PornHub provides inclusive sexual education

The majority of visitors on PornHub visit the site for a single reason—as offered to them at the click of a button. But as of late January, more of these visits to the Internet’s largest adult entertainment conglomerate may have an educational purpose in mind.

The “PornHub Sexual Wellness Center” officially went live on Jan. 31. Instead of pizza delivery men and pool boys, the site offers informative articles on topics ranging from reproductive health to sexuality to the physical body.

These articles are not just opinion pieces—each article has been researched and written by a team of doctors, therapists and sexologists. The site itself is directed under popular sexologist Dr. Laurie Betito, who runs her own private practice, hosts a sex-oriented radio show and has made several news appearances to talk about sex.

“[It] is an opportunity to reach a global audience and provide a source for healthy sexual education and dialogue,” Betito said. 

While the site may sound like a joke, it has established itself as anything but. Articles on the site are written to be inclusive of many different types of relationships, counteracting the largely heteronormative, religious and social morality-based sexual education in the United States. 

Gay, lesbian and transgender relationships are given the same intensive research and discussion that heterosexual ones are, as are ones that challenge the traditional views of monogamy. Thus, PornHub’s new site offers arguably one of the most inclusive sexual educations. 

The new site seems more critical now than ever, with users from the U.S. driving about 40 percent of the site’s visits, according to PornHub’s “2016 Year in Review.” Statistics surrounding the state of sexual education in the U.S. are daunting. 

Forty-three percent of teenage males and 53 percent of teenage females who are sexually active do not receive “formal instruction” on using contraception before they have sex, according to studies by the Guttmacher Institute. Even fewer of them—31 percent males, 46 percent females—learn where to obtain contraception. Regarding the origin of this lack of knowledge, 88 percent of schools allow parents the option to withdraw their children from sex education entirely.  

The statistics for non-heterosexual and non-cisgender persons are equally dire. Studies by the Center for Disease Control have found higher trends of bacterial vaginitis, syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections among LGBTQ+ persons. A study from the McCreary Centre Society has revealed that bisexual and lesbian youth are two-seven times more likely to become pregnant as teenagers compared to their straight peers. 

Additionally, for transgender individuals undergoing hormone therapy, there are multiple complications that can occur. Taking testosterone puts people at risk of liver disease, especially if taken orally. Taking estrogen, on the other hand, puts users at risk of high blood pressure and blood clotting, according to the Vanderbilt Medical School. These issues, even if brief, are rarely discussed in sexual education settings across U.S. schools.

Sexual education is much more than just physical health. In health classes, sexual education can be broadened to simply understanding persons of different orientations, which could potentially help bullied youth.  

PornHub’s site may not fix the entirety of America’s sexual education crisis, but it provides a step in the right direction.