Adult entertainment is a thriving business that shows no signs of losing momentum. In fact, the adult industry racks up an estimated $13 billion in annual revenue in the U.S. alone. That’s more than the U.S. bottled water industry made ($8 billion) in 2012. To put these numbers in perspective, the multi-billion dollar annual revenue of the adult entertainment industry in the U.S. surpasses the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Globally, the adult entertainment industry racks up around $57 billion in annual revenue. So is adult content as commoditized and consumable as water? Based on the fact that 68 percent of young adult men and 18 percent of women watch adult content at least once a week, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think so.
Of course, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much money adult entertainment really secures as most production companies in the field are privately owned or independently established. What has been determined, however, is that since 2007, the global adult entertainment revenues have dropped substantially, by 50 percent, due to the internet’s free access to adult content.
Although generally viewed as a hush-hush topic, adult content consumption is anything but buttoned-up, a fact that becomes clear when looking at its numbers of production rates and avid consumers. It’s an ever-expanding commercial industry that feeds into our natural curiosity and active interest in sex.
Adult material is universal and although contrary to many moral standards, it hasn’t been proven to be unhealthy. It's true that certain depictions of sex featured in adult content, like violence against women for instance, changes the attitudes of what sex is and what a woman’s role is for viewers. There’s no doubt that the objectification of women is perpetuated by the adult entertainment industry's misrepresentation of female sexuality and its overall commoditization catered to a predominantly male viewership.
While many may find the topic of adult content consumption a bit cheeky, it’s one that reveals much about the sexual attitudes of a nation, a demographic, and a culture. In our ever increasingly globalized world, it can be argued that despite our profound and often-historical differences, there is a strong world culture that reveals itself in the subjects that intrigue and stimulate us most—for better or worse—and that bit of knowledge is anything but hard to swallow.
To help sort through the piles of information on this evidently not-so-taboo topic, Covenant Eyes—an Internet filtering and accountability program service—crunches the numbers on adult content consumption statistics to provide an insight into the who, what, when, and where of watching adult content. The list of facts compiled here is based in part on the revealing study the service has provided.
7 Which demographic views adult content most online?
6 How many people watch adult content at work?
5 Does being in a committed relationship affect consumption of adult material?
4 How many women watch adult entertainment?
3 What’s the Adult Entertainment capital of the world?
2 What category of adult entertainment do people search for the most?
1 What country watches adult entertainment the most?
In 2010, Fox News reported that Pakistan was rated the number 1 country that searches the internet for adult material the most based on a statistical analysis of web search terms conducted by Google. In the report, it was stated that Google also determined which adult content-related terms were the most searched for by Pakistani citizens. The results reported are off-putting to say the least. Among the phrases that were the most popularly searched, animals featured heavily. But perhaps what’s most revealing about the report is the demonstration of how a profoundly religious and conservative country (blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan) has an apparently strong appetite for such unconventional and illegal material. This indicates the possibility of a correlation between sexual repression and its inevitable need to be released, a need that often surfaces in unhealthy ways. Since the report, however, The Express Tribune Pakistan reported that Google have pointed out it should be taken with a pinch of salt as data “may contain inaccuracies because the sample size is too small for the results to be statistically sound”.
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