What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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Yes, a lot of thoughtful people would agree with your basic message. The huge problem with all these studies is illustrated by the wording in the penultimate paragraph. It starts off by saying the second study examined the "impact" but goes on to describe "associations". Causation is not the same as correlation, which any dufus with the least bit of statistical knowledge knows. Still it's such an important point that it needs to be mentioned nevertheless, and the article fails to remind readers of it.
And in many cases, it's clear to me that the causation is actually the opposite. In some cases, men seek porn because their wives have shut them down. I know of one friend whose wife actually prefers that he watch porn (instead of having an affair) so that she doesn't to deal with sex anymore now that's she's in menopause after five kids. That's a bit unusual, but my point is that it definitely does happen.
Likewise, I like a small glass of fine wine with dinner once in a while. And I would regard as totally stupid any advice to me about a correlational study that suggested that wine has an "impact" on me because it causes winos to lay about in the street drinking it out of brown paper bags to the point of liver failure and death.
And even if one could establish a causation from porn to relationship problems for some people, should one set public policy as a result? By that approach, we'd get rid of soda, french fries, wine, beer, fast cars, private airplanes and helicopters (since they are roughly 10-100 times more unsafe per hour of use than commercial jet planes in the US).
Oh, and we'd have to get rid of one more thing that is obviously harmful to many relationships -- OTHER WOMEN! Yes, other women have tempted and distracted men in many cases, causing untold pain and family breakdowns. So the solution is to take all women out of the workforce and confine them to their homes so that they can't go out and cause harm. So we need a public policy that treats pornography and women in the same manner -- things that need to be tightly controlled.
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