Porn Stars Have Higher Self-Esteem, Spirituality than Other Women: Study

Nate "Igor" Smith
"I got your low self-esteem right here, buddy"

A new study has put to bed the long-believed stereotype that female porn stars are "damaged goods," that they come from backgrounds of abuse, and have poor self-images.

According to recently released findings in the Journal of Sex Research, porn stars have higher self-esteem, are more spiritual, and feel better about their bodies than women not in the adult industry.

See also:

Porn Star Activist Jiz Lee Talks About When and How Sex Workers Can Give Consent

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Researchers compared the self reports of 177 porn actresses (porn actress defined as having performed in at least one adult movie), ranging from ages 18-50. The porn stars were compared to a sample of women matched on age, ethnicity, and marital status, and questions involved sexual behaviors, attitudes, self-esteem, quality of life, and drug use.

The study found that porn stars were far more likely to identify as bisexual (67 percent, compared to the match group's 7 percent), that they had sex at an earlier age (15, compared to the match group's 17), had more sexual partners (on average, a porn star has more sex partners in one year than a non-porn star has in her lifetime, and this doesn't include their work partners), enjoyed sex more, and were perhaps obviously more concerned about contracting an STD.

In terms of quality of life, "porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to the matched group." The instances of child sexual abuse (CSA) were no different among the two groups.

It remains to be seen whether the higher self-esteem of porn stars is a new trend or if it's always been the case and the commonly accepted negative assumptions about them have merely been clouding our perceptions all these years. Regardless, here's hoping that studies like this and further empirical evidence help shed light on the stereotypes that befall sex workers.

As the last sentence of the study put it, "[porn actresses] appear more similar to women not employed as porn actresses than previously thought."

Porn stars! They're just like us!

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My Voice Nation Help

Well, this sure busts all the stereotypes.


Sure they do.

Just pay attention to female porn stars whenever they are in the news.  HIGH self esteem.  Right.  

Compared to what?  Toothless trailer park hookers?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Are all Porn actresses "Stars" ?

Kezia Harrell
Kezia Harrell

There are many other ways of gaining self-esteem and spirituality, than getting packed everyday.

Theresa Geary
Theresa Geary

who says they are damaged goods? Who did the research? Maybe they make more money that regular street workers and besdes, who really cares?


@DonkeyHotay 'Star' is such an open-ended term these days (though to be honest the term should offend even if it refers to movie 'stars' of 1930).


@Theresa Geary So making money is the definition of what is 'damaged goods' and what is not 'damaged goods'?  And making money makes one have higher esteem and more respect than a hooker who makes less money?

It is clearly all about the money to you.

What do you do for a living??

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