Thursday, 30 November 2000

From "Pornography and Sexual Violence"

By Robert Jensen Robert Jensen.

One of the most thorough reviews of the experimental literature by leading researchers in the field concluded, "if a person has relatively aggressive sexual inclinations resulting from various personal and/or cultural factors, some pornography exposure may activate and reinforce associated coercive tendencies and behaviors" (Malamuth, Addison, & Koss, 2000, p. 81). The authors also pointed out that "high pornography use is not necessarily indicative of high risk for sexual aggression" (p. 79). Another large-scale literature review also concluded that men predisposed toward violence are most likely to show effects from viewing pornography and that men not predisposed are unlikely to show effects (Seto, Maric, & Barbarre, 2001, p. 46).

While this experimental work sometimes offers interesting hints at how pornography works in regard to men's sexual behavior, it suffers from several serious problems that limit its value. First, the measures of men's attitudes toward women, such as answers to questions about the appropriate punishment for rapists, do not necessarily tell us anything about men's willingness to rape. Men often view their sexually aggressive or violent behavior not as aggression or violence but as "just sex." In other words, men who rape often condemn rape, which they see as something other men do (Koss, 1988) [...]

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