Both men and women, who were exposed to sexually explicit material, thought they had more romantic alternatives. Not only did exposure to pornography increase people’s beliefs about their alternatives, but they were also more likely to cheat on their partners. Why? Viewing pornography may lead individuals to think that other people are both more attractive and accessible. Subsequently, people act on those beliefs. The key takeaway from the study:
“In sum, our studies suggest that sexually explicit material enhances perceptions of relationship alternatives which, in turn, increase the likelihood of intimate extradyadic behavior.”
The entire study can be found here.