Are fewer Americans getting married because of online porn?

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The availability of free porn on the internet has led to a significant decline in marriage rates in the US. This is the claim of research published in Germany’s Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA).

According to the study, the rate of marital formation in the US dropped by 39 per cent between 1950 and 2010, with a 17 per cent fall between 2000 and 2010 alone. Nowadays, the percentage of males aged 25 to 34 who have never tied the knot is higher by more than six-fold. For those aged between 35 and 44, the proportion of unmarried individuals was greater by more than four times.

“We asked ourselves, what is helping determine whether people are married or not?” said one of the study’s authors, Michael Malcolm, who is a professor from the University of West Chester in Pennsylvania.

Using information from the General Social Survey (GSS), the researchers analysed how men aged 18 to 35 surfed the internet between 2000 and 2004. Specifically, they looked into the time spent by each participant on the internet and how many of them viewed online porn within a specified period. They also took note of those who visited religious websites. In total, the study involved more than 1,500 participants.

“Broadly, higher Internet usage was associated with lower marriage rates. But pornography use in particular was more closely linked to those participants who were not married than any other form of Internet use. The opposite, for comparison, was true for religious website use, which was positively correlated with marriage.”


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