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A New Study Is In: Australians Look At Porn

A New Study Is In: Australians Look At Porn

August 12, 2003
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" The appeal of pornography in Australia comes as no surprise to those of us in this industry, given the large number of Webmasters and service companies hailing from ‘Down Under.’ The demographics uncovered by this ongoing project may come as a surprise however… "

The interim results are in, and according to the most comprehensive study of porn in Australia, some men are afraid of enormous breasts, dirty magazines are a favorite of conservative voters, and realistic plots have made their way into adult videos.

Believed to be the first study of its kind in the world, the three-year long government-funded research program is attempting to understand Australia’s fascination with pornography. Run by Sydney University and University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, the two-part project is discovering everything from consumer’s favorite plots for porn movies to their political leanings, religious beliefs, and tastes in music, and involves an examination of 50 popular adult videos, along with a national survey of buying habits and the porn tastes that fuel them.

Project leader Dr. Alan McKee, a media studies lecturer at UQ, believes that the initial results have dispelled the often stereotypical ‘dirty old man in a trench coat’ image of porn consumers, saying “What's been interesting for us is how many of the people involved have been women.”

Out of the survey’s 320 respondents to date (the majority of which were Liberal/National voters, surprising since given the anti-porn views of those political parties), 20% of mainstream porn consumers were younger women, while 33% were currently married. 63% thought themselves religious, while a full 93% claimed to believe in gender equality.

Analyzing the plots of 50 top-selling adult videos (most of which were imported from the US), the project discovered that the majority were not only believable, but empowering for women. According to Dr. McKee “They tend to have better story lines, better acting, more expensive production values and they actually set up scenarios and fantasies for the lovemaking rather than simply people bump into each other and start having sex.”

The study also found that another stereotypical image, that of porn videos being exclusively populated by large-breasted “Barbie Doll” types, was also found inaccurate, with many videos being “very open” in regards to the body types they show. Dr. McKee noted that “In fact, in quite a few of the videos they actually make it a selling point that there are no boob jobs and it’s all natural breasts…”

Extending to over 1,000 people nationally, the study will be commercially published upon completion, and also presented in an executive summary to the Australian Federal Government.

An Internet Connection
The appeal of pornography in Australia comes as no surprise to those of us in this industry, given the large number of Webmasters and adult service companies hailing from ‘Down Under.’

The demographics uncovered by this ongoing project may come as a surprise however, and the final report will be worth heeding, as it should offer insightful glimpses into the mind and makeup of the Australian erotica consumer, and likely to the porn consumer worldwide, to one extent or another.

As regionally targeted marketing becomes increasingly important for our industry, seeking out (and if at all possible, helping to duplicate) studies such as this will prove vital to many online company’s bottom lines. Savvy porn producers know that focusing on a pre-conceived customer image – rather than being diverse and appealing to a broad spectrum of tastes and desires, carefully crafted to suit local tastes, harms profits.

Studies such as the current Australian one are a vital step in society’s understanding of the cultural desire for porn, and a valuable tool for online merchants wanting to understand the market for porn. Stay flexible ~ Stephen


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