Does porn really distort men’s attitudes towards women?

It’s a sentiment we’re all familiar with: the women in porn don’t reflect real women.

By Jack Cummings | Sub-editor: Amie Stone

That’s no surprise either — the vast majority of female performers have gravity-defying breasts and peachy bums. They bounce away in unfathomable positions without a hair in sight, giving men unrealistic expectations about regular women.

Or do they?

meta-chart (1)

Research into pornography has always been challenging. It’s rarely objective, and is usually led by confirmation-bias (research that conforms to the researchers opinion). The modern day belief that porn distorts men’s views towards women is by no means new either.

When Reagan’s administration commissioned a review of pornography research in 1986, they deemed that the adult entertainment industry had negative sociological effects. Reagan wasn’t exactly known for his liberal views, but most of those conservative ideas remain unchanged today. In the past few years however, porn has changed massively.

Up until the mid-2000s, studios still reigned supreme. They were posting content on the internet, but it wasn’t available on demand. Save for brief previews, perky-pornstars were available to download in half-hour shoots for $9.99, and that was that.

Then YouTube came along, and the adult industry realised that the same principle could be applied to porn. Tube giants like xHamster and Pornhub ascended the Alexa rankings like Jesus to heaven, and they quickly became platforms for an exponential variety of porn. The big news? Young men aren’t searching for perfect pornstars anymore.

According to a spokesperson for xHamster known mysteriously as Lynx, there is now a tendency for consuming real, amateur content. The mysterious wild feline said: “The image of a girl-next-door who is so typical you can easily imagine her sitting next to you is huge.”

As it happens, that girl doesn’t have to be perfect either. meta-chart

Lynx was kind enough to let us take a look at xHamster’s statistics over the past three months. Visitors searched for ‘hairy’ porn a whopping 12,908,581, dwarfing ‘shaven’ porn which clocked in at 1,296,811 searches. Even more surprising based on stereotypes about the industry is the popularity of ‘mature’ porn, which is the website’s 4th most popular category. In comparison, ’teens’ ranks 8th. On top of this, mature doesn’t mean your perfect American Pie MILF — that’s a category in itself. Mature porn typically features more natural women between the ages of 40-60.

It’s no surprise then that young mean are searching for ‘natural boobs’ far more often than ‘fake boobs’, whilst perspective-based amateur porn is surging in popularity.

All these popular categories and searches have something in common — whether natural breasts or unshaven pubic hair — they’re all qualities typical of ’normal’ women. The age of the bunny pornstars is coming to a close, and with it young men are watching more of exactly what they’re likely to meet in real life: a natural woman.

This of course doesn’t answer whether porn has other negative effects. It’s considered addictive by nature and can be straining when consumed heavily in relationships. For the big idea that young men are watching perfect women in perfect porn however, don’t worry — that’s just a cliché.

, , , ,

Comments are closed.