There have been some odd stories about porn stars emerging of late. In October, retired adult film star Ron Jeremy made a fascinating claim while speaking at a Michigan church — that the majority of porn stars believe in God. While this was startling enough in its own regard, a new study from “The Journal of Sex Research” has also come to some noteworthy conclusions.  Among them, that women in the porn industry allegedly have a better body image and higher self-esteem than females working in other, less-sexual careers.

Naturally, the results will be disputed, but they certainly raise a number of questions. Conventional wisdom has been that those individuals working in sex-centric careers have lower self-esteem than other women as a result of being exploited. In this particular study, entitled, “Pornography Actresses: An Assessment of the Damaged Goods Hypothesis,” researchers who compared 177 porn stars with women in other careers found quite the opposite.

Journal of Sex Research: Female Porn Stars Have More Self Esteem Than Others

Former porn star Jenna Jameson (Photo Credit: AP)

“Stereotypes of those involved in adult entertainment have been used to support or condemn the industry and to justify political views on pornography, although the actual characteristics of actresses are unknown because no study on this group of women has been conducted,” an excerpt from the study reads. “Some descriptions of actresses in pornography have included attributes such as drug addiction, homelessness, poverty, desperation, and being victims of sexual abuse.”

According to Inquisitr, researchers found that female porn stars were also not more likely to encounter sexual abuse during their childhood years when compared with other American women. The Toronto Sun continues:

The study…said it found no evidence to support the “damaged goods hypothesis” that actresses involved in the porn industry come from desperate backgrounds. Rather, the researchers found the women have higher self-esteem, a better quality of life and body image, and are more positive, with greater levels of spirituality.

The study was conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University, Texas Woman’s University and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation.

Journal of Sex Research: Female Porn Stars Have More Self Esteem Than Others

Adult film star Ron Jeremy, left, signs his book for Jean Austin of Canoga Park, Calif., during the Adult Video Network Expo, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, in Las Vegas. Credit: AP

The actresses who were included in the sample had all been paid to work in at least one porn film. They ranged from ages 18 to 50 and, according to the Sun, had an average career length of at least three and a half years. While about four in 10 were single, more than one-third reported being either married or in a serious relationship.

While some may argue that the sample size is too low (after all, 177 isn’t necessarily a large pool, especially when it comes to scientific research), the results are startling.

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