• 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.

The Contributions of Each Approach to Scientific Research and Social Policy
The contributions of each approach to scientific research and social policy

The conservative-moralist, feminist, and liberal perspectives are normative theories that guide expectations about what effects sexually explicit communications will have on the individual and society. These theories stem from conceptual definitions that focus on different aspects of sexually explicit communication. The conservative-moralist focuses on the obscene: that which is offensive, disgusting, shameful, and contrary to an accepted standard for sexual behavior. The feminist perspective views many sexual depictions as pornography: literally, descriptions of acts of prostitutes, or the portrayal of women as such. The liberal holds that many sexually explicit depictions are erotic, referring to sexual expression between consenting adults.

As a normative theory, the obscenity ...

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