Porn stars aren't particularly keen on being studied. But they are the focus of great public interest and moral debate, which may explain why one man's in-depth analysis of adult film performers went viral last week. The average adult film actress is a brunette with a B-cup named Nikki, at least according to blogger Jon Millward, who spent six months analyzing the demographics of 10, porn stars drawn from the Internet Adult Film Database. But what's known about porn stars beyond their breast size? Remarkably little, thanks to practically zero research funding and a community wary of researchers. Not only that, Kross said, but many actresses are reluctant to help researchers, because they're worried that the studies will be used against them by anti-pornography activists. This lack of research is notable given the number of stereotypes about porn actresses, particularly that they have high rates of childhood sexual abuse and psychological problems. Though it's hard to know for sure without more extensive studies, early explorations have found these stereotypes fail to hold up. Ultimately, the findings could lead to better understanding of sexual health, sexual identity and other aspects of the high-grossing porn business. Stereotypes were the motivation for Millward, whose analysis of porn stars includes a facial composite of the "average" actress. The stereotypical porn actress — with enormous breasts and blonde hair — doesn't match reality, Millward found. In fact, the most common bra size among porn stars is a 34B, compared with 36C for the average American woman. High obesity rates among the public may explain some of the discrepancy in breast size; porn actresses are also thinner than the average American woman. According to the numbers given on Internet Adult Film Database profiles, the average female porn star weighs pounds 53 kilograms , which is 48 pounds 22 kg less than the average American woman. The average male porn star weighs Nor are blondes as dominant as might be expected. Only About 39 percent have brown hair, Nikki is the most common name for female porn stars, Millward found, and David is the most common name for men. Millward's data is not published in a research journal or peer-reviewed by experts, so scientists like Griffith take it with a grain of salt. Millward plans to make his methods available on his website. Kross, however, said the results didn't surprise her. Part of the reason is that there just aren't that many porn stars — about a thousand working at any given time, Kross said. Add to that short career spans, a reluctance to be put under the microscope and a population of performers centered in Los Angeles County, where many researchers don't have the luxury of spending time, and it's a recipe for lack of research. Another barrier is funding. Griffith conducted his study on pornography without the benefit of outside money. Porn isn't Griffith's typical area of research he studies risk-taking and decision-making , but he decided to look into it after a question from an undergraduate student in a lecture on human sexuality made him realize how little research on porn actors has been done. He advertised for volunteers at the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a now-defunct medical organization that used to administer mandatory tests for sexually transmitted infections to industry actors tests are now done elsewhere. Though the majority of porn stars would have used the Foundation's services, the volunteer sample makes it hard to know if the actresses who agreed to participate in the study represent the industry as a whole. Nevertheless, the study is the largest sample of porn stars ever published. The results of the research failed to support many common stereotypes. Most notably, the porn actresses were no more likely to report having been sexually abused as children than national averages or than a sample of demographically matched women Griffith and his colleagues recruited at a university and at an airport. Porn actresses did report having sex for the first time at a younger age and having more partners outside of work than the typical woman, which is unsurprising, Griffith said, given that they likely got into the adult industry because they liked sex. Of the women surveyed, only one said she was coerced into a pornography career.
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