatisfaction. Regarding the second indirect relationship, attachment-related
anxiety and avoidance were associated with cyber infidelity, which predicted
couple and sexual dissatisfaction.
To test the second hypothesis, the model was estimated separately in men and
women. Results showed a significant difference across genders (χ2 (6) = 56.38,
0.007). The model’s mediation indices in men indicated that the theoretical
model of the relationship between variables was a good fit to the data (
2(2) =
= 0.73, CFI = 1.00, TLI = 1.11, RMSEA = 0.000 [95% CI = 0.000, 0.088]).
Regarding personality traits, only low conscientiousness was related to porno-
graphy use. There was a direct relationship between low avoidance and couple
satisfaction. Attachment-related anxiety and avoidance were also positively as-
sociated with cyber infidelity, but were not related to pornography use. Porno-
graphy use was positively correlated to cyber infidelity and negatively correlated
to sexual satisfaction. Finally, cyber infidelity was only negatively related to
couple satisfaction. There was no significant relationship between cyber infideli-
ty and sexual satisfaction. Percentages of explained variance were small to mod-
erate: viewing pornography = 5%, cyber infidelity = 10%, marital satisfaction =
30%, and sexual satisfaction = 16%.
The model’s mediation indices in women indicated that the theoretical model
of the relationship between variables was a good fit to the data (
2(2) = 4.91,
A. Ferron et al.
0.09, CFI = 0.996, TLI = 0.931, RMSEA = 0.05 [95% CI = 0.000, 0.114]). The sig-
nificant relationships between the model’s variables were similar to those in the
model including all participants, except for six associations. Attachment-related
anxiety was positively correlated to pornography use, while in the general model,
it was positively correlated to cyber infidelity. Attachment-related avoidance was
no longer significantly related to pornography use. Women’s extroversion was
negatively correlated to their couple satisfaction, while this relationship was not
significant in the general model. Neuroticism was negatively correlated to sexual
satisfaction, while in the model containing all participants, it was related to
couple satisfaction. However, the relationship between women’s neuroticism and
their pornography use was not significant. Furthermore, women’s pornography
use was positively correlated to their sexual satisfaction. This positive association
did not appear in the general model. Explained variance was small to moderate:
viewing pornography = 12%, cyber infidelity = 10%, marital satisfaction = 39%,
and sexual satisfaction = 23%.
4. Discussion
Many researchers and clinicians have attempted to identify variables related to
couple and sexual satisfaction. Some have focused on personality [26] [27], oth-
ers on attachment [33], sexuality [34], conflicts, violence, lack of commitment
[73], and many other variables. New behaviors surrounding computer technolo-
gies, specifically pornography use and cyber infidelity, are social, cultural, and
relational issues, and need to be included in new explanatory models. Our results
indicated that pornography use is associated with couple and sexual difficulties
through increased cyber infidelity. These original findings confirm the existence
of “modern” forms of infidelity. While previous studies have suggested that
these virtual relationships do not represent a “real” physical transgression of
couple norms or a betrayal of one’s partner [55], our empirical data is evidence
to the contrary.
Cyber infidelity is a key link in the complex causal chain explaining variations
in relationship quality. While many researchers have already shown that porno-
graphy use increases the probability of in-person extradyadic sex [5] [46] [47],
cyber infidelity is another possible consequence. Future studies should explore
the nature of the relationship between cyber infidelity and in-person infidelity.
Online behaviors might vary in intensity along a continuum, from pornography
use to live chat to emotional and sexual exchanges via webcam. To this end, fu-
ture research should address overall Internet use (email, social networks, sexual-
ly explicit sites, etc.) to understand how various online situations can affect the
development of cyber infidelity.
