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Trans and lesbian porn top Australian viewing

Online porn use in Australia has tripled in three years, with different cities having distinct content preferences, new research shows.

Melburnians have increased their viewing the most, with a 222% increase in visits to Pornhub between 2014 and 2017, according to a study by Dr Paul Maginn, an associate professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Western Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

Across Australia, lesbian-themed porn was the most popular overall in the ‘heterosexual’ section of the site.

Other cities had their own favourite genres, with trans porn among the top content for viewers in Brisbane and Adelaide.

“In essence, the majority of the categories of porn viewed across Australian cities reflect heteronormative sexual preferences and interests,” said Dr Maginn, presenting the study at the State of Australian Cities Conference in Perth this month.

“Lesbian and threesome porn being ranked quite highly speaks to classic stereotypical heterosexual male sexual fantasies.”

While porn viewing may generally be associated with men, the study found 30% of Pornhub users were women.

In Canberra, ‘female friendly’ porn was among the top genres.

Dr Maginn said “porn literacy” needed to be increased among teenagers and parents – but noted this does not mean showing porn in schools.

“Porn is an intricate part of our wider culture; trying to ban it would be counter-productive, futile even,” he said.

“We know that prohibiting or banning things only piques our interest and curiosity.”

He said the porn study was intended to produce evidence to inform policymaking for Australia.

“Porn is often the canary in the coalmine for all sorts of concerns about the supposed breakdown of society,” Dr Maginn said.

“However, policy decisions on porn are often grounded in political opportunism, as opposed to systematic evidence.”

The Department of Home Affairs recently suggested face scanning technology could be used to ensure viewers of online porn are of legal age, a proposal that experts have slammed as unreasonable.

Dr Maginn said that serious privacy concerns would be raised by such a system.

He also noted that the British government has previously been forced to abandon a scheme to verify age for access to online porn after it proved impossible to enforce.

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