Opposition to pornography
Opposition to pornography comes from many sources:
- Social conservative opposition to pornography, in that it offends traditional social values
- Religious opposition to pornography, in that it is against traditional religious values
- Feminist opposition to pornography, in that it demeans and/or harms women in particular
- Harm-reduction based opposition to pornography, on the basis that it causes objective, measurable social harm (of which the feminist harm arguments above form a subset)
Anti-pornography movements coming from these various viewpoints find themselves allied in common opposition to pornography, even when their underlying views on other issues are in opposition. The definition of "pornography" that these groups oppose also varies from country to country and group to group, and many make distinctions between pornography, which they are opposed to, and erotica, which they consider acceptable, or consider some forms of pornography more or less harmful. Others draw no such distinctions.
On the other hand, support for, or at least lack of opposition to, pornography can come from:
- Social liberal and libertarian support, on the basis that the ability to produce or consume pornography is a form of freedom
- Feminist support, on the basis that the ability to produce or consume pornography is one aspect of general freedom for women (see sex-positive feminism)
- Harm-reduction based support for pornography, on the basis that it, overall, causes more good than harm, for example by the overall reduction of sexual assaults
Note that a single person may hold more than one of these positions, and even different positions, pro and con, for different kinds of pornography, simultaneously.
Religious views↑Jump back a section
Some feminists are opposed to pornography, arguing that it is an industry which exploits women and which is complicit in violence against women, both in its production (where they charge that abuse and exploitation of women performing in pornography is rampant) and in its consumption (where they charge that pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment). They charge that pornography contributes to the male-centered objectification of women and thus to sexism.
However, many other feminists are opposed to censorship, and have argued against the introduction of anti-porn legislation in the United States - among them Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Karen DeCrow, Wendy Kaminer and Jamaica Kincaid. Some "sex-positive" feminists actively support pornography that depicts female sexuality in a positive way, without objectifying or demeaning women.
Dolf Zillmann asserts that extensive viewing of pornographic material produces many unfavorable sociological effects, including a decreased respect for long-term, monogamous relationships, and an attenuated desire for procreation. He describes the theoretical basis of these experimental findings:
The values expressed in pornography clash so obviously with the family concept, and they potentially undermine the traditional values that favor marriage, family, and children... Pornographic scripts dwell on sexual engagements of parties who have just met, who are in no way attached or committed to each other, and who will part shortly, never to meet again... Sexual gratification in pornography is not a function of emotional attachment, of kindness, of caring, and especially not of continuance of the relationship, as such continuance would translate into responsibilities, curtailments, and costs...
Additionally, some researchers claim that pornography causes unequivocal harm to society by increasing rates of sexual assault, a line of research which has been critiqued in "The effects of Pornography: An International Perspective". Others claim there is a correlation between pornography and a decrease of sex crimes.
Pornography is banned or restricted in many countries. However, these restrictions vary significantly from country to country, or even from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within a single country. The anti-pornography movement seeks to maintain these restrictions in countries in which they apply, and to increase or create restrictions elsewhere.
- Susan Brownmiller (1999). In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution. The Dial Press. ISBN 0-385-31486-8.
- Patrick Carnes.
- Dr. Victor Cline.
- Nikki Craft long-time political, anti-pornography activist and prolific writer on feminist subjects.
- Andrea Dworkin (1979). Pornography: Men Possessing Women. ISBN 0-452-26793-5.
- Robert Jensen (2007). Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. Cambridge, MA: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-776-7.
- Gail Dines/Robert Jensen/Ann Russo (1998). Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91813-8.
- Susanne Kapeller (1986). The Pornography of Representation. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK ISBN 0-7456-0122-7.
- Michael Kimmel (1991). Men Confront Pornography. New York: Meridian — Random House. ISBN 0-452-01077-2. (A variety of essays that try to assess ways that pornography may take influence or harm men.)
- Shelley Lubben. Former porn star and self-described "porn missionary" who counsels active porn stars on how to escape the industry. (2010). Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn: The Greatest Illusion on Earth. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4538-6007-6.