Path model results revealed several interesting relationships, particularly for
neuroticism, intimacy avoidance, and sequential mediation. High neuroticism
was directly related to low couple satisfaction. Furthermore, neuroticism was in-
directly related to cyber infidelity through its negative relationship with porno-
graphy use. In turn, cyber infidelity was associated with couple and sexual satis-
A. Ferron et al.
faction. These results confirm previous research findings showing that neurotic-
ism is strongly related to couple dissatisfaction [26] [74] [75]. However, contrary
to Egan and Parmer [28], our results indicate that low neuroticism is related to
pornography use. In other words, our study suggests that calm and laid-back in-
dividuals tend to watch more pornography. Future studies should strive for a
more complete assessment of neuroticism characteristics to better understand
this counterintuitive result. Low conscientiousness was associated with porno-
graphy use, which also supports findings by Egan and Parmer. However, caution
should be exercised when comparing results since the present study was not li-
mited to individuals who were dependent on pornography. Only 2.3% of partic-
ipants used pornography every day. A study by Widiger and Mullins-Sweatt [76]
showed that low conscientiousness is often characterized by disorganization and
carelessness, and very low levels of conscientiousness can be characterized by
impulsiveness and negligence. Thus, an individual with low conscientiousness
might exhibit deviant or compulsive online sexual behavior.
Finally, openness was positively related to pornography use. These results
support findings by Emmers-Sommer
et al.
[30], who found that pornography
users were less conservative when it came to sexual attitudes and behaviors, and
et al.
[29], who found that active imagination was associated with the
desire to use pornography. Thus, pornography use seems to be explained by
non-conventional traits, which reflect curiosity, imagination, and unrealistic ex-
pectations [76]. Surprisingly, extroversion was not a significant trait in the
present model, even though previous studies have shown it to be a defining fea-
ture of individuals who use social networking sites [77] [78] [79], sexting beha-
vior [80], engage in extramarital relationships, and use pornography [81]. Future
studies should clarify these inconsistent results.
Cyber infidelity was also explained by attachment insecurity. Previous studies
have established that attachment-related avoidance negatively predicts couple
dissatisfaction and sexual satisfaction [33]. In the present study, our results sug-
gested that both mediatorscyber infidelity and pornography usecan reflect a
lack of commitment in the relationship, as well as a desire to seek out alternative
relationships, both of which are common in avoidant individuals. Furthermore,
if we assume that intimacy avoidant individuals are selfish when it comes to
their sexual needs, as Mikulincer and Shaver [33] have suggested, it comes as no
surprise that pornography use is part of their sexual repertoire [35]. In these sit-
uations, the Internet becomes a safe space, shielding avoidant individuals from
all forms of commitment.
The direct relationship between attachment-related anxiety and couple satis-
faction was not surprising, given the numerous studies on couple satisfaction
and attachment insecurity [33]. Regarding the indirect relationship between an-
xiety and couple and sexual satisfaction via cyber infidelity, several studies fo-
cusing on in-person infidelity have already shown that these two variables are
related [32] [40] [41] [42]. The results of the present study suggest that the acti-
vation of the attachment system is associated with a desire for virtual emotional
A. Ferron et al.
and sexual experiences, which satisfy anxious individuals’ need for love. These
experiences in turn have negative repercussions on couple and sexual satisfac-
tion. Through cyber infidelity, individuals seek out the reassurance that is lack-
ing in their current relationship. Future research should examine if fulfilling
their need for security through cyber infidelity emotionally satisfies anxious in-
Finally, the nature and strength of the relationships between personality, at-
tachment, pornography use, cyber infidelity, and couple and sexual satisfaction
varied between men and women. Depending on the gender, relationships in-
volving personality or attachment would sometimes become less significant or
disappear altogether. Similarly, depending on the gender, the trajectory of in-
fluence would sometimes pass through pornography use or skip this step entire-
ly. In the latter case, cyber infidelity became the link between 1) attachment and
personality, and 2) couple and sexual satisfaction. Pornography use was nega-
tively related to sexual satisfaction for men, but positively for women. This dif-
ference must be emphasized. Other studies have also shown that women’s use of
pornography may be beneficial to their sexual satisfaction [1] [11]. These results
suggest that women satisfy their sexual desires and fantasies through pornogra-
phy. Emmers-Sommer
et al.
[30] have shown that pornography use in women
lowers sexual inhibitions, enriches sexual activity, and increases couple close-
ness. In men, pornography use is associated with higher sexual desire, stimula-
tion, and gratification. However, these effects may lead to decreased sexual de-
sire towards their partner and decreased sexual satisfaction within the couple.
These gender differences may reveal distinct patterns of motivation for porno-
graphy use: while men seek to increase their sexual arousal for masturbation,
women seek to improve the quality of their sexual relationship with their partner
[11]. A thorough examination of the motivations underlying pornography use in
men and women is necessary to test this hypothesis.
