Posts Tagged ‘pornography’

Published on January 21, 2010 by Gad Saad, Ph.D. in Homo Consumericus
For the past several decades, a debate has raged as to whether or not pornography yields deleterious effects at the individual and/or societal levels (e.g., increased negative views toward women; increased rate of sexual crimes against women). In many instances, those who have sought to link pornography to countless ills have been ideologically motivated, as the aggregate scientific evidence hardly supports such conclusions. See chapter 6 of my book The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (p. 228-235) for some relevant references on pornography. Continue Reading…

Gert Martin Hald
Neil M. Malamuth

The self-perceived effects of “hardcore” pornography consumption were studied in a large representative sample of young adult Danish men and women aged 18–30. Using a survey that included the newly developed Pornography Consumption Effect Scale, we assessed participants’ reports of how pornography has affected them personally in various areas, including their sexual knowledge, attitudes toward sex, attitudes toward and perception of the opposite sex, sex life, and general quality of life. Across all areas investigated, participants reported only small, if any, negative effects with men reporting slightly more negative effects than women. In contrast, moderate positive effects were generally reported by both men and women, with men reporting significantly more positive effects than women. For both sexes, sexual background factors were found to significantly predict both positive and negative effects of pornography consumption. Although the proportion of variance in positive effects accounted for by sexual background factors was substantial, it was small for negative effects. We discuss how the findings may be interpreted differently by supporters and opponents of pornography due to the reliance in this study on reported self-perceptions of effects. Nonetheless, we conclude that the overall findings suggest that many young Danish adults believe that pornography has had primarily a positive effect on various aspects of .  their lives.

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Kurt Gray
University of Maryland
Joshua Knobe, Mark Sheskin, and Paul Bloom
Yale University
Lisa Feldman Barrett
Northeastern University and Mass General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

According to models of objectification, viewing someone as a body induces de-mentalization, stripping
away their psychological traits. Here evidence is presented for an alternative account, where a body focus
does not diminish the attribution of all mental capacities but, instead, leads perceivers to infer a different
kind of mind. Drawing on the distinction in mind perception between agency and experience, it is found
that focusing on someone’s body reduces perceptions of agency (self-control and action) but increases
perceptions of experience (emotion and sensation). These effects were found when comparing targets
represented by both revealing versus nonrevealing pictures (Experiments 1, 3, and 4) or by simply
directing attention toward physical characteristics (Experiment 2). The effect of a body focus on mind
perception also influenced moral intuitions, with those represented as a body seen to be less morally
responsible (i.e., lesser moral agents) but more sensitive to harm (i.e., greater moral patients; Experiments
5 and 6). These effects suggest that a body focus does not cause objectification per se but, instead, leads
to a redistribution of perceived mind. Continue Reading…

*Catherine Salmon
Department of Psychology, University of Redlands

Amy Diamond
Department of Psychology, Loma Linda University

This study focuses on the relative frequencies of various sexual activities and the ways in
which those activities are portrayed in homosexual and heterosexual pornographic films.
Many anti-pornography arguments are based on the alleged oppression and degradation
of women in pornography. Others (Salmon & Symons, 2001) have suggested that the
main focus of pornography is not about contempt for women and that if it was, gay
pornography should differ dramatically from heterosexual pornography. This paper tests
that hypothesis. Sixty films that ranked amongst the most popular heterosexual and
homosexual DVDs were examined with regard to the types of sexual activities that occur
and the interactions between the participants. We found few major differences in
pornography aimed at a homosexual versus heterosexual male audience, other than those
that reflect the different anatomy involved, and none that reflect an anti-female agenda.

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Todd D. Kendall

Clemson University

The John E. Walker Department of Economics

July, 2007

The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography. Using state-level  panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence. While the internet is obviously used for many purposes other than pornography, it is notable that growth in internet usage had no apparent effect on other crimes. Moreover, when I disaggregate the rape data by offender age, I find that the effect of the internet on rape is concentrated among those for whom the internet-induced fall in the non-pecuniary price of pornography was
the largest – men ages 15-19, who typically live with their parents. These results, which suggest that pornography and rape are substitutes, are in contrast with previous laboratory studies, most of which do not  allow for potential substitutability between pornography and rape.

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Author: Milton Diamond

A vocal segment of the population has serious concerns about the effect of pornography in society and challenges its public use and acceptance. This manuscript reviews the major issues associated with the availability of sexually explicit material. It has been found everywhere it was scientifically investigated that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased. It is further been found that sexual erotica has not only wide spread personal acceptance and use but general tolerance for its availability to adults. This attitude is seen by both men and women and not only in urban communities but also in reputed conservative ones as well. Further this finding holds nationally in the United States and in widely different countries around the world. Indeed, no country where this matter has been scientifically studied has yet been found to think pornography ought be restricted from adults. The only consistent finding is that adults prefer to have the material restricted from children’s production or use.

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