We promised that we would publish on this website a summary of our first findings from this research, as a way of giving back to all of you who took the time and trusted us with your responses. This is our attempt to keep that promise. We have to tell you that so many people completed the questionnaire, and at such length – to which must be added the more than 700 people who carried on talking to us via email about our research – that it is going to be a long time before we ‘complete’ our work.
To start with some raw stats. 5,490 people completed the questionnaire. That’s an extraordinary total in itself. If we add that your answers to seven key questions amounted in all to 1,262,419 words, then you can perhaps see why this is going to take us a long time! Some people gave what we would call quick, throwaway answers – it’s for wanking, isn’t it, duh? – and that’s your right. But thank you for doing the questionnaire because there’s something to be learned even from the shortest answers we received.
We also got a very small number of very hostile responses from people who think pornography is obviously evil and dangerous – and that’s their right, too.But there were two aspects to these hostile responses that we unequivocally reject. The first is the claim made by some people that it is wrong even to research this – it is so ‘obvious’ to them that porn is a bad thing, that no sorts of evidence of what it means to people who use and enjoy it can ever count. Sorry, but that reeks of every kind of prejudice that we have ever encountered. The second was the assertion that we were wrong to design our questionnaire to speak only to people who use and enjoy porn. But that was the entire point of the exercise. People who don’t like it, and don’t use it, have had many outlets for their views. The ‘silenced voice’ to date has been the users. We designed our research to learn about how porn matters to the people who use, not the people who hate it.
and here (Reasons for Looking)
and here (Profiles of Men)