Ten Years of Pornhub Data Reveals A Lot About Internet’s Collective Id

User data from most popular porn website is a gold mine for social scientists.

June 12, 2017 11:01 am
pornhub's top search results
Pornhub's top search results for 2018 list has been released. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A decade’s worth of the Internet’s porn-watching habits can reveal a lot more than just skin.

Pornhub, the most popular website for pornography, shared a trove of user data in honor of its tenth anniversary—and the information is a psychologist’s gold mine.

Any website that attracts 75 million visitors each day is bound to provide key insights into its audience’s behavior, but that data is all the more valuable when it’s regarding behaviors that most keep as secret.

New York Magazine calls Pornhub’s data dump is the “Kinsey Report or our time.” Some stats without context don’t say much—such as the average time users spend looking at the”Redheads” category—but with context, it can shine a light on America’s psyche.

Once the 2016 election results were confirmed, for instance, Pornhub received a ten percent spike in traffic.

In revealing America’s dark desires, the data highlights uncomfortable truths, reports New York Magazine.

“Porn has always been a place for indulging irrational, secret, and socially unacceptable desires — which makes it a place where people feel free to let their racial prejudices and fantasies run wild, too,” Maureen O’Connor writes. “Porn is a theater of the id, and America’s id is racist.”

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