Debate over the issue of pornography often starts with the
assumption that it is harmful. In fact the US Attorney General's
Commission on Pornography (Meese Report -1986) and the Surgeon General's workshop on Pornography and
Public Health have determined that pornography is harmful. This
document is devoted to exploring some of the available research
data that was used to come to this conclusion.
The data presented is from abstracts obtained from the PsycLIT
Database - American Psychological Assn. available at The Library
of the US Congress. These abstracts were obtained using
"pornography" as a search term. The available
literature can be categorized as:
Articles dealing with laboratory
studies of the effects of pornography
Articles dealing with Corelational
field studies on pornography
Articles dealing with the
communities attitudes to pornography
Articles dealing with the Attorney
General's Commission on Pornography (Meese Report -1986)
Research regarding child pornography
- courtesy of a poster to alt.censorship
(These abstracts are also from the American Psychological
Many of the conclusions that can be drawn from these abstracts
are no brainers like:
Violent people may watch violent pornography and are more
likely to rape. See these two examples
and this one
Watching pornography makes you think about sex. See this example
Conservitive attitudes about Pornography go hand in hand
with Conservative attitudes about women's roles and
gender equality. 2 examples
The whole debate is epitomized by this
paper which should win an award for showing exactly how to
manipulate a result to fit an agenda.
Flame the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Concerned about Genetically Modified Foods? VISIT The Society for
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an excerpt from Defending Pornography by Nadine
Strossen. Copyright 1995
Repeated exposure to violent and nonviolent
pornography: Likelihood of raping ratings and laboratory
aggression against women. Malamuth,N.M. and Ceniti,J. Aggressive
Behav. 1986 12: 129- 137.
Abstract: Examined the long-term effects of repeated exposure to
violent and nonviolent pornography on males' laboratory
aggression against women and their self-reported likelihood of
raping. 42 university students were randomly assigned to the
sexually violent, sexually nonviolent or control exposure
conditions. Those assigned to the sexually violent or sexually
nonviolent conditions were exposed over a 4-wk period to 10
stimuli including feature-length films and written and pictorial
depictions, whereas controls were not exposed to any stimuli.
Following the end of the exposure phase, subjects participated in
what they believed to be a totally unrelated experiment in which
aggression was assessed within a Buss paradigm. Exposure to the
violent or nonviolent pornographic stimuli did not affect
laboratory aggression, but likelihood of raping ratings predicted
Treating women as sexual objects: Look to
the (gender schematic) male who has viewed pornography. McKenzie,
M. et alPersonality Soc. Psych. Bul. 1990 16:
Abstract: Tested the hypothesis that exposure to nonviolent
pornography would prime a heterosexuality subschema in gender
schematic males and thus lead these males to view and treat a
woman as a sexual object. 60 male undergraduates, half gender
schematic and half gender aschematic, watched either a
pornographic or a control video prior to being interviewed by a
female research assistant. Although she was blind to condition,
the female experimenter found the gender schematic males who had
viewed the pornographic video to be significantly more sexually
motivated than the subjects in the other 3 conditions. Further,
in the 1st minute of a free recall task given after the
interview, 72% of the information recalled by this group of males
concerned the physical features of the female experimenter, as
compared with 49% for the males in the other conditions.
Violent pornography, antiwoman thoughts, and antiwoman acts:
In search of reliable effects. Fischer, W. A. and Greneir,G. J.
Sex Res. 1994, 31: 23-38
Abstract: Described experiments that examined the impact of
violent pornography on 79 male undergraduates' fantasies,
attitudes, and behaviors toward women. Exp 1, Subjects (Ss) were
exposed to violent pornographic stimuli, nonviolent erotic
stimuli, or to neutral stimuli. Ss' sexual arousal, perceptions
of the stimulus, post-exposure sexual fantasies, and post
exposure attitudes toward women were measured. In Exp 2 Ss were
provoked by a female researcher and were then required to view a
violent pornographic stimulus portraying a woman who had been
sexually assaulted, but was aroused by the assault. Ss could then
respond to the woman who had provoked them by speaking to her
over an intercom or by sending her an electric shock. Exposure to
violent pornography, even after provocation , produced
essentially no antiwoman aggression, fantasies, or attitudes.
Pornography, erotica, and attitudes toward women: the
effects of repeated exposure. Padgett,V.R. et. al. J.
Sex Res. 1989 26: 479-491.
Assessed the relationship between pornography and
attitudes toward women in 2 correlational studies, and
tested the effect of nonviolent erotica on attitudes
toward women with 184 psychology students and 20 patrons
at an "adult" theater. Hours of viewing
pornography was not a reliable predictor of attitudes
toward women in either sample. Patrons of the adult
theater, who viewed more pornography, had more favorable
attitudes toward women than male or female subjects. In
Study 3, 75 students were randomly assigned to watch 4
hrs of erotica or 4 hrs of psychology films over 5
consecutive days. Manipulation checks showed a difference
in subjects perception of the erotic nature of the
videos, but attitude towards women were not influenced by
type of video.