5. Limitations
The present study has brought to light the potential role of different online be-
haviors, taking into account personal and relational variables. However, given
the cross-sectional nature of the study, caution should be exercised when inter-
preting the results. Future studies might consider longitudinal designs using the
actor-partner interdependence model (APIM; Kenny
et al.
[82]) to better under-
stand what motivates both partners’ pornography use. Concerning the causal
direction among variables, future research should examine the contexts of por-
nography use and cyber infidelity, and clarify whether they constitute the cause
or the consequence of couple and sexual dissatisfaction. Furthermore, our sam-
ple recruitment strategy might have limited the study. Other types of samples
should be evaluated to generalize the models.
Another limitation was the conceptualization of pornography use and cyber
infidelity variables. The definition of infidelity proved to be ambiguous. Some
participants considered that pornography use was an act of infidelity, while oth-
A. Ferron et al.
ers did not. Moreover, items presented low reliability. Future studies should bet-
ter define emotional infidelity by including, for example, specific behavioral in-
dicators (e.g., complimenting an individual with the goal of seducing them).
Studies should also clarify the nature of the link between pornography use and
cyber infidelity. Furthermore, a more exhaustive assessment of pornography us-
ers’ personality traits [76] might have refined our results. For example, high
neuroticism is characterized by fear, lack of confidence, and anxiety, while low
neuroticism indicates obliviousness to danger and recklessness. These extremes
can be harmful for Internet users. A thorough assessment of personality traits
(e.g., sex addiction, immediate gratification of personal needs, compulsivity,
high sexual needs, stress management) could lead to a better understanding of
the motivations behind pornography use, regardless of individuals’ frequency of
6. Practical Implications
As the pornography industry continues to grow, clinicians report that an in-
creasing number of individuals are seeking out help to deal with sexual and rela-
tional difficulties associated with pornography use [5] [50] [83]. In addition, re-
lationship issues associated with cyber infidelity seem to be on the rise [53].
Couples need to be able to define infidelity before they can establish clear rules
about Internet use [49]. Therapists need to consider the importance of the In-
ternet in romantic relationships, and should be aware of the possible behaviors
that might predict infidelity, such as pornography use [84]. Online behaviors
should be assessed on a continuum, ranging from simple online entertainment,
to online dating, to cyber addiction [53]. An adequate assessment tool, such as
the one developed by Rosenberg and Krauss [25], might help identify the various
motivations behind individuals’ pornography use (to learn different sexual posi-
tions, to decrease anxiety, to cope with sexual difficulties, to relieve boredom, to
have fun, etc.). By gaining a fuller understanding of why individuals use Internet
pornography, cyber infidelity might be better understood. Increased efforts
should be made to develop appropriate treatments for cyber sexual behaviors
and thus avoid couple dissatisfaction.
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... Con respecto a factores personales, se ha identificado que el comportamiento infiel tiene como facilitador la presencia de diversos rasgos de personalidad como la extroversión, el neuroticismo, bajos niveles de amabilidad y conciencia (van Zyl, 2020). Respecto a las deficiencias en la relación de pareja, percibidas por la pareja infiel, se describe la frecuencia y niveles de conflicto, la baja satisfacción en la relación de pareja (Ferron, Lussier y Brassard, 2017;Guilbault et al., 2019;Isma y Turnip, 2019;Rivera et al., 2020), así como el poco valor asignado a la pareja (Arantes, Barros y Oliveira, 2020; Starratt, Weekes y Shalkelford, 2016). ...
... Dichos resultados pueden explicarse porque se ha identificado que la conducta infiel tiende a aumentar los conflictos y a disminuir las conductas positivas y aumenta las negativas (Ferron et al., 2017;Leone et al., 2020), por lo que se plantea la hipótesis de que este grupo de jóvenes, al no tener conductas infieles, presentan estilos más positivos para la resolución de conflictos, por medio del dialogo y la expresión tranquila de las ideas. ...
