Publishing magnate Hugh Hefner insists Playboy magazine has benefitted women more than men, because it helped to liberate them.

The porn tycoon, who launched the sexy magazine in 1953 after coming up with the idea in college, credits the publication with freeing women from the moral and subservient image which restricted them for generations.

He says, "Twenty years ago, Playboy was perceived as a chauvinist publication. Today the rabbit symbol has been embraced by women as a form or their own personal sexual empowerment.

"That has been one of the great blessings for me, because I have always felt that the sexual revolution was not just for guys.

"The major beneficiaries were women, because historically it was women who had to live this unreal life in which they were expected to be the keepers of the moral traditions.

"The guy could pretty much do what he wanted to do, and women couldn't. And it came with the whole notion of good girls and bad girls and original sin.

"All that religious heritage is very hurtful. So I think sexual liberation goes hand in hand with female emancipation."