Pornography, Relationship Alternatives, and Intimate Extradyadic Behavior

Andrea Marlea Gwinn, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, Jon K. Maner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Two studies tested the hypothesis that exposure to pornography among romantically committed individuals would increase the likelihood of intimate extradyadic behavior and that this effect would be mediated by heightened perceptions of romantic alternatives. Study 1 (n = 74) found that participants primed with sexually explicit material reported having higher quality romantic alternatives. Study 2 (n = 291) showed that initial pornography consumption predicted intimate extradyadic behavior 12 weeks later even after controlling for initial extradyadic behavior, sociosexuality, relationship length, baseline relationship satisfaction, social desirability, and participant gender and race. The relationship between pornography and intimate extradyadic behavior was mediated by perceptions of the quality of romantic alternatives. These results suggest that sexually explicit material can provoke intimate extradyadic behavior via its effect on perceptions of alternative partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-704
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • alternatives
  • dating
  • infidelity
  • pornography
  • relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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