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And to paint his picture of the modern mating market, Regnerus draws extensively from the 2014 Relationships in America survey, which he helped to create, as well as from detailed interviews that he and his team conducted with young adults from around the country.
A 1992 survey suggested that 29 percent of men age 18–24 masturbated at least weekly, while the (roughly) comparable number from Regnerus’s survey is 49 percent.
It might make sexuality more “plastic” or malleable by exposing people to a wider assortment of stimulation, and there’s some evidence that porn users are more supportive of gay rights.
Troublingly, it may reduce men’s incentive or ability to find real, live romantic partners (which could help explain why sex-partner counts are more stable than you might expect).
Such trends were the focus of the psychologist Jean Twenge’s Few would deny that the Pill was a nuclear bomb detonated above the sexual marketplace, or that the fallout has continued for decades in the form of delayed marriage and childbearing and rising rates of women working.
(What got nuked, of course, was a mixture of good and bad.) But more recent changes seem to be having far smaller and more nuanced effects, with some trends even running the notion of progressively “cheaper” sex.