Porn isn’t ruining your marriage, and neither are these 6 other things

As long as you love each other, you'll be fine.

Dec 24, 2014, 2:25 pm

Internet Culture

EJ Dickson 

EJ Dickson

Abhishek Jacob/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported on a study from the Institute of the Study for Labor in Germany with a shocking finding: fewer people are getting married, and free online porn is partly to blame.

The German study, which analyzed the Internet habits of men aged 18 to 35, concluded that the rise of free porn might actually be contributing to the declining marriage rate.

“The results in this paper suggest that such an association exists,” according to the study, “and that it is potentially quite large.”

It’s an established fact that marriage rates are on the decline. The Pew Research Center found in 2011 that 51 percent of Americans were married, down from 72 percent in 1960. But we at the Daily Dot are inherently skeptical of studies blaming porn for all manner of societal ills, from bad sex to criminal activity to actual brain shrinkage. So we looked at six other things that scientists have linked to the declining marriage rate. It turns out your marriage is under siege from all sides.

Warning: Reading this post will likely ruin your marriage.

6. Having kids

If you’re a new mom or dad who has spent many late nights blearily changing diapers and cleaning up drool, this one might not come as a surprise to you. But parenting culture is killing the American marriage not just because having kids takes the romance out of the relationship, but also because it puts undue psychological pressure on parents to prioritize the happiness of children over that of their spouse.

“Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring,” authors Danielle and Astro Teller wrote in Quartz back in September. “Children always come first.”

5. Facebook

One of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce isn’t infidelity or seeing your spouse wearing Google Glass, but rather, too much time spent on Facebook. According to a 2012 survey of U.K. users, the social network was implicated in nearly a third of divorce filings.

“Social networking has become the primary tool for communication and is taking over from text and e-mail in my opinion,” one of the study’s authors told the New York Post. “If someone wants to have an affair or flirt with the opposite sex then the easiest place to do it.”

That said, the study is from a legal service called Divorce Online, making it far from a reliable and unbiased source of information. Don’t start mass-unfriending your college girlfriends just yet.

4. World of Warcraft

If the South Park episode about Cartman having diarrhea in a plastic tub so he wouldn’t have to stop playing World of Warcraft wasn’t enough to turn you off of the game, maybe this will do the trick. A survey from Brigham Young University determined that playing the massively popular online roleplaying game was highly correlated with marital dissatisfaction. 75 percent of couples reported that gaming had negatively affected their relationship.

As an aside, this study was also responsible for introducing the incredibly obnoxious term “gaming widow” into the vernacular.

3. Tinder

Remember when people believed in the so-called Tinderella Syndrome, the inability of women to settle down with a romantic partner IRL due to the surfeit of eligible men on dating apps like Tinder? Yeah, it’s totally not. (For what it’s worth, it’s also totally sexist.)

2. Teh gheys

When times are tough and people search for a minority group to pin their troubles on, who do they usually blame these days? Gay people. This applies tenfold in the debate over declining marriage rates, with conservatives blaming the decline of the institution of marriage on frappe-chugging, hot-pants-wearing, bitchy-catchphrase-spouting homosexuals.

The argument goes that if gay people win marriage rights, God-fearing straight Americans will be persuaded to toss their wedding rings into the wind and take up the gay “lifestyle” by sheer force of fabulousness alone.

Of course, sane-thinking human beings recognize that the gays aren’t ruining the institution of marriage. With a 40- to 50-percent divorce rate, straight peoples are doing a pretty good job of that themselves. In fact, the only thing for which we can truly blame gay marriage is the increase in white tuxedo rentals in Vermont.

Of course, the facts never stop people like this fellow from spewing homophobic bile all over the Internet.

1. Feminism.

If you’re surprised that assholes on the Internet have blamed feminism  for all sorts of societal ills—up to and including the decline of marriage in the United States—you might be a Buddhist monk on an extended water fast or a staffer at the International Arctic Research Center. Regardless, it means you haven’t been using the Internet very much lately.

Photo via Abhishek Jacob/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

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Last updated Mar 1, 2020, 1:58 pm