Men and Porn

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This story has a great headline which is being spread around but this conclusion is not really substantiated. The Telegraph reports: All men watch porn, scientists find:

Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.

But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.

“We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography,” said Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse. “We couldn’t find any.”

Although hampered in its original aim, the study did examined the habits of those young men who used pornography – which would appear to be all of them.

Prof Lajeunesse interviewed 20 heterosexual male university students who consumed pornography, and found on average, they first watched pornography when they were 10 years old.

Around 90 per cent of consumption was on the internet, while 10 per cent of material came from video stores.

Single men watched pornography for an average of 40 minutes, three times a week, while those in relationships watched it 1.7 times a week for around 20 minutes.

Their findings would be more meaningful if they had interviewed more than twenty men in their 20’s. I don’t know if the title findings of  all men watching porn is valid with this sample size but any sample of twenty men in their 20’s would be expected to have a very high number who do view porn.

Update: James Joyner agrees with regards to the limitations in the sample studied but seems to think that the easy availability of porn on the internet is a bad thing.  (On further update, see his comment for clarification of his view as to whether this is good or bad.)

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    James Joyner says:

    I tend to view the easy availability of porn as a positive for the most part. It’s consensual and there’s no evidence that it causes any harm and some that it has broader social benefits.
    I do have some concerns about the concomitant, possibly related, issue of teens and 20-somethings photographing themselves in compromising positions and putting it online and of the weird porn star/prostitute/pimp emulation that has made its way down to children’s clothing.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, it is difficult to say in general if this is good or not considering the wide variety of things which fall under porn.

  3. 3
    smintheus says:

    Well, I’ll confess to never having seen any porn — unless the fake porn film in The Big Lebowski counts.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Just as I suspected–the sample size of 20 was not conclusive.

  5. 5
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Well, there is a reverse side to the issue of any sampling poll regarding pornography…
     
    How many people will say they have never seen any porn, regardless of the truth of the statement, because of a level of discomfort felt at answering an affirmative to such a question?
     
    In my view, positive affirmations would be more likely true than false… but negative replies would be inherently questionable and their degree of truth difficult to discern.
     
     

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    The other question I have in this is if their goal was to compare people who have or have not viewed pornography, why did they give up so quickly? It shouldn’t be surprising that out of twenty males in their twenties few if any would say that they have never viewed pornography and I wonder why they stopped looking at twenty. I could see giving up if they had interviewed a few hundred but it seemed premature to stop at twenty.

  7. 7
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I agree completely with that as well.
     
    I think it may have been aesthetic to go with twenty twenty-somethings. It is also possible that the pollsters somehow arrived at the number through a sampling formula. However, if that is true, I would need to see the sampling formula by which they deduced ‘twenty’ as the correct number of men to survey.
     

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