A new study suggests that women whose male partners watch porn frequently are more likely to develop eating disorders. According to DailyMail, Ohio State University researchers state that women feel as though they are under a lot of pressure to have a thin body and lose weight.
These women feel this way due to the portrayal of women in the adult video industry. Women are viewed as being slim and having a particular body type that can make them feel insecure. They feel as though men look to porn to satisfy a desire that is not being met in reality.
Eating disorders are a delicate subject and are a complicated situation because there can be a variety of factors that come into play. Both brain chemistry and outside pressures can have a hand in developing these disorders. In this case, researchers believe that low-self esteem and perfectionism can be the cause. Those two factors are the leading cause of women and men developing eating disorders.
The cause is very complex, as there can be some genetic disposition and how the pressure of society affect their psychology. Experts in the field are pushing for treatment and prevention plans that are not just focused on over-eating, bulimia, and anorexia.
In the U.S, at least 30 million people suffer from eating disorders. A person dies every hour or so as a direct result of the disorder. In the media, some disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are treated dismissively or that it can be simple to snap out that mindset. However, that is not the case.
When it comes to porn, many experts argue that it an breed a lot of negativity. Many psychologists try to claim that over-consumption of adult videos is an addiction and can bring adverse consequences. There are others who refute and claim that porn can be an outlet or even a bonding experience for couples.
“We often talk about the influences of media, family, and friends on eating disorders, but little has been done to determine how a partner’s influence might contribute to a woman’s disordered eating,” said lead study author Tracy Tylka, an Ohio State University psychology professor.
“It’s a gap in the research and if certain partner variables are risk factors we should be giving them more attention.”
Tylka and her team were concerned about the harmful effects of porn, so they surveyed over 500 women around the United States. They were asking demographic questions and also asked subtle questions that psychologists have used to determine if someone has an eating disorder without outright asking.
They also surveyed the women about societal pressures from both media and their loved ones about weight loss and body image. The only question that seemed to derail from the others was when they asked how much porn their current and former partners watched a week.
The researchers saw a clear link, women whose partners watched as much as eight hours of pornography in a week were at much higher risk of developing an eating disorder.
Tylka stated, “The women who were part of this study had an average age of almost 34, and were from a broader demographic than the stereotypical white adolescent girl with anorexia.
“Disordered eating affects many people who do not fit this description – as many as 20 to 25 percent of women – and this study helps us better understand the influences on these women.”
These habits seemed to act as a sort of measure for how much pressure women feel from their romantic partners. The women studied feel more pressure from their partners and take those words to heart more than media or other loved ones.
“In many categories of eating disorder symptoms, perceived pressure from a romantic partner to be thin appeared to be more detrimental than pressure from friends or family, or even the media,” Tylka said.
“The relationship between partner pornography use and disordered eating was stronger for this group of women than for college women we’ve previously studied. That could be because these women have had more relationship experiences, and these experiences have shaped their relationships with food and their perceptions of their bodies.”
Through this identification of the problem, some experts are already working to educate both men and women about eating disorders. They are doing their best to prevent the situation from getting worse by discussing behavioral patterns and specific factors that can lead to an increase in risk.
‘Some professionals are already advocating for integrating partners in eating disorder prevention and treatment, and these findings support this argument,’ Tylka said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237