Research indicates that excessive pornography use can negatively impact romantic relationships. However, it is unclear whether these negative outcomes are different than negative outcomes produced by other compulsive or addictive behaviors, such as drug use. This study compared perceptions of relationship outcomes from either a romantic partner's excessive marijuana or pornography use. Furthermore, this study experimentally manipulated four factors potentially related to perceptions of relationship satisfaction and addictive behavior.
A total of 186 college-aged women read 16 scenarios describing heterosexual romantic relationships in which one partner used either pornography or marijuana. Each scenario varied on four variables: relationship commitment, secrecy of partner's behavior, frequency of partner's behavior, and context of partner's behavior.
Results suggest that partner pornography and marijuana use are perceived to impact romantic relationships similarly and are influenced by similar factors, such as greater frequency, higher secrecy, and partner's availability for interaction.
Such findings are consistent with recommendations by professionals that compulsive pornography use be considered worthy of treatment intervention.