... En lo referente a la descripción del tercer grupo: "Infieles sexuales", se concluye que muestran diferencias en relación con los otros dos grupos, específicamente en la conducta sexual, es decir, muestran mayor presencia de estas conductas como: tocamiento físico, preludio sexual, sexo coital y oral, así como conductas de arreglo personal, de cortejo y conquista, las cuales están dirigidas a atraer y gustar a otros, además, han realizado conductas de estimulación y gratificación sexual individuales, lo que incluye acciones como masturbarse o ver pornografía, y han incluido variantes sexuales como el uso de objetos, estímulos y circunstancias que enriquecen su vida sexual, resultados que coinciden con otras investigaciones que sustentan que las personas infieles tienden a tener una vida sexual más activa, y al disminuir la frecuencia o la satisfacción sexual con sus parejas tienden buscar nuevas parejas , además de que hacen más uso de pornografía (Ferron et al., 2017). ...
Full-text available
La infidelidad es un fenómeno multicausal, con consecuencias individuales, familiares y sociales, que afectan la salud física y la emocional. El objetivo de este trabajo es identificar a grupos de jóvenes universitarios con relación de pareja en el último año, a partir de la variable infidelidad y describir sus características desde variables proximales. En la investigación participaron 172 mujeres y 44 hombres de entre 18 y 30 años. Se midieron las variables infidelidad, manejo del conflicto, comunicación, celos y conducta sexual. Como resultado se identificaron tres grupos con particularidades diferentes: “deseo de infidelidad emocional” quienes establecen vínculos románticos; “no infieles” que no cometen adulterio e “infieles sexuales” que son aquellas personas que practican la infidelidad sexual; concluyendo que los “no infieles” son menos celosos, se comunican asertivamente y resuelven conflictos de pareja más efectivamente en contraste con los “infieles sexuales”.
... Yet, the mediators and moderators of the associations between attachment insecurity and sexual satisfaction remain to be clarified (Dewitte, 2012;Stefanou & McCabe, 2012). Few authors have considered factors pertaining to digital technologies as explanatory processes, except for one study (Ferron et al., 2017) identifying cyberpornography and cyberinfidelity as mediators of the attachment and sexual satisfaction link. As it can be used to manage intimacy in the relationship, TMSI is a particularly relevant behavior to consider in the associations between attachment and sexual satisfaction, especially among young adults. ...
... In addition, the first sample included mainly women, while the second sample included only mixed-sex couples, and both samples included only cisgender individuals and couples, limiting the generalizability of the results. Finally, the magnitudes of the effects were small; although they are comparable to the effect sizes found previously (Ferron et al., 2017), it suggests that other factors are required to better account for young adults' sexual satisfaction. These results should be replicated with larger and more diverse samples (gender, sexual orientations, relational arrangements). ...
The evolution of technology has transformed the way young adults develop and maintain relationships, including their sexuality. Since many young adults report low sexual satisfaction, it is important to understand what contributes to these negative experiences. Several studies have identified that attachment anxiety and avoidance are related to lower sexual satisfaction. However, few studies have considered technology-mediated sexual interactions (TMSI) – and the motives for doing so – in the associations between attachment and sexual satisfaction. This study explored the mediating and moderating role of TMSI (frequency and motives) in these associations in a sample of 478 young adults (Study 1) and 142 couples (Study 2). Results showed that attachment anxiety was related to a higher TMSI frequency and engaging in TMSI for avoidance motives. Engaging in TMSI for approach motives was related to higher sexual satisfaction, while engaging in TMSI for avoidance motives was related to lower sexual satisfaction. Finally, engaging in TMSI to manage distance moderated the association between attachment avoidance and sexual satisfaction. These results suggest that beyond the role of attachment anxiety and avoidance, contemporary factors related to digital technologies, such as sexting frequency and motives, are related to sexual satisfaction.
... Three important aspects to consider in the association between pornography use and infidelity include the following: (a) the perception of pornography use as infidelity per se. Although this perception does not seem to be generalized, minorities have been identified who perceive pornography use as infidelity, and certain cultural differences in this perception may exist [55]; (b) a direct association between pornography use and favorable attitudes toward infidelity [54,[56][57][58][59]. Higher intentions to commit infidelity have been found to relate to preference for two types of content: gangbang scenes and threesomes [60]; and (c) the association between pornography use and infidelity, suggesting that pornography use may predict extradyadic sexual involvement [18,58,61,62]. ...
