According to the stereotype, women in the porn industry are desperate, drug-addled trollops who emerge from desperate backgrounds to continue a downward spiral of sexual self-shame.
According to a new scientific study, however, the opposite could be closer to the truth.
According to findings published in the Journal of Sex Research, there is precious little evidence to support the “damaged goods hypothesis.” Instead, porn actresses were shown to exhibit above-average self-esteem, quality of life, body image and senses of spiritual contentment.
The psychologists behind the study collected information from 177 porn starlets and compared it against data gathered from women whose professions don’t require nudity or potty mouth. On practically every measure of emotional well-being, the adult film stars scored surprisingly well.
Of course, this study will do little to silence porn’s critics, since it only scrutinized a relatively small subset of porn actresses — the relatively successful ones working in the established “adult film industry,” not those found in the seedier corners of Internet smut.
The study also reaches some more predictable conclusions: porn stars were found to be much more likely to partake in drugs and alcohol (perhaps because they’re inherently more inclined toward sensory experiences) and more likely to be promiscuous at a younger age.
But perhaps the study will assuage any pangs of guilt felt by more thoughtful porn connoisseurs about the emotional states of the women onscreen.
The next widely held stereotype we’d like science to overturn: bacon is unhealthy. Come on, science. We believe in you.