A Université de Montréal researcher, Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse, attempted to launch a study examining the effects of pornography on men. The study, funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women, encountered one problem. They were unable to find young twenty-something aged men who’d never engaged in the use of some form of pornography.
Pornography (porn) is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter. It may be available in a variety of media including books, magazines, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, film, and video games. Culturally, pornography has been perceived as obscene, degrading, and controversial. The pornographic industry generates billions of dollars annually.
“The objective of my work is to observe the impact of pornography on the sexuality of men, and how it shapes their perception of men and women,” says Lajeunesse.
Lajeunesse acquiesced when he was unable to find the ideal study subjects, and moved forward with interviewing the 20 heterosexual male university students he did have available, those that had consumed pornography.
The students were asked to share their sexual history, starting with their first contact with pornography. Early adolescence was the most common point of encounter. Lajeunesse found that out of sexual curiosity boys sought out pornographic material as young as 10. He noted that boys almost immediately discard what they find personally offensive, and that preference carries into adulthood.
The Daily Mail reported that the study determined 90 percent of pornography is drawn from the internet. Single men watch porn three times a week on an average for 40 minutes. Those in relationships watched an average 1.7 times a week for up to 20 minutes. All subjects reported supporting gender equality but felt generally demonized for using pornography.
Lajeunesse assessed that:
“Pornography hasn’t changed their perception of women or their relationship which they all want as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Those who could not live out their fantasy in real life with their partner simply set aside the fantasy. The fantasy is broken in the real world and men don’t want their partner to look like a porn star.”
Lajeunesse refuted the perverse effects often attributed to pornography, saying that aggressors didn’t need exposure to porn to be violent.