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January 13, 2017

Team of Academic Researchers to Conduct Survey at AVN Show

LOS ANGELES—A team of academics from the US and Australia will be conducting a research survey January 18-21 at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo focused on the views, attitudes and experiences of attendees, including fans, exhibitors and adult performers. Led by Paul Maginn, an associate professor and program coordinator in Urban/Regional Planning at the University of Western Australia, the goal of the project is to gain an increased knowledge and understanding of the 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when' and 'why' of attending the AVN Show and porn consumption. Everyone who participates in the survey will remain anonymous. Maginn will be joined at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas by two US-based scholars—Professor Barb Brents of the Department of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Assistant Professor Crystal Jackson of the Department of Sociology at John Jay College in New York. In addition, a small group of grad students from UNLV will assist with the survey. The project, which has received AVN's endorsement, is completely self-funded and forms part of the group's wider research on various aspects of the sex industry. Together these scholars have 30 plus years of experience researching adult entertainment. Maginn provided the following Q&A with additional details about the project for all those who may be interested in participating.  Why is research useful to/on the adult industry? Adult entertainment has become an increasingly visible facet of our society and economy in the 21st century. Often described as a multi-million-dollar industry it is now characterised by billions of downloads of free porn each year – this raises a series of questions about motivations, trends and patterns in porn consumption. Furthermore, there tends to be lots of stereotypes about the profile and character of porn consumers and the harm to them and, of course, wider society. As scholars, we believe that research is necessary in order to test the validity of stereotypes surrounding those who watch porn. Adult content means many things to different people. Our research project on fans and attendees of the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo will tell us more about the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of those who consume this particular event and adult content more generally. Scholarly research on different forms of commercial sex, especially sex work/prostitution, has tended to focus on the providers of sexual services. only recently has attention been paid to the consumers of commercial sex. Notably, there is little, if any, systematic scholarly research on consumers and fans who attend adult entertainment expos and conventions. Why research people attending AEE 2017? Adult expos and conventions play an important role in showcasing the latest developments—technological, financial, production and commercial—in the adult industry. They also offer consumers of porn an opportunity to meet with adult performers and play an important role in bringing tourism dollars into host cities through spending on hotels, food, drink and so on. As the largest and longest running adult expo in the US, the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo offers an ideal space and opportunity to explore the demographic profile and attitudes of those that attend the expo. The current study builds on an initial exploratory study we (i.e. Brents and Jackson) conducted back in 2009 where we were primarily interested in the tourism aspects of the AVN expo for Las Vegas. Our aim this time round is to explore in more detail peoples’ attitudes, experiences and consumption of the AVN expo—Why did they attend? What aspects of the expo did they attend? How has the expo changed over time? What were the positives/negatives of the expo? In addition, we are also interested in peoples’ consumption of other forms of commercial sex (e.g. strip clubs, legal brothels, escorts) whilst in Las Vegas and their general social attitudes towards commercial sex and sexuality more broadly. How important is research to dispelling stereotypes of the adult industry? It’s important to have robust, scholarly research to share with policy-makers and advocates in order to clearly demonstrate what type of people consume porn. Policy and legislation on the regulation of porn consumption needs to be based on systematic evidence not anecdotes or stereotypes. Sexuality is part of humanity, and our research will help enhance knowledge and understanding of porn consumption.  I’m in! How can I participate? The research team—Prof. Brents, Prof. Jackson and Prof. Maginn—along with a small team of grad students from UNLV’s Department of Sociology will be at the AVN Expo trying to recruit people to participate in an online survey. In addition, attendees at the AVN Expo who purchased tickets online will be invited to take part in the survey. For more information, please feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected]/* */.

 
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