Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Between August 2012 and January 2013, four adult film performers based in California tested positive for HIV which triggered a moratorium on production, and led the state of California to mandate condom usage in the industry under the Safer Sex in the Adult Industry Act – otherwise referred to as Measure B. The goal of this research is to explore how the discourse surrounding health in the adult film industry, specifically sexual health in relation to the adult film performers during this event, is reflective of contemporary anti-pornography sentiments. These sentiments and biases ultimately lead to regulations of the industry that were not reflective of the adult film performers’ perceptions/concerns in regards to their own occupational safety and health. Therefore these contemporary debates surrounding mandating condom usage in the porn industry demonstrate a disconnect between the opinions expressed in media and in academia versus those expressed by the industry and in its own actors’ testimonies. This discourse also in turn eschews the real complexities of the pornography industry, excluding certain narratives including those of queer porn actors. Listening to these narratives and making an effort to understand these complexities surrounding the industry are important and necessary steps to properly work towards supporting the work, health, and empowerment of adult film actors.


Written as a Senior Capstone in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.