OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Underlying Mechanisms Affecting the Relationship Between Sexually Explicit Material Consumption and Relationship Satisfaction in Long-term Relationships


: We tested the relationship between Sexually Explicit Material (SEM) consumption and relationship satisfaction in long-term relationships. Two mate value discrepancies (MVDs) were predicted to affect this relationship. Partner-potential partner MVD indexes the proportion of other potential partners in a sample that are farther away from a person’s ideal mate preferences than their current mate. Partner-self MVD captures the difference in mate value between partners (Conroy-Beam, Goetz, & Buss, 2016). We hypothesized that 1) SEM consumption would positively correlate with partner-potential partner MVDs 2) SEM consumption would negatively correlate with relationship satisfaction, mediated by partner-potential partner MVDs and 3) partner potential partner MVD would negatively correlate with relationship satisfaction, moderated by partner-self MVDs. Both men (N = 800) and women (N = 800) in long-term relationships completed measures of SEM consumption, relationship satisfaction, and a 23-item mate preference questionnaire, from previous research, used to determine MVDs (Conroy-Beam & Buss, 2017). SEM consumption was not related to either MVD. However, SEM consumption was negatively related to relationship satisfaction among heterosexual, but not gay or lesbian individuals. This study explored the processes underlying the relationship between SEM and relationship satisfaction by applying evolutionary mechanisms relevant to human mating.

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