All Men Watch Porn

From the Telegraph, not the Onion:  “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.

The study found that men watched pornography that matched their own image of sexuality, and quickly discarded material they found offensive or distasteful.

Prof Lajeunesse said pornography did not have a negative effect on men’s sexuality. “Not one subject had a pathological sexuality,” he said. “In fact, all of their sexual practices were quite conventional.

It’s all rather amusing but, seriously, a “study” consisting of interviews with 20 volunteers? First, that’s not much of a sample.  Second, it’s not a representative sample.  Third, interviews are not the best way to gauge their relationships with women. Fourth, they’re in their 20s; how many are in committed, long-term relationships?

What’s interesting — if not terribly shocking — is the degree to which the Internet has completed the normalization of pornography. Given easy access and complete privacy, the barriers are gone.  And, as has been often noted here and elsewhere, people of this age cohort have a much higher shame threshold than was the case in previous generations, as evidenced by the things people allow themselves to be photographed doing and then post on their Facebook and MySpace pages.

A long term study of the impact of this phenomenon would be interesting.

via memeorandum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. just me says:

    I don’t think you could generalize that firmly from 20 participants, but I do strongly suspect it would be hard to find a young man who hadn’t watched some porn. Pretty much every teenager does some looking, and I would almost think not looking at all would be closer to outside the norm than looking.

  2. Dantheman says:

    I tend to agree with just me — I am not surprised at all that tech savvy teenage boys watch it. The only surprising thing was the average age of first exposure. At 10, I certainly would not have sought it out.

  3. I rented a movie I’d never heard of from my city’s public library. It was called “Choke.” Now, it was in some senses a good and serious movie, but it was also the dirtiest I’ve seen in some time.

    Understand that this movie is at the library and you understand where we are in 2009.

    (Maybe since it has Anjelica Huston it is arty and ok.)

  4. BTW James, I think technically there are two numbers here: (1) the group canvassed looking for non-consumers, and (2) the final study group selected.

    The first number is the one that drives the big story but it is not reported. The second number is 20.

  5. The real problem with porn is that it teaches very bad English. What the hell does “Amateur blonde mom” mean, anyway? Is she an amateur at blondness? Or is she an amateur at motherhood?

    And beyond the poor grammar, there are larger issues: are we lumping her in as a “mom” just because she’s not 22? Has her status as a mom been verified?

    I’m willing to grant that blondness can be a sort of after-market attribute, an acquired rather than innate characteristic, but motherhood is sacred and I don’t think we should be applying the “Mom” label willy-nilly.

    And we wonder why Johnny can’t read.

  6. DavidL says:

    I agree that the sample size is too small to be conclusive. However, I would be less than shocked to find the conclusion valid.

    On the other paw, I find it amusing to consider the conclusion that all [young] man watch porn as true. Wuuld anti pornography laws be ruled as unconstitutional dues having a disparate impact on males?

    Then as an equal opportunity type of guy, I suspect a proper definiion of female porn would yield a similar result.

  7. sam says:

    The real problem with porn is that it teaches very bad English.

    I pretty sure the ear is not the principal organ egaged here.

  8. Wayne says:

    These low level unsubstantiated studies should never see the light of day without great deal of repetition of it being very preliminary, speculative and not proof of much.

    As for the conclusion, IMO it is overstated like most lame studies tend to do. One not all man has watch porn and in some places they go out of their way to avoid it. Two just having seen porn doesn’t mean they “watch it”. Saying someone who saw a porn movie 20 years ago as someone who watches porn is asinine. That said, IMO there are probably a good portion who do watch porn on a regular basis and much of that has to do with the internet. However the study is lame even if it supports my previous sentence.

  9. Pete says:

    Was this study done at the University of East Anglia?