Study: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Leads Women to Increase Porn Consumption

Courtesy of Universal

"It's really motivating women to look for sexually explicit material online."

The Fifty Shades of Grey books are motivating women to look for sexually explicit material, a new study by a University of Waterloo professor has found.

Diana Parry, an associate professor of recreation and leisure studies at the Canadian university, spoke with Salon about her qualitative research. Parry and her team interviewed 28 women aged 20-50 about their pornography consumption patterns.

She said the book exposed many women to "a genre of material that they either didn't know existed or they didn't know that they liked." After reading the novels, Parry noticed women began looking to consume other types of books and sexually explicit content specifically targeted to women, rather than men. Parry added, "It’s really motivating women to look for sexually explicit material online." 

Parry said that in this way, women are "taking their own sexuality into their own hands."

"It’s an interesting moment to look at women’s sexuality as represented in mass media or pop culture or films like Fifty Shades of Grey or various TV shows," Parry told the online magazine. "But I think we need a cautionary note around it, because while they open up opportunities and provide women with unprecedented access to new genres or ways of thinking about their sexuality, at the same time, many of the scripts that are reproduced are really patriarchal scripts around women’s sexuality."