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Purpose of Review The present review focuses on relationships between pornography use, problematic pornography use, and their possible effects on partners and relationships. Recent Findings Pornography use has been examined in the setting of marriages and other partnered relationships. Aspects considered include pornography-use patterns, perceptions of a partner’s pornography use, relationship satisfaction and happiness, relationship quality, partner’s problematic pornography use, infidelity/extramarital sex, and relationship stability (breakup/divorce). Summary Studying potential effects of pornography use in the context of dyadic relationships appears important with respect to understanding both marriage and divorce and the quality of couples’ relationships. More research is needed, particularly in the context of problematic pornography use.
... Studies by Abdi, Khoshkonesh, Porebrahim & Mohammadi (2012) and McDaniel et al (2017) state that unfaithful partners have an avoidant or anxious attachment rather than a secure one. Ferron, Lussier, Sabourin & Brassard (2016) explain how activation of the attachment system is associated with the desire for emotional and sexual experiences in the online environment, which satisfy the need for love that anxious individuals have. ...
The main objective of this study was to investigate behavioural and emotional cues that could predict engaging in unfaithful behaviour online. Starting from the use and gratification theory, this study shows how people satisfy certain personal needs which are not fulfilled in their romantic relationships using social networks. A number of 250 participants, (N = 250) completed the SONTUS scale of time spent on social networks, the TILES scale, which reports the interference of technology in everyday life, and the SMIRB scale for online infidelity. Time spent on social networks and the interference of technology in everyday life predict infidelity in the online environment. It is necessary to educate couples on this subject.
... Bağlanma. Yetişkin bağlanmasının her iki boyutu (kaygı ve kaçınma) da aldatma ile ilişkilendirilmiştir. Bağlanma kaygısı yüksek olan bireyler, daha çok evlilik dışı ilişki rapor etmekte (Bogaert ve Sadava, 2002;Russell, Baker ve McNulty, 2013), fiziksel ve duygusal aldatma ölçümlerinde daha yüksek puan almakta (Pereira, Taysi, Orcan ve Fincham, 2014) ve internette daha sık aldatma davranışı içinde bulunmaktadır (Ferron, Lussier, Sabourin ve Brassard, 2017;McDaniel, Drouin ve Cravens, 2017). Bağlanma kaçınması da hem fiziksel (Allen ve Baucom, 2004; DeWall ve ark., 2011) hem de çevrimiçi aldatmayı (Ferron ve ark., 2017) yordamaktadır. ...
... Bağlanma. Yetişkin bağlanmasının her iki boyutu (kaygı ve kaçınma) da aldatma ile ilişkilendirilmiştir. Bağlanma kaygısı yüksek olan bireyler, daha çok evlilik dışı ilişki rapor etmekte (Bogaert ve Sadava, 2002;Russell, Baker ve McNulty, 2013), fiziksel ve duygusal aldatma ölçümlerinde daha yüksek puan almakta (Pereira, Taysi, Orcan ve Fincham, 2014) ve internette daha sık aldatma davranışı içinde bulunmaktadır (Ferron, Lussier, Sabourin ve Brassard, 2017;McDaniel, Drouin ve Cravens, 2017). Bağlanma kaçınması da hem fiziksel (Allen ve Baucom, 2004; DeWall ve ark., 2011) hem de çevrimiçi aldatmayı (Ferron ve ark., 2017) yordamaktadır. ...
Conference Paper
İnsanların inançları, yaşamlarını sürdürdükleri coğrafya, kurmuş oldukları toplumsal düzen, diğer topluluklarla kurmuş oldukları ilişkiler, teknolojik gelişmeler toplumların hayatlarını doğrudan veya dolaylı olarak etkilemiştir. Doğal olarak da toplumların çocuklara bakış açıları da değişime uğramıştır. Tarihe bakıldığında çocukluk kavramının yetişkinlik kavramından farkının olmadığı, sonraki süreçlerde ise bu kavramın toplumların yaşamış oldukları değişim süreciyle başkalaşıma uğradığı göze çarpmaktadır. İlk toplumlarda fiziksel, duygusal ve davranışsal açıdan yetişkinlerden farklılıkları olmasına rağmen çocuklar çocuk olarak kabul edilmemiş, her bakımdan minyatür birer yetişkin olarak görülmüşlerdir. Çocuklar ne kadar seviliyor olsalar da bütün toplumlarda çocukluk bilincinin geçmişte de günümüzde de eksik olduğu göze çarpmaktadır. Dünyadaki toplumlar çocuk hakkında tarihsel süreç içinde yeterli bilgiye sahip olamamış ve bu bilgi eksikliği ne yazık ki günümüzde de devam etmektedir. Dünya genelinde yapılan ve yapılmakta olan başarılı uygulamaların çok az sayıdaki çocuklara ulaştığı ve çocuk eğitim programlarının da bunun etkisiyle istenen seviyelere gelmediği söylenebilir. Bu nedenle çocukların eğitimi söz konusu olduğunda birçok problemin tarih boyunca çocukların karşısına çıktığı görülmektedir. Bir toplumun çocuğa olan bakış açısı o toplumda var olan çocuk eğitim programına yansımaktadır. Çocukluk kavramı birçok araştırmaya konu olmasına rağmen çocuk eğitim programlarının bu araştırmalardan nasibini alamadığı önemli bir problem olarak karşımıza çıkmaktadır. Bu çalışmada da bu problem göz önünde bulundurularak Dünyada ve Türkiye’de çocukluk kavramının tarihsel gelişimi ve bunun eğitim programlarına nasıl yansıdığı tartışılacaktır.
