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The Average Porn Star: Not Who You Think

Researcher studies 10,000 porn stars to find the "average" face of porn

Does inspecting the work of 10,000 porn stars sound like a scientific endeavor to you? Jon Millward, author of a new report called, “Deep Inside: A Study of 10,000 Porn Stars and Their Careers,” has done just that. Millward playfully explains that he’s spent the last six months hard at work analyzing the data in the Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD), a massive collection of information on over 130,000 adult movies.

Millward confesses that he found a somewhat “nefarious” way to access “thousands of records” at a pop, allowing him to create a huge infographic containing his discoveries about who the modern porn star really is. If your unscientific guess is that she’s tall, blonde, thin, and extremely well-endowed, then you’re in for a surprise.

She is a she — 7,000 of the stars were women and only 3,000 were men. She may or may not be from California. Although one-third of female porn stars claimed to be born in that state, Millward acknowledges that many porn stars will protect families back home from embarrassment by not telling the truth about where they’re from.

However, assuming the camera doesn’t lie, the average porn star turns out to be of average height and a whopping 48 pounds thinner than the average weight. She may appear busty by contrast with her slender frame, but her bra size is a tasteful 34B. And, believe it or not, there are almost twice as many brunettes as blondes — even if you count the actresses who dye their hair with the true blondes.

The researcher even calculated the “average” name of the average porn star — Nikki Lee for women and David Lee for men. While Lee is not in the top 10 of real last names in America, it is easy to pronounce and remember, as well as being a reasonably common surname among Caucasians and an extremely common surname in Asia.

Millward also thoughtfully merged the faces of 10 top porn stars to create the face of what he thinks the “average” adult actress really looks like.

But is all this data massaging really science? Francie Diep for Popular Science notes that the findings rely heavily on the accuracy of the database. Will men really be surprised to learn that porn stars sometimes fib about their weight and age? “Considering that much porn — and indeed many Hollywood movies — trade on skewed body types, we’d guess there’s a significant amount of lying,” she says.

The report may only be as good as the records recorded by the volunteer editors of the IAFD. Still, these lingering doubts won’t deter many from taking another look at porn.

Last month, according to a report by Megan Charles, a Montreal professor had to abandon his own research on the effects of porn. He simply couldn’t find any young men who had not already viewed adult material. Without any naive test subjects, he would be unable to show how porn could change a man who had never seen it before.

As James Johnson has reported, over a million man-years of porn has already been watched just on two of the web’s most popular sites. Perhaps some of those viewers will have a new story for their partners: “Honey, I’m trying to do some science here.”

Millward’s hard work — come on, no one could resist that pun — is ongoing. An indepth report on his methodologies for studying the porn star database will be available very soon.

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