Monday 26 September 2016

Most of us watch porn, even if we do find it 'disturbing'

More women than men say it has ‘a positive effect’ on their relationships

Published 17/01/2015 | 02:30

49pc of women aged 18-24 believe their partner watches pornography online
49pc of women aged 18-24 believe their partner watches pornography online

ALMOST half of young Irish women think their partner is secretly watching pornography, with most of those believing that it has a "positive" impact on their relationship, even going so far as to say it improves their sex life.

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A new study has shown that most of those who watch porn admit they sometimes find the content "disturbing" or "too hardcore", with a smaller number feeling that it is "morally wrong".

The survey by Amarach Research points to the double standards at play in Irish society when it comes to pornography, with 69pc of Irish adults of all ages admitting they have seen or watched pornographic content "in some form".

The findings were higher for males than females, with 83pc of men having viewed pornography compared with 56pc of women. Those aged 35-44 were most likely of any age group to have seen or watched porn.

The study, which surveyed 1,002 Irish internet users over the age of 18, found that a quarter of all those who have viewed porn watch it on a weekly basis. Those findings are further broken down, with 36pc of those who are not in a relationship watching porn weekly, as against 21pc who are currently in a relationship.

Pat O'Connor, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Limerick, said the findings of the survey are worrying for society, with the fact that it is so widespread indicates "a disturbing pattern of misogyny".

"In an increasingly materialistic society, pornography is seen as something that's okay and to be 'trendy' you have to be involved in it," she said. And she warned that there is a correlation between men who watch porn and domestic violence.

Unveiled in a 'Prime Time' programme on the widespread prevalence of porn-watching amongst Irish society, the survey shows that a quarter of Irish people watched porn for the first time between the ages of 16 and 18.

A disturbing 7pc of people said they had seen porn before the age of 12.

Most had their first encounter with porn through magazines, at 40pc.

Just 17pc of those in a relationship believe their partners watch pornography online - though the findings are much higher amongst young women, with 49pc of women aged 18-24 believing that their partner watches pornography online. There appears to be little concern about this, with just 18pc of those who believe their partners watch pornography reporting that they felt disturbed by it.

Those who watch porn are more concerned about what their family and friends might think if they found out than they are by the amount of porn that they watch themselves.

Perhaps surprisingly, more women than men believe that porn has "a positive effect" on their relationship - at 25pc of men and 27pc of women.

And 72pc of those couples who have watched pornography together say that it has improved their sex lives - a finding which is higher for men, at 83pc, than it is for women, at 64pc.

This was despite the fact that the majority of those who have viewed porn admit they sometimes found the content to be "disturbing" or "too hardcore" and were under no illusions that the violence was "acceptable because it was fantasy", with 56pc disagreeing strongly with this statement.

Just 31pc of the general population believe porn is "morally wrong".

Irish Independent

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