... Bağlanma. Yetişkin bağlanmasının her iki boyutu (kaygı ve kaçınma) da aldatma ile ilişkilendirilmiştir. Bağlanma kaygısı yüksek olan bireyler, daha çok evlilik dışı ilişki rapor etmekte (Bogaert ve Sadava, 2002;Russell, Baker ve McNulty, 2013), fiziksel ve duygusal aldatma ölçümlerinde daha yüksek puan almakta (Pereira, Taysi, Orcan ve Fincham, 2014) ve internette daha sık aldatma davranışı içinde bulunmaktadır (Ferron, Lussier, Sabourin ve Brassard, 2017;McDaniel, Drouin ve Cravens, 2017). Bağlanma kaçınması da hem fiziksel (Allen ve Baucom, 2004; DeWall ve ark., 2011) hem de çevrimiçi aldatmayı (Ferron ve ark., 2017) yordamaktadır. ...
Objective: This study aims to investigate the model of the relationship between differentiation and moral justice in sexual satisfaction. Methods: This descriptive and applied research was done based on structural equations. The statistical population consisted of 300 individuals who were selected via the convenience sampling method. The differentiation questionnaire moral justice questionnaire were distributed to the individuals online. Results: The results indicated that differentiation (0.243) (P<0.01), and moral justice (0.175) (P<0.01) are related to sexual satisfaction. Conclusion: The individual and interpersonal dimensions of human beings can affect sexual satisfaction. According to different human dimensions, it is suggested that cognitive issues, interpersonal relationships, and moral dimensions be trained even before starting marital life as a model. Meanwhile, conditions can be provided to promote sexual satisfaction and its continuation in a safe and healthy environment to help maintain this path.
Contemporary sexually explicit Internet materials (SEIM) are commonly unrealistic. Following from self-discrepancy theory, we proposed that discrepancies between ideal and actual sexual experiences depicted in SEIM (ideal-actual sexual discrepancy; IASD) may be important in understanding the association between SEIM consumption, sexual satisfaction, and general well-being for heterosexual men. Participants from a general online community ( n = 195) were assessed via an online survey. Path analysis showed that the relationships between SEIM consumption and outcomes were not homogenous across age cohorts. While SEIM consumption and IASD contributed to sexual dissatisfaction for men in their 20s, only IASD had a direct relationship for men in their 30s. Higher IASD accounted for lower sexual satisfaction for men across age cohorts, suggesting that IASD may be a more stable factor as compared to quantity of consumption alone for explaining the negative association between SEIM consumption, sexual satisfaction, and all measured aspects of well-being.
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Personality and marital satisfaction may help to account for the likelihood of marital infidelity. We hypothesized that people with particularly disagreeable spouses (i.e., those low on Agreeableness) and particularly unreliable spouses (i.e., those low on Conscientiousness) will be less satisfied with their marriage, leading them to estimate a higher probability of becoming extramaritally involved in the next year. Two hundred fourteen newlyweds comprising 107 couples completed measures assessing their personality, their marital satisfaction, and their likelihood of infidelity. The results provide some evidence that personality and marital satisfaction may help to account for which marriages are likely to include infidelities and which are likely to remain faithfully intact.
