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Porn Addiction Statistics

Most reports of porn addiction are self-reported. Porn addiction is not yet viewed as a medically accepted behavioral health condition, despite a growing number of people’s reports of struggles with porn-viewing behaviors.

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Porn Addiction Is a REAL Problem

In 2019, one study found that 11% of men and 3% of women reported that they were addicted to pornography. 

Statistics on porn use, self-reported porn addiction, and rates of porn addiction and use by demographic and other factors highlight the need for porn addiction treatment.

Read on to learn more about the rate of porn addiction and other porn-related statistics in the U.S.

How Many People Are Addicted to Porn in the U.S.?

Addiction to porn (a behavioral addiction) is not collectively viewed as a legitimate medical condition, so most reports of porn addiction are self-reports.

The study above, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, showed that 7% of U.S. adult porn internet users reported having a pornography addiction.

The study was conducted on a group of 2,075 people based on various use rates of porn in their lifetimes.

Porn Addiction Rates in the U.S. vs. Other Nations

The number of people who strongly agree with the statement, “I am addicted to pornography,” in the above study is comparable to the same rate of people who agree with it in other nations.

In Australia, for example, 3% of men and 1% of women strongly agreed that they had a porn addiction — the same rate as in the U.S.

And one study in the UK reported that one-fifth of teens watch porn, with some reporting addiction to it.

While not everyone who watches porn is addicted to it, the problem is not necessarily with porn addiction but with porn use.

And, as all types of addictions show, compulsive behaviors can lead to addictions. Over time, continued porn use that becomes a habit can lead to a porn addiction. 

According to PornHub’s annual year-in-review statement, the top countries for porn viewing were as follows:

  1. The United States
  2. The Philippines
  3. France
  4. Mexico
  5. The United Kingdom
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. Italy
  9. Canada
  10. Brazil
  11. Spain
  12. Poland
  13. Australia
  14. Ukraine
  15. The Netherlands
  16. Argentina
  17. Colombia
  18. Egypt
  19. Chile
  20. Sweden

These top 20 countries made up more than 78% of all porn viewing on the site in 2023.

Online Porn Use Rates by State

Porn use rates are also measured in each state, from the longest amount of time spent viewing porn to the shortest times.

The top states for long periods of time spent porn-viewing in 2023 were:

  • Maryland: 11 minutes, 31 seconds per average visit
  • Rhode Island: 11 minutes, 11 seconds per average visit
  • New Jersey: 11 minutes, 09 seconds per average visit
  • North Carolina: 11 minutes, 07 seconds per average visit
  • Delaware: 11 minutes, 05 seconds per average visit
  • Alabama: 11 minutes, 04 seconds per average visit
  • Tennessee: 10 minutes, 57 seconds per average visit
  • Minnesota: 10 minutes, 56 seconds per average visit
  • Missouri: 10 minutes, 56 seconds per average visit
  • South Carolina: 10 minutes, 52 seconds per average visit
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Statistics on Pornography Use

Pornography use rates are high in the U.S. and many other nations.

While porn addiction rates are not necessarily high, studies on other behavioral addictions show that continuing to engage in the addicting behavior can eventually prompt addiction.

Here are some important statistics on pornography use and behavior:

  • Online use: Approximately 69% of American men and 40% of American women view online porn each year.
  • Viewing behavior: Pornhub alone reported more than 2 billion visits in a single month in 2023.
  • Beliefs about porn use: 14% of Americans in one study reported they believed porn use is wrong; 51% disagreed.
  • Illicit porn use: 84% of American adults believe child pornography use is morally wrong and should be deemed illegal.

Porn Addiction Statistics by Demographic

Looking at porn use behaviors of particular groups helps highlight the understanding of who may be at risk for porn addiction or compulsive porn use and the issues that result.

Gender and Porn Use

Porn use and porn addiction rates show a marked difference between men and women in the U.S.

Males report higher rates of porn addiction and pornography use in all categories:

  • Porn addiction: 11% of men, 3% of women.
  • Porn use (viewing online): 69% of men, 40% of women.
  • Porn downloads: Men are 20% more likely to download porn than women.
  • Porn viewing behavior: responding to the statement, “I have put things off I needed to do to view pornography,” 1% of women agreed, and 3% of men agreed.

Sexual Orientation and Porn Use

Porn use rates are high in both heterosexual men and men who identify as homosexual or bisexual.

And self-reported problematic porn use rates in sexual minority men are also high. Though pornography is shown in some studies to have a few positive effects (i.e., offering a way to validate sexuality and help gay or bisexual men learn about their own sexuality), it has also had some negative effects on sexual minority men.

For example, men in sexual minorities may experience negative body images and mental health issues linked to their porn use.

And in one study from Culture, Health & Sexuality, sexual minority men who increased their porn use rates over time experienced harmful effects on their ideals and expectations during sex.

