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Do different kinds of porn portray women differently?

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Photo: flickr/David PaigeThere is a lot of discussion about online pornography and its effect on society. In particular, the way women are portrayed in pornography is thought to play a role in how we treat women every day. But not all porn is the same, and there have been very few studies that compare different styles of pornography and how they portray women. These scientists stepped up to fill our knowledge gap by watching "teen" porn that focuses on younger characters, and "MILF" porn that focuses on women with, supposedly, more sexual experience ("mother" figures). They then used several metrics to compare the behaviors and treatment of these female characters. It turns out that in both porn types, women and men were both equally likely to initiate sexual activity. However, the women playing older characters were more likely to be in control of the scene, and bent on achieving their own satisfaction (a comprehensive table is included after the jump). So, whether or not you think pornography is good or bad for society, the effects you are talking about might just depend on the type of porn.Schoolgirls and Soccer Moms: A Content Analysis of Free "Teen" and "MILF" Online Pornography. "Viewing free online pornographic videos has increasingly become a common behavior among young people, although little is known about the content of these videos. The current study analyzed the content of two popular female-age-based types of free, online pornography (teen and MILF) and examined nuances in the portrayal of gender and access to power in relation to the age of the female actor. A total of 100 videos were selected from 10 popular Web sites, and their content was coded using independent raters. Vaginal intercourse and fellatio were the most frequently depicted sexual acts. The use of sex toys, paraphilias, cuddling, and condom use were rare, as were depictions of coercion. Control of the pace and direction of sexual activity was typically shared by the male and female actors. Moreover, there were no gender differences in initiation of sexual activity, use of persuasion, portrayals of sexual experience, or in professional status. However, female actors in MILF videos were portrayed as more agentic and were more likely to initiate sexual activity, control the pace of sexual activity, and have a higher professional status. Implications regarding the role of pornography in generating or reinforcing sexual norms or scripts are discussed." Bonus table from the full text:

NCBI ROFL: Detection and management of pornography-seeking in an online clinical dermatology atlas. NCBI ROFL: Would Spock be turned on by porn? NCBI ROFL: How watching internet porn can affect your memory. NCBI ROFL: 20% of people who turn to the internet for sexual fulfillment leave dissatisfied.

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