Increased availability of porn online deters people from wanting to tie the knotGetty

Less people are likely to get married because of the rise of free internet porn, a new study has claimed.

Scientists from the German Institute for the Study of Labour (Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit) found increased easy and cheaper access to pornography via the internet affected the number of people wanting to get hitched.

"Traditionally, one of the reasons to enter into a marriage was sexual gratification. But as options for sexual gratification outside of marriage have grown, the need for a marriage to serve this function is diminishing," the researchers said.

"If a man can choose whether to get married at the beginning of the period, higher utility from marriage is required in order for the man to marry. Thus, cheaper pornography is unequivocally associated with lower marriage rates."

People are can also avoid suffering the "stigma" of purchasing a magazine from a shop, when accessing a website is private.

"It certainly gives us something to think about. Does porn use delay or prevent marriage initiation? My guess is it may play a part, but it is a part of an overall changed social milieu that is more sexually oriented than what we had 30 to 40 years ago," Steve Harris, Couple and Family Therapy program director at the University of Minnesota told the ChristianPost.

"Given that pre-marital sexual relations are far more common today (higher rates of cohabitation and single parenthood is clearly documented) than in the past, it is easy to see that people no longer feel they have to get married in order to be sexual with a partner."

The study also found pornography users were also less likely to attend church, more likely to cheat on their partner and more likely to engage in sex work.