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Pornography


Pornography Use

Pornography Materials Widely Used

In 1970, the U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography conducted one of the few scientific interviews of adults in the U.S. regarding pornography. Eighty-four percent of the men and 69 percent of the women indicated that they had used such material at some time.

Finally, the tremendous popularity of magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler provides undeniable testimony to the widespread use of erotica.

Furthermore, the U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography reported that ordinary people did not change their types of sexual practice or values about what was acceptable as a result of viewing pornography.

It also reported that there was a general increase in sexual activity within the 24-hour period after viewing pornography, but it was generally with the regular partner, or in the case of those without a partner, masturbation.

It is noteworthy, however, that neither the Commission nor the authors of the other studies observed the effects of continuing exposure to pornography over a period of years. Thus it is not known what, if any, differences would be evidenced in the long run.

Male/Female Response to Pornography Comparable

Kinsey speculated that there could be some neurophysiological reason for a difference, but a West German research team studied the responses of men and women to pornography and found them to be comparable emotionally, physically and behaviorally.

Psychologist Julia Heiman's work found that there are both sex differences and other differences in responses, but women are not inherently less capable of responding to pornography. Women and men, she found, respond more to that which they like.

As with many issues, our society is not in agreement about the topic of pornography. Pornography is mass produced and widely available, yet is just as widely distrusted and condemned. We have laws against obscenity but cannot define it. We believe that somehow pornography is harmful, yet can find no evidence of harm.

On the one hand, our culture seems unable to satisfy its demand for pornography; on the other hand, many people believe it should be controlled in some way for the general good. It would most likely require a major cultural shift for society to feel comfortable about repealing all legislation against pornography. Equally, it would take as large a shift to enforce total prohibition. Ultimately, it is an individual's personal beliefs that determine what is acceptable and what is obscene.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


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