- Catharine MacKinnon (1985).Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech. 20 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 1 (arguing that pornography is one of the mechanisms of power used to maintain gender inequality).
- Stark, Christine and Rebecca Whisnant (2004). Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution And Pornography. Spinifex Press. ISBN 1-876756-49-7.
- The Witherspoon Institute has recently released a publication entitled "The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations", The Witherspoon Institute, ISBN 978-0-9814911-2-7.
- []. A Moral Case against Pornography from a Christian Theological Perspective
- Susie Bright. "Susie Sexpert's Lesbian Sex World and Susie Bright's Sexual Reality: A Virtual Sex World Reader", San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press, 1990 and 1992. Challenges any easy equation between feminism and anti-pornography positions.
- Betty Dodson. "Feminism and Free speech: Pornography." Feminists for Free Expression 1993. 8 May 2002
- Kate Ellis. Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship. New York: Caught Looking Incorporated, 1986.
- Susan Griffin. Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature. New York: Harper, 1981.
- Matthew Gever. "Pornography Helps Women, Society", UCLA Bruin, 1998-12-03.
- Michele Gregory. "Pro-Sex Feminism: Redefining Pornography (or, a study in alliteration: the pro pornography position paper) "
- Andrea Juno and V. Vale. Angry Women, Re/Search # 12. San Francisco, CA: Re/Search Publications, 1991. Performance artists and literary theorists who challenge Dworkin and MacKinnon's claim to speak on behalf of all women.
- Annalee Newitz. "Obscene Feminists: Why Women Are Leading the Battle Against Censorship." San Francisco Bay Guardian Online 8 May 2002. 9 May 2002
- Nadine Strossen:
- Scott Tucker. "Gender, Fucking, and Utopia: An Essay in Response to John Stoltenberg's Refusing to Be a Man." in Social Text 27 (1991): 3-34. Critique of Stoltenberg and Dworkin's positions on pornography and power.
- Carole Vance, Editor. "Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality". Boston: Routledge, 1984. Collection of papers from 1982 conference; visible and divisive split between anti-pornography activists and lesbian S&M theorists.
- Slick, Matt. "What does the Bible say about pornography? Is it wrong?". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Freeman, Tzvi. "What's Wrong With Pornography?". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Mujahid, Abdul Malik. "Islam on Pornography: A Definite No-No". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Morgan, Robin (1974). "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape". In: Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist. Random House. ISBN 0-394-48227-1.
- MacKinnon, Catharine (1987). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 146–150.
- Report of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Pornography and Public Health: Background Papers: 'Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography' (August 4, 1986)
- Zillmann, Dolf: "Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography"
- Zillmann, pages 16-17
- Malamuth, Neil M.: "Do Sexually Violent Media Indirectly Contribute to Antisocial Behavior?", , page 10
- The effects of Pornography: An International Perspective
- "Pornography, rape and the internet". Archived from the original on 2 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
- D'Amato, Anthony (2006-06-23). "Porn Up, Rape Down". Archived from the original on 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- The Effects of Pornography: An International Perspective University of Hawaii Porn 101: Eroticism, Pornography, and the First Amendment: Milton Diamond Ph.D.
- About Shelley Former Porn Actress Shelley Lubben
- "Out of Pornography and Into the Light". CBN. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "The Social Cost of Pornography". Witherspoon Institute.
- WendyMcElroy.com: Content / Individualist Feminism - Theory / A Feminist Overview of Pornography
- A Feminist Defense of Pornography
- Nadine Strossen (November 1995). "Pornography Must Be Tolerated". The Ethical Spectacle.
- The Columbia reader on lesbians and ... - Google Books
- "Denmark - the first country to legalize pornography"; Kutchinsky, Berl, Professor of Criminology.
- "Bibliography on Pornography and Men's Violence Against Women"
- "Secondary Negative Effects on Employees of the Pornographic Industry"
- Andrea Dworkin's Attorney General's Commission Testimony on Pornography and Prostitution (Audio file)
- Andrea Dworkin's Keynote Speech at the January 1985 Pornography Awareness conference at Duke University. (Audio File: 1 hour, 128 kbit/s, mp3)