Monday, September 20, 2010

Masturbation and infidelity

It's amusing how liberals like Rachel Maddow in this video are trying to make Christine O'Donnell look ridiculous by showing how she criticized masturbation on MTV in 1996. Right--if you really want to be cool, you need to jerk off. As often as possible. It's just about the coolest thing you can do.

But I see here a chance to weigh in with data. I can't find any raw data on "solo sex" but the General Social Survey does ask people if they have watched an X-rated movie in the past year.  Here are the percentages of men and women who have cheated on their spouse (sample size = 12,256):

Percent who ever cheated

White male
Watched movie 31.4
Did not watch 17.9

White female
Watched movie 24.6
Did not watch 11.7

Black male
Watched movie 47.8
Did not watch 31.3

Black female
Watched movie 25.6
Did not watch 16.4

For all demographic groups, those who watch porn are much more likely to have been unfaithful. There's a message there for guys looking for a wife: If she's into porn, there's a greater chance that she's not into monogamy.

Who knows the cause-effect relationship here--super-sexual folks are probably more likely to cheat and consume lots of porn--but, with respect to masturbation, Steven Pinker explains that there is a planning element to fantasizing. A sexual fantasizer gets aroused by asking himself, how would I get together with her?


  1. Anonymous12:34 PM

    I find the anti-masturbation stance to be weird, personally. But then, I'm a chronic wanker.


  2. Scientific American had an interesting blog post on masturbation a few months ago.

  3. Study: "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography"

    Highlights of findings:
    -- Desired # of Children
    -- Attitudes towards Promiscuity [relevant to this OP]
    -- Perception of Promiscuity [relevant to this OP]
    -- Estimated Frequency of Deviant Sexual Practices
    -- Penalty Desired For Rape

    "Poisons" is an appropriate word for what pornography does to the mind.


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