The Internet Is For Porn (Part 2)- Trends in Online Porn Use

During my last post I started examining the many, many fascinating trends that accompany online porn use thanks to the brilliant statisticians at Pornhub Insights. Now it’s time to look at even more trends.

Bigger is better

When it comes to porn, no body part draws quite as much attention as the breasts.

Source: Psychology Today

Source: Psychology Today

Large breasts specifically. When looking into the subject, Pornhub Insights found that not only are large breasts searched for 5.5 times more often than small breasts in the U.S., but larger busts were more popular in just about every county in the world from Nigeria to Japan to Argentina.

This raises some questions. The countries looked into by Pornhub represent a broad range of cultures, languages and economic conditions. Surely there’s something deeper to blame for this trend.

As it turns out, there is.

Ogas explains in a piece for Psychology Today that the Internet’s preference for big busts is actually a result of thousands of years of evolutionary psychology. It all comes down to something called gynoid fat. Gynoid fat is a type of fat accumulated only on women (thus the root word “gyn”) that is stored in the hips, thighs, rear, and breasts. Levels of gynoid fat, especially gynoid fat stored in the breasts, has been shown to positively correlate with good female reproductive health, so men are naturally drawn to women with large breasts, and thus, lots of gynoid fat. This also explains why some men prefer to focus in on thighs, butts or hips. It’s all an ancient desire for healthy babies.

Impact of ethnicity

When looking at global maps of internet porn searches, one of the most popular influencing factors turns out to be nationality. Within a selection of nine countries, Pornhub Insights found that in eight out of the nine, the most popular search term was some form of the name of the country in question. The only country among them in which this did not happen was the U.S.

Source: Pornhub Insights

Source: Pornhub Insights

Why is this so common? Once again, we can turn to psychology. A 2003 article in Psychological Science found that people were most attracted to faces that were “average”, but “average” depends on one’s experience. In other words, if you lived in a town where, for some reason, everyone had round faces and big eyes, you would most likely find round faces and big eyes very attractive. So it’s possible that when searching for porn, users try to find pornographic actors that look “average” to them by looking for porn from their country.

But what about the outlier: the United States? Because the U.S. is a very diverse place, we actually need to look at specific regions, rather than the country as a whole. Let’s look at that Pornhub map again.

Source: Pornhub Insights

Source: Pornhub Insights

The most popular racial search term was, by far, “ebony”, or African-American porn. This term was in the top three in the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. This list of states (and D.C.) is notable because, according to 2010 census data, when states (and D.C.) are ranked by what percentage of their population is African-American, these nine are all in the top ten, with only Delaware not pouring over ebony porn. While a more scientific study would be required to confirm if people truly prefer porn featuring actors of their ethnicity, it certainly makes for an interesting research question.

Next time I’ll finish up analyzing porn statistics with a look at gay and lesbian porn.

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