By Luke Gilkerson
German poet Heinrich Heine said you cannot feed the hungry on statistics. Well-researched stats can only illuminate the problem, not solve it.
But for many the problem of pornography in our modern culture still needs a spotlight. What do some of the latest stats tell us about this sexual-media giant?
Covenant Eyes just released a new conglomeration of pornography statistics based on some of the best research. Here are the highlights…
Porn is big business
Just six years ago, global porn revenues were estimated at $20 billion, with $10 billion coming from US consumers.
However, by 2011 both global and U.S. porn revenues had been reduced by 50%, due in large part to the amount of free pornography available online. It is estimated that 80-90% of Internet porn users only access free online material.
As far as online pornography is concerned, from 2001 to 2007, the Internet porn industry went from a $1-billion-a-year industry to $3-billion-a-year in the US alone.
Porn is a dangerous business
On average, 7% of performers use condoms in heterosexual porn films. 66% of porn performers have herpes, and 7% of porn performers have HIV.
Ex-porn star Tanya Burleson says men and women in pornography do drugs because “they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated” in the industry. A 2012 survey of porn actresses demonstrated 79% of porn stars have used marijuana, 50% have used ecstasy, 44% have used cocaine, and 39% have used hallucinogens.
When hundreds of scenes were analyzed from the 50 top selling adult films, 88% of scenes contained acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contained verbal aggression.
All types of people look at Internet porn
Paul Fishbein, founder of Adult Video News, is right when he says, “Porn doesn’t have a demographic—it goes across all demographics.” After an analysis of 400 million web searches, researchers concluded that 1 in 8 of all searches online are for erotic content.
Who is more likely to seek out pornography online? According to data taken from Internet users who took part in the General Social Survey:
- Men are 543% more likely to look at porn than females.
- Those who are politically more liberal are 19% more likely to look at porn.
- Those who have ever committed adultery are 218% more likely to look at porn.
- Those who have ever engaged in paid sex are 270% more likely to look at porn.
- Those who are happily married are 61% less likely to look at porn.
- Those with teen children at home are 45% less likely to look at porn.
- Regular church attenders are 26% less likely to look at porn than non-attenders, but those self-identified as “fundamentalists” are 91% more likely to look at porn.
Mobile porn is increasing in popularity
After an analysis of more than one million hits to Google’s mobile search sites, more than 1 in 5 searches are for pornography on mobile devices.
By 2015, mobile adult content and services are expected to reach $2.8 billion, mobile adult subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion, and mobile adult video on tablets will triple worldwide.
It is common for teens to see porn
In a 2010 national survey, over a quarter of 16- to 17-year olds said they were exposed to nudity online when they did not want to see it. In addition 20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a “sext” (a sexually explicit text message).
More than 7 out of 10 of teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.
More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. In the same survey, 83% of boys and 57% of girls said they had seen images of group sex online.
It is common for young adults to use porn
About 64-68% of young adult men and about 18% of women use porn at least once every week. Another 17% of men and another 30% of women use porn 1-2 times per month.
Two-thirds of college-age men and half of college-age women say viewing porn is an acceptable way to express one’s sexuality.
Porn is destroying families
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
- a diminished trust between intimate couples
- the belief that promiscuity is the natural state
- cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
- the belief that marriage is sexually confining
- a lack of attraction to family and child-raising
Continue to educate yourself about this topic. See our comprehensive list of statistics.
Luke Gilkerson is the general editor and primary author of the Covenant Eyes blog. Luke has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Bowling Green State University and is working on an MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. Luke and his wife Trisha are the proud parents of four sons. Luke and Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com.