• 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.

Erotica and Harmlessness: The Liberal Theory and Empirical Research
Erotica and harmlessness: The liberal theory and empirical research

From our discussion in Chapter 1 we may identify four assumptions made within the liberal normative theory: (a) Most sexual depictions merely trigger fantasies that are not acted out. These portrayals are exaggerations of sexual tendencies that may provide stimulation in the sex lives of some persons, and no one is hurt by them, (b) As long as the recipient restricts his or her behavior to private actions such as sexual arousal, fantasy, or enactment of ideas in pornography with consenting partners, the government should not restrict individuals’ basic human right to free expression of ideas nor others’ access to these ideas, (c) Since many explicit depictions of sex ...

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