Study shows romantic relationship quality, not pornography use, associated with erectile function
A controversial study by anti-porn activists debunked by actual scientist shows bias
"Bizarrely, the conference authors failed to include questions about masturbation, which almost always occurs when people are viewing sexual films," lamented Nicole Prause, PhD, a sexual psychophysiologist and founder of Liberos LLC. "This is known as a third variable problem; the authors seem to be trying purposefully to blame sex films for erectile difficulties."
What she found should be a warning to media swayed by such premature press releases.
Seventy-four (22%) men reported that they preferred viewing sex films rather than having sex with their partner. However, ninety-three (28%) men also reported that they preferred masturbation to sex with a partner. When these groups were compared statistically, they were the same men. Men who preferred masturbation to sex also reported more difficulty with erections.
"Men use masturbation to compensate for lack of sexual satisfaction in relationships. As this sexual behavior is often accompanied by viewing pornography, it can be easily misunderstood,"
"This supports exactly my concern, that men are not preferring sex films, per se, they are more likely avoiding their partner through masturbation, and they happen to watch sex films while they masturbate,"
A measure of relationship satisfaction, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, also was included. Those who preferred sex films or masturbation to having sex with their partner were much less happy with their current romantic relationship than other men were with their current romantic relationship. In fact, those who were unhappy with their relationship were the men reporting erectile problems.
"Not only is there the third variable problem, but the causality appears reversed - relational erectile dysfunction likely drives porn use," said Daniel Rosen, LCSW-R, CST, "Clinicians may validate their hypothesis (porn causes ED) not because abstinence from masturbation/
"This research makes clear why it is critical to always assess porn use within a larger personal and relational context," said Ley.
The amount of sex films viewed each week was unrelated to erectile functioning. This now replicates research from three, previous peer-reviewed independent laboratory studies in high-impact journals, which includes experimental (not just association)
Data are available for inspection to any qualified statistician.