Age and Porn Use

People who use porn the most in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.

To break down porn use rates by age group:

  • 57% of young adults ages 18-25 use porn monthly or more often
  • 29% of adults ages 25 and above use porn monthly or more often

Research also shows that children who are inappropriately exposed to porn are exposed at a very young age — between ages 9-13 on average.

By teen years, most youth have been exposed to internet porn in some form, with 93% of teen boys and 62% of teen girls reporting internet porn exposure in one study. 

In one study published by the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, Men reported that early exposure to internet pornography affected their frequent use of pornography later in life.

Race and Porn Use

Porn use rates may vary among races but affect people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, as with other demographics.

One study conducted using data on pornography viewing rates from 1973-2016 found that:

  • Black Americans were more likely to view porn than White Americans
  • Black men were more likely to view porn than any other gender/racial combinations
  • White women’s porn use rates that increased over time were similar to Black men’s porn use rates and their increases over time

Factors taken into account during the original studies used to collect this data included information regarding race, gender, religion, and sexuality.

Economic Factors and Porn Use

Nearly all studies conducted on porn use include economic factors, such as income level, as one of the contributing factors.

However, income level does not appear to have a direct correlation to pornography use in the existing studies.

That is, there is not a link between higher porn use rates and higher or lower income levels. Instead, the factors that affect porn use rates remain gender, early exposure, and over-exposure to porn.

What Factors Affect Porn Addiction Rates?

Pornography, in its nature, is addictive. More specifically, some studies have found that porn has the potential to stimulate the brain in patterns similar to that of addictive substances.

When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, for example, they can form an addiction because these substances work on the brain’s pleasure and reward systems. In turn, these effects make a person want to keep using drugs or alcohol again and again.

In other words, pornography itself may be addicting, meaning people who frequently view it may be at risk of compulsive use and, arguably, porn addiction.

Other factors that may affect growing porn addiction rates:

  • Porn is easily accessible: In the U.S., most people have access to the internet in some form — and 98% of porn use in 2021 was via online porn, with 69% viewed on cell phones.
  • Porn addiction is self-reported: Because porn is not widely accepted as a legitimate health condition, most porn addiction is self-reported.
  • Personal factors affect porn addiction reporting: People who view pornography as morally wrong self-reported higher rates of addiction in one study than those who did not view it as morally wrong. In addition, people who identified as being religious or stated that religion was important to them self-reported higher rates of addiction than those who did not.
  • The porn industry is lucrative: The porn industry has grown so quickly because it is lucrative, with monthly porn subscriptions to online providers costing anywhere from $10 per month or more. Overall, the internet porn industry is currently worth more than $1 billion (as of 2023). Most porn sites offer a certain amount of porn viewing for free, which can work to keep users coming back.
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Statistics on Access to Pornography in the U.S.

How accessible is porn in the U.S.? About 4 million websites offer pornographic content. This number accounts for about 12% of all websites on the internet.

As of January 2024, 95% of U.S. residents have access to the internet, so nearly anyone can access pornography at any time.

This includes accidental exposure to porn. People can be accidentally exposed to pornography in a few ways, including via:

  • Spam email or text messages
  • Pop-up ads
  • Not knowing a website is a porn site
  • Receiving a porn website link without giving consent

Statistics on Porn Use by Type

The majority of porn use occurs in three ways in the U.S.: via online videos, online photos, and photos on apps.

A study in 2019 showed that porn is most often viewed on computers, with 73% of all porn viewing occurring on computers. In comparison, 62% of all porn use happens on cell phones & smartphones.

In PornHub’s report, they stated that their website alone receives 42 billion visits per year globally.

Statistics on the Pornography Industry

Not only is the pornography industry large and looming, but it’s also growing. A study that examined 40 years of pornography use among participants found increased rates of porn consumption over time.

Here is how pornography use has changed in the U.S. over the last few decades:

  • 1973-1980 cohort: Of men ages 18-26 in the study, 45% had viewed pornography
  • 1999-2012 cohort: Of men ages 18-26 in the study, 61% had viewed pornography

This porn use increase may be linked to the invention and rise of the internet.

In addition, the porn industry saw a 12.6% increase in revenue each year from 2018 to 2023. This change may be attributed to several factors, including increased costs and inflation, but it also points to increased rates of pornography use.

And another change to the porn industry increased both access to porn use and the incentive to create porn: the implementation of porn on social media platforms like OnlyFans.

That is, on many social media platforms which allow pornographic content, the creators keep most of their revenue from the content — providing them an incentive to keep creating porn.

Twitter and Snapchat also allow explicit content, and as of 2021, the most popular online porn creators may bring in anywhere from $6 million per year or more.

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Statistics on Sexual Trafficking & Child Pornography

Although 84% of Americans interviewed in one study believed child pornography is wrong, there were 69,425 cases of child pornography offenders in the U.S. in 2018.

