A group of researchers have debunked the stereotypical portrayal of female porn actresses as "damaged goods" who go into the X-rated industry because they suffer from low self-esteem, drug addiction or childhood sexual abuse.

A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that female porn stars are psychologically as healthy or healthier than other women.

In fact, psychologists found that adult entertainers on average have higher self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life.

"In terms of psychological characteristics, porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction and spirituality compared to the matched group," researchers at Pennsylvania's Shippensburg University, Texas Woman's University and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation wrote in the study.

They said that they found no evidence to support the "damaged goods hypothesis" that posits that female porn actresses come from backgrounds of abuse.

"Some descriptions of actresses in pornography have included attributes such as drug addiction, homelessness, poverty, desperation and being victims of sexual abuse," the study authors wrote. "Some have made extreme assertions, such as claiming that all women in pornography were sexually abused as children."

Researchers go on the say that these stereotypes of people involved in the adult entertainment industry have been used to support or condemn the multi-billion dollar industry and to justify political views on pornography even though the "actual characteristics of actresses are unknown because no study on this group of women has been conducted."

Despite all the preconceived notions of those involved in porn, researchers found that female porn stars do not have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse, mental health problems and drug use compared to the average woman.

Researchers matched 177 female adult entertainers between the ages of 18 and 50 with women of the same age, ethnicity and marital status who are not in the porn industry.

Researches said that on average porn actresses in the study spent about three-and-a-half years working in the industry, and more than a third were either married or in a serious relationship and 44 percent were single.

Researchers compared the two groups' sexual behavior and attitudes, self-esteem, quality of life and drug use.

They found that adult entertainers had a higher self-esteem, better body image, greater levels of spirituality, and higher quality of life because they slept better and had more energy.

Furthermore, while 70 percent of porn actresses said they had a fulfilling sex life, only 33 percent of other women reported the same.

Researchers also found that porn actresses had more sexual partners, were more likely to be bisexual and had become sexually active two years earlier at the age of 15 compared to the non-porn industry workers who on average became sexually active at the age of 17.

While the study found that drug use was no more prevalent among porn actresses, researchers noted that actresses were more likely to have tried different types of drugs compared to the other women in the study.