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Five studies were conducted to develop a short form of the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR) questionnaire with optimal psychometric properties. Study 1 involved Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses of the responses of 2,066 adults, resulting in a 12-item form of the ECR containing the most discriminating items. The psychometric properties of the ECR-12 were further demonstrated in two longitudinal studies of community samples of couples (Studies 2 and 3), in a sample of individuals in same-sex relationships (Study 4), and with couples seeking therapy (Study 5). The psychometric properties of the ECR-12 are as good as those of the original ECR and superior to those of an existing short form. The ECR-12 can confidently be used by researchers and mental health practitioners when a short measure of attachment anxiety and avoidance is required.
We examined whether the consumption of pornography affects romantic relationships, with the expectation that higher levels of pornography consumption would correspond to weakened commitment in young adult romantic relationships. Study 1 (n = 367) found that higher pornography consumption was related to lower commitment, and Study 2 (n = 34) replicated this finding using observational data. Study 3 (n = 20) participants were randomly assigned to either refrain from viewing pornography or to a self-control task. Those who continued using pornography reported lower levels of commitment than control participants. In Study 4 (n = 67), participants consuming higher levels of pornography flirted more with an extradyadic partner during an online chat. Study 5 (n = 240) found that pornography consumption was positively related to infidelity and this association was mediated by commitment. Overall, a consistent pattern of results was found using a variety of approaches including cross-sectional (Study 1), observational (Study 2), experimental (Study 3), and behavioral (Studies 4 and 5) data.
The present study utilized a sample of 1755 adult couples in heterosexual romantic relationships to examine how different patterns of pornography use between romantic partners may be associated with relationship outcomes. While pornography use has been generally associated with some negative and some positive couple outcomes, no study has yet explored how differences between partners may uniquely be associated with relationship well-being. Results suggested that greater discrepancies between partners in pornography use were related to less relationship satisfaction, less stability, less positive communication, and more relational aggression. Mediation analyses suggested that greater pornography use discrepancies were primarily associated with elevated levels of male relational aggression, lower female sexual desire, and less positive communication for both partners which then predicted lower relational satisfaction and stability for both partners. Results generally suggest that discrepancies in pornography use at the couple level are related to negative couple outcomes. Specifically, pornography differences may alter specific couple interaction processes which, in turn, may influence relationship satisfaction and stability. Implications for scholars and clinicians interested in how pornography use is associated with couple process are discussed.
(from the chapter) distinguish between socially driven and biologically driven theories of sexual conduct by distinguishing between drive (or instinct) models and a strong socio-cultural theory of sexual action which is based on the theory of sexual scripts / [discuss] the historical significance of the individual sexual actor in traditional research on sexuality, even that which has been social in its orientation, pointing out that even social scripting theory has often not taken systematic account of the role of social structure in shaping sexual conduct / [indicate] the ways in which the interconnections between individuals directly and indirectly influence various types of sexual conduct [create] a framework for moving from the analysis of the behavior of isolated individuals and events (the usual form of sociological analysis) to more complex data structures and analytic schemes / discuss non-sexual as well as sexual examples of the kinds of data that might be gathered and problems that these kinds of data will produce for traditional forms of statistical analysis instinct, drive, script: alternative ways of understanding sexuality / the individual sexual actor / scripts: collective, interpersonal, and intrapsychic / social networks and sexuality / extended social networks and sexual conduct / stakeholders and audiences [in reproduction, in extramarital sex, in sexual practices, in solitary sex, in sexual gossip and fantasy, in sexual pleasure] / the need for stakeholders and audiences / the importance of pairs / the structure of sexual action
Little research has explored infidelity relationships from the perspective of the infidelity partner (i.e. the other man/woman to an exclusive romantic relationship) or explored the personality profiles of these individuals. Participants (n = 180) completed an online survey. Our findings indicate that most infidelity partners initially do not know they are engaging in infidelity but less than half ended the relationship upon learning of the infidelity. Low agreeableness appears to be a core trait to help explain why some individuals are willing to be an infidelity partner and conceal the transgression. Individuals higher on anxious attachment and an unrestricted sociosexual orientation appear to be more likely to be infidelity partners, although this finding must be cautiously interpreted. As a third party is necessary to engage in infidelity, knowing more about the infidelity partner is essential to furthering the infidelity literature.