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Pornography, Violent Content in

  • By: Paul J. Wright
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

The word pornography is most often used as a general referent for content depicting nudity and explicit sexual acts that is used by consumers to achieve sexual arousal. Some cultural critics have speculated that pornography is a powerful agent of sexual socialization. In particular, anti-pornography feminists have asserted that pornography eroticizes sexual aggression against females, increases the probability that males will sexually aggress against females, and increases callousness and indifference to female victims of sexual aggression. Such assertions have led social scientists to quantitatively explore the extent and nature of sexual violence in pornography. This entry synopsizes the findings of this research.

Definitional Considerations

The results of assessments of sexual violence in pornography have depended on analysts’ definition of violence. Analysts’ definitions to date have varied along ...

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