By Robert Jensen Robert Jensen.
There are limits to what research can tell us about the complex interactions of mass media and human behavior. But from both laboratory research and the narratives of men and women, it is not controversial to argue that pornography can: (1) be an important factor in shaping a male-dominant view of sexuality; (2) be used to initiate victims and break down their resistance to unwanted sexual activity; (3) contribute to a user's difficulty in separating sexual fantasy and reality; and (4) provide a training manual for abusers.
These conclusions provide support for the feminist critique of pornography that emerged in the 1970s and '80s, which highlighted pornography's harms to the women and children: (1) used in the production of pornography; (2) who have pornography forced on them; (3) who are sexually assaulted by men who use pornography; and (4) living in a culture in which pornography reinforces and sexualizes women's subordinate status.
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