Of those cases, 99.1% were convicted.

Here is a breakdown on the child pornography cases from that year:

  • 1,414 actually involved child pornography use
  • 3% of the child pornography offenders were male
  • 5% of child pornography offenders had no prior criminal record
  • The average age of offenders was 41 years old
  • 3% of child porn offenders were White, with the rest being Hispanic (9.5%), Black (4.2%), and Other (3.0%)

Unfortunately, child pornography is often linked to child sex trafficking. Some porn websites have had allegations brought against them in civil lawsuits regarding their connection to violent porn, sex trafficking, and child porn — including PornHub and MindGeek.

Each day, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol encounters hundreds of unaccompanied minors. Research shows these minors become prime targets for drug cartels in sex crimes, including child pornography and child sex trafficking.

Child predators also use social media websites to find child victims. Up to 55% of U.S. sex trafficking victims ages 7 to 11 are found on social media platforms. Predators then use these same platforms to distribute and promote the child pornography they create.

Statistics on Perception of Porn Use

People in the U.S. tend to agree on what is considered pornographic material: content that is sexually explicit, intended to arouse, shows sexual intercourse, or displays full nudity.

However, people have mixed feelings about how they perceive porn. In one study that asked participants if porn was bad for society, 37% of older adults agreed, while only 14% of young adults agreed.

These rates are also affected by whether participants are male or female. In the same study, 39% of women believed that porn is ‘very bad’; 21% of men agreed.

Statistics on Other Effects of Porn Use

Porn use and addiction can have negative effects on a person’s sexual satisfaction.

A study that assessed men on their sex life satisfaction asked one group of men if they were satisfied with their sex life — 41% responded that they were satisfied. They asked another group the same question, but only 26% reported satisfaction.

The only difference? The first group had not watched pornography the day before, while the second group had watched porn.

Other potential negative effects of increased porn use include:

  • Increased risk of pregnancy among female teen viewers
  • Increased attitudes about sexual objectification
  • Reinforce tendencies to be violent during sex
  • Introduced/reinforced themes of male domination and female submission, with or without female enjoyment
  • Relationship issues
  • Self-isolation and self-loathing
  • Issues with sexual libido and sexual health
  • Impact on mental health issues

Find Supportive Resources for Porn Addiction Now

Porn use rates are increasing in the U.S. and globally, and research shows that there are a wide range of negative effects that can result from frequent porn use.

Porn addiction may not be a widely accepted medical condition, but compulsive porn use can cause issues in your sexual health, relationship, and sense of self-worth and mental well-being.

If you or a loved one are battling a porn addiction, don’t wait to get help. Porn addiction therapy is offered in-person and online, and support groups, including Porn Addicts Anonymous, offer local chapters in communities nationwide.

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Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Chris Carberg is the Founder of Addiction HelpWritten by:

AddictionHelp.com Founder & Mental Health Advocate

Chris Carberg is the founder of AddictionHelp.com, and a long-time recovering addict from prescription opioids, sedatives, and alcohol.  Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked as a tireless advocate for addicts and their loved ones while becoming a sought-after digital entrepreneur. Chris is a storyteller and aims to share his story with others in the hopes of helping them achieve their own recovery.

  1. American Psychological Association (2014 April). “Is pornography addictive?” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/pornography
  2. Rubén de Alarcón, Javier I. de la Iglesia, Nerea M. Casado, and Angel L. Montejo (2019 January). “Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t—A Systematic Review.” Journal of Clinical Medicine. Retrieved March 26, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352245/
  3. The Guardian (n.d.). “A fifth of teenagers watch pornography frequently and some are addicted, UK study finds.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/10/porn-study-survey-uk-teenagers-addicted
  4. PornHub (n.d.). “2023 Year in Review.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from  https://www.pornhub.com/insights/2023-year-in-review#traffic
  5. Taylor & Francis Online (2022 September 19). “The paradox of pornography – sexuality and problematic pornography use.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13691058.2023.2213750#:~:text=Pornography%20use%20is%20normalised%20amongst,2017
  6. National Library of Medicine (2019 January). “Race and Trends in Pornography Viewership, 1973-2016: Examining the Moderating Roles of Gender and Religion.” Journal of Sex Research.  Retrieved March 26, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29244541/
  7. United States Sentencing Commission (n.d.) “Quick Facts on Child Pornography Offenses.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from  https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Child_Pornography_FY18.pdf
  8. The Heritage Foundation (27 July 2023). “U.S. Is a Top Destination for Child Sex Trafficking, and It’s Happening in Your Community.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from  https://www.heritage.org/crime-and-justice/commentary/us-top-destination-child-sex-trafficking-and-its-happening-your
  9. U.S. Department of Justice “Child Sex Trafficking in the United States.” Retrieved March 26, 2024, from   https://www.justice.gov/d9/2023-06/child_sex_trafficking_in_the_united_states_2.pdf

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