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Breaking Down Porn - An analysis of commonly viewed porn in NZ

05 December 2019

New research shows that while the most popular porn in New Zealand is not highly aggressive there is a concerning trend of people watching step-porn.

The Classification Office today released its analysis of the 200 most popular videos that New Zealanders watch on mainstream porn site Pornhub. Last year the Office released the first stage of its Youth and Porn research and further research is underway which will be released next year.

This separate analysis was done to break down and analyse the content of porn that is commonly watched in New Zealand.

“While porn is supposed to be restricted to adults, our research shows a significant number of young people watch it too, and this analysis of popular videos on Pornhub helps us understand what they are seeing,” Chief Censor David Shanks said.

“As regulators in this space we’ve been analysing explicit content for over 20 years. The porn industry’s move online means that there is more porn available to a wider audience than ever before. Some of this content can be extreme and illegal.

“Our break down of content indicates that New Zealanders generally prefer content that is not so extreme. Of the top 200 clips analysed, just 10% showed physical aggression, 3% showed verbal aggression and 9% contained derogatory language.

“It was positive to find that extreme content does not seem to be what most New Zealanders are seeking out. However we were concerned to find some non-consensual behaviour in 35% of the popular clips assessed.

“We also found that 46% of the most viewed videos featured ‘step porn’ narratives involving sexual activity between blended family members. In these scenarios, initial refusal or reluctance by one partner would often be shown as being overcome by persistence and pressure by the other.

“Affectionate behaviour was spotted in around a quarter of the clips studied, and only 3% involved the use of condoms.

“This analysis provides an important companion study for our initial NZ Youth and Porn research. That research established that porn is a fact of life for many young New Zealanders, and that they may view it for a variety of reasons, including to learn about sex. Many of the young people we surveyed expressed concern about how porn might impact sexual beliefs, expectations and behaviour.

“It is clear from this latest work that porn provides a very poor model for young people who are developing their understanding of consent and of what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. They need a real counterpoint to the fictional and confusing stories that porn offers. Now it is more important than ever to give our young people the information and education they need in this space,” David Shanks said.

“The reality is young people are seeing porn – it’s time to start talking with them about it.”

Media contact: Maggie Tait 0273 469 570

Chief Censor David Shanks