Pornhub is investing in research and diving into the world of academia for the first time. According to Inverse, the adult entertainment company has awarded a $25,000 grant to researchers to investigate healthy ways consumers should interact with porn.
The grant was given to University of Kansas psychology professor Omri Gillath, Ph.D., who will also work with Dr. Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan and doctoral candidate Katie Adams. These three scientists became the first in history to study porn with money from a porn site.
Gillath previously focused his research on interpersonal relationships, and now is excited to see what good and bad consequences porn has on the lives of its consumers. “Porn is becoming a part of the mainstream,” Gillath told Inverse. “We don’t tend to look too much on the consequences.”
In March, Pornhub opened its Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center Grant to thousands of research applicants, but Gillath and his team came out on top. “He remains dedicated to uncovering more detailed information on the consumption of adult entertainment and its effects, and we are happy to champion his endeavors,” said Corey Price, the vice president of Pornhub.
Over the next 18 months, the team will do three studies that evaluate the impact of porn when it’s a part of day-to-day-life. There’s a plethora of negative studies about porn, and of course religious bias against it, but Gillath wants to scientifically weed out the good and the bad effects.
“Researchers with a negative bias coming into the area and almost forcing their negative bias on the research of porn,” Gillath said. “Some of what Pornhub is trying to do now is making sure that it’s treating seriously its role in society...It’s entertainment, sure, it’s a source of arousal, of course. But it’s also an educational source and we need to be serious about that as well.”
Regardless of the study’s results, porn definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Pornhub had 28.5 billion visits in 2017. Hopefully through research these scientists will provide users with tools to consume porn in healthier ways, but until then, carry on.