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Study - porn stars "aren't damaged" by profession
Study: Porn Stars Aren’t “Damaged” by Their Profession
A report finds adult actresses are happier than the rest of us -- and that being naked might lead to self-esteem.
November 28, 2012 |
A common stereotype of a female porn star is an insecure, sexually abused, mentally ill and/or drug-addled woman. It’s one supported by anecdotes (most memorably by Linda Lovelace’s harrowing autobiography) and rhetoric (the feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon went so far as to claim that all porn actresses were sexually abused as children). But as for actual research? Eh, not so much.
Now, a new study claims to have debunked this truism, which is known as the “damaged goods hypothesis.”
Some performers were amused by the news. “As a happy, healthy female porn performer, my reaction is: thanks, science, thanks so much for proving I am real,” says writer and porn performer Lorelei Lee in an email.
On a similar note, porn actress Dylan Ryan tells me, “It’s about time that research catches up to the realities for a great many women who perform in porn,” she says in an email. “It’s important to me as a performer that the conversation evolve and develop to make space for the (as in any community and population) diversity of experiences, personalities and lifestyles of porn performers.”
Adult actress and director Kimberly Kane took a different tack. “I’ve found that everyone is damaged no matter what line of work they’re in,” she says.
Researchers compared self-reports from a group of nearly 200 porn actresses to those of women outside the industry who were similar in age, ethnicity and marital status. Not only did the report show no higher incidence of child sexual abuse or psychological problems among female performers, but it actually found that pornsters had higher levels of self-esteem
and sexual satisfaction....