Publication Year: 1993
Pornography has fascinated and divided researchers, policymakers, and the public for years. Does it have harmful effects on individuals? What effects in particular? Does pornography influence everyone or just some people? How should society deal with the results of this influence? In Pornography, Linz and Malamuth sort through these and other questions by placing their topic within the broader context of fundamental human nature theories. Their approach reveals a systematic interweaving of social science, morality, and law through three different perspectives: conservative-moralistic, liberal, and feminist. The fifth volume in the innovative Communication Concepts series, this book is an invaluable addition to current research on pornography and obscenity. Students and professionals in communication studies as well as research methods and the social sciences in general will ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Pornography is what it does
- How do we Know Pornography when we See it?
- Pornography, Obscenity, and Erotica
- Sex and Violence
- Three Normative Theories
- Assumptions about Human Nature, Society, and Truth
- Theories of the Press in Society
- Authoritarian/Conservative-Moral Theory
- The Libertarian/Liberal Theory
- The Social Responsibility/Feminist Theory
- Pornography Research and the Three Normative Theories
- Chapter 2: Obscenity, Sexual Arousal, and Societal Decay: The Conservative-Moralist Theory and Empirical Research
- Arousal, Disgust, Habituation, and Promiscuity
- Exposure to Pornography and Excitatory Habituation
- Beneficial Effects of Limitations on Public Displays of Sex
- A Moral Climate of Laxness and the Breakdown of Society
- Prolonged Exposure to Pornography, Acceptance of Nontraditional Sex, and Leniency for Rapists
- Pornography Exposure and the Decay of Marriage and the Family
- Chapter 3: Erotica and Harmlessness: The Liberal Theory and Empirical Research
- Evidence of Demonstrable Harms of Pornography
- Contemporary Research with Social Statistics and Rapists
- Research Measuring Harm in the Laboratory
- Pornography may be Socially Beneficial
- Individual Differences in Tolerance for Restrictions
- Research on More or Corrective Speech
- Chapter 4: Pornography and Harms to Women: The Feminist Theory and Empirical Research
- The Sexualization of Subordination and Violence
- Sexual Arousal to Rape
- Changes in Perceptions and Attitudes toward Rape Victims
- Laboratory Studies on Aggressive Behavior against Women
- Pornography and Discrimination against Women
- A Cultural Climate of Aggression against Women
- The Combination of Sexually Explicit Media with other Variables
- The Effects of Pornography on Female Viewers
- Chapter 5: The Contributions of Each Approach to Scientific Research and Social Policy
- Unique Contributions of Each Approach
- Overlap among the Approaches
- Returning the Concepts to their Origins
Communication Concepts[Page ii]
This series reviews enduring concepts that have guided scholarly inquiry in communication, including their intellectual evolution and their uses in current research. Each book is designed as organized background reading for those who intend further study of the subject.
Steven H. Chaffee, Stanford University
Charles R. Berger, University of California, Davis
Joseph N. Cappella, University of Pennsylvania
Robert P. Hawkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mark R. Levy, University of Maryland, College Park
Neil M. Malamuth, University of California, Los Angeles
Jack McLeod, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Peter Monge, University of Southern California
Clifford Nass, Stanford University
Byron Reeves, Stanford University
Michael Schudson, University of California, San Diego
Ellen Wartella, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Caroline Schooler, Stanford University
Copyright © 1993 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address:
SAGE Publications, Inc.
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Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Pornography/Daniel Linz, Neil Malamuth.
p. cm. —(Communication concepts; 5)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8039-4480-2. —ISBN 0-8039-4481-0 (pbk.)
1. Pornography—Social aspects. I. Malamuth, Neil II. Title. III. Series.
98 99 00 01 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
Sage Production Editor: Megan M. McCue
Each volume in the Communication Concepts series deals at length with an idea of enduring importance to the study of human communication. Through analysis and interpretation of the scholarly literature, specialists in each area explore the uses to which a major concept has been applied and also to point to promising directions for future work.
Pornography, that is, sexually explicit communications, has fascinated and divided researchers, policymakers, and the public for years. Does it have harmful effects on individuals? What effects in particular? Does it affect everyone or just certain people? If harmful effects exist, what should society do about them? More than in almost any other area of social science, researchers have come to diametrically opposing answers to such questions.
Knowing that such disagreement often results from using the same term to mean very different things, we asked Daniel Linz and Neil Malamuth to help the reader sort out the different meanings and their implications. Our hope was that readers made sensitive to these meanings would be better able to understand existing research, to carry out their own studies, and then to communicate their results to others.
In this small book, Linz and Malamuth have gone far beyond our expectations, revealing a systematic interweaving of social science, morality, and the law. They describe three different perspectives on pornography—conservative/moralistic, liberal, and feminist. Each perspective has its own definition of pornography, each has a distinct research agenda with its own questions and methods, and each leads to different implications for law and public policy. That is, each of these perspectives integrates science, law, morality, and policy in particular ways that often pass unnoticed. While representatives of these positions have generally attacked one another, Linz and Malamuth are able to show the worth of each, deepening our understanding and appreciation of theory and research on pornography. Their success in revealing how science is [Page viii]integrated with the rest of social life should encourage communication scholars to reexamine the assumptions made about all research concepts.Series Editor,Associate Editor,
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About the Authors[Page 75]
Daniel Linz received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1985 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Chair of the Law and Society Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His work focuses on testing and evaluating the social psychological assumptions embedded in legal policies concerning mass communication including such topics as pretrial publicity, libel, sexual aggression, and violence in the media. He is co-author of the book The Question of Pornography: Research Findings and Policy Implications and is author or co-author of more than 50 articles and chapters in communication, psychology, and legal books and journals.
Neil Malamuth (Ph.D., UCLA, 1975) is Professor of Communication and of Psychology and is the Chairman of the Department of Communication at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has published more than sixty professional articles, primarily on the topics of men's antisocial behavior against women and on pornography. He edited a book titled Pornography and Sexual Aggression (with Edward Donnerstein) and a special issue of the journal of Social Issues (with Rowell Huesmann) on the subject of media violence. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Research in Personality and serves on the editorial boards of Communication Research and the Journal of Sex Research. He is also a member of the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) committee that reviews grant proposals in the areas of violence and of traumatic stress. He has testified on the subject of pornography before various national and foreign government commissions, including presenting testimony on behalf of the American Psychological Association before joint hearings of the U.S. Senate and Congress. In an objective analysis of eminence in social psychology that appeared in the 1992 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, he was one of seven researchers [Page 76]ranked in the top 100 scholars across all of the four measures of eminence used in this study. Formerly, he was on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Manitoba, Canada.