• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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 find Pornography to be an illuminating and compelling study.

Pornography is what it does
Pornography is what it does

Communication science research on pornography in the United States is one area of the broader study of media effects. Investigators have focused primarily on how the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by exposure to sexually explicit messages. To understand pornography research, however, we must consider it in the broader context of the debate about pornography effects in society, especially in the United States. The terms of this debate have often framed the research agenda.

How do we Know Pornography when we See it?

The question of definition always lies beneath public discussion, academic inquiry, legal decisions, and policy-making about pornography. Pronouncements by government officials about what is “pornographic” or “obscene” often appear to be highly ...

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