PolitiFact California recently explored — “Will California’s Prop 60 expose adult film workers to lawsuits?” (September 2, 2016).

The muckraking organization looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates, and groups, fact checks them, and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

I was recently contacted by PolitiFact re claims against California’s Proposition 60, which requires adult film performers to wear condoms. Those opposed to Prop 60 say it will leave members of the adult industry open to frivolous lawsuits and harassment, rendering it “not the protective measure it’s touted to be.”

I provided the author Chris Nichols with the following response to his request for a fact check:

CN: Is there an accepted estimate for the percentage of adult film workers (or even just for adult film performers) that have a “financial stake” in the adult films they work on? 

DrCT: There is not an accepted estimate for the percentage of adult industry workers, or even just for porn performers, that have a “financial stake” in the content they work on.

There is no uniform concept of what constitutes adult content and there are no reliable figures that capture basic industry demographics (eg the number of people, or even just performers, working in the adult industry) – even data as simple as that has never been gathered. As such, at this moment, there is no way to realistically estimate, and thus claim, what percent of the industry could possibly be sued in the instance of “no condom” content.

However, in my 10+ years of studying the adult industry, I can tell you that the forms in which content is funded and produced and the modes by which it’s distributed have expanded and diversified dramatically. Between technology and creativity, within the context of online piracy and inventive modes of monetization, everyone from webcam models to agents may have a financial stake in a single piece of content that may or may not feature a condom. So though there is no way to say “75%” in a quantitative data driven way, on the basis of the industry’s current structure and function, the percentage is certainly very high.

PolitiFact rated the claim Half True, meaning “the statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.”

You can read PolitiFact’s analysis right — here. What do you think?

 

 

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Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com

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