Women's attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function
of early exposure to pornography. Corne,S. et. al. J.
Interpersonal Violence, 1992 7: 454-461
Abstract: Investigated the extent to which women's
attitudes and fantasies about rape are partially a
function of their socialization to accept sexual
aggression as normative. 187 undergraduate women
responded to a questionnaire regarding rape-supportive
attitudes. Early exposure to pornography was related to
subsequent "rape fantasies" and attitudes
supportive of sexual violence against women. Findings
were interpreted in the context of women's socialization
to accept sexual aggression as a sexual/romantic event.
Feminist perspectives on sexuality. Baron,L. J. Sex
Res. 1990 27:363-380.
Abstract: Examined the relationship between the
circulation rates of soft-core pornographic magazines and
gender equality in the 50 American states. Gender
equality was measure with the Gender Equality Index
(GEX), which combines 24 indicators of the status of
women relative to men in the 3 institutional domains of
politics, economics, and legal rights. Multiple
regression analysis was used to test the hypothesis that
the higher the circulation rate of soft-core pornographic
magazines, the lower the level of gender equality.
Contrary to the hypothesis, the results show that gender
equality was higher in states characterized by higher
circulation rates of pornography, suggesting that
pornography and gender equality both flourish in
politically tolerant societies.
Exposure to pornography and attitudes about women and
rape: A correlational study. Garcia,L.T. J. Sex Res.
1986 22: 378-385
Abstract: Investigated the relationship between exposure
to sexually explicit material and attitudes toward rape
in 115 male undergraduates. Data provide mixed support
for the hypothesis that exposure to pornographic material
would be correlated with less liberal attitudes toward
women: Only exposure to coercive or violent sexual themes
was related to more traditional attitudes about women.
Contrary to predictions, subjects having greater exposure
to sexual materials were found to express more liberal
attitudes toward women in the area of sexual behavior.
Pornography and rape: An empirical analysis. Gentry, C.S.
Deviant Behavior 1991 12: 277-288.
Abstract: Tests a model that hypothesizes a causal
relation between pornography and rape through an analysis
of data taken from the Uniform Crime Reports and
circulation data from 3 sexually oriented magazines.
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas were used as
units of analysis. The pornography model was not
supported. Population size, the proportion of young
adults, the percentage divorced, and population change
were all significant predictors of rape.
Pornography and rape: Theory and practice? Evidence from
crime data in four countries where pornography is easily
available. Kutchinsky,B. Int. J. Law Psych.26:
Abstract: Reviews the evidence regarding the postulated
causal link between pornography and rape, using data on
the incidence of rape in 4 societies (Denmark, Sweden,
Germany, and the US) where pornography is widely
available. While earlier research found no evidence of a
causal link between pornography and rape, a new
generation of behavioral scientists has attempted to
prove such a connection, especially for aggressive
pornography. Aggregate data on rape and other violent or
sexual offenses in these 4 countries seem to exclude the
possibility that the availability of pornography has any
detrimental effects in the form of increased sexual
Pornography and sexual offenses. Langevin,R. et. al.
Annal. Sex Res.. 1988 1: 335- 362.
Abstract: Examined whether erotica is harmful and incites
sexual crimes by interviewing 227 male sex offenders and
50 control subjects from the community in Canada about
purchase of erotic magazines and videos and attendance at
erotic movies. Erotica use was not a pertinent factor in
offenders' sex offenses nor to their legal situation.
Results do not support the conclusion of the Meese
Commission (1986) that there is a causal association of
sexual violence and use of violent pornography.
Use of pornography in the criminal and developmental
histories of sexual offenders. Carter,D.L. et.al. J.
Interpersonal Viol. 1987 2: 196-211.
Abstract: Investigated exposure to and use of pornography
in the familial, developmental and criminal histories of
64 incarcerated male volunteers (38 rapists and 26 child
molesters). Data were gathered using a paper-and-pencil
self-report questionnaire. Results show that while both
groups reported similar exposure to pornography in the
home and during development, child molesters indicated
significantly more exposure than rapists in adulthood and
were significantly more likely both to use such materials
prior to and during the offenses and to employ
pornography to relieve an impulse to act out. Findings
are discussed with regard to the catharsis hypothesis and
to the role of pornography in the commission of sexual
offenses for certain types of rapists and child
Pornography and rape: a causal model. Russell,D.E. Political
Psych. 1988 9: 41- 73.
Abstract: Contends that in order for rape to occur, a man
must not only be predisposed to rape, but his internal
and social inhibitions against acting out rape desires
must be undermined. It is theorized that pornography (1)
predisposes some men to want to rape women or intensifies
the predisposition in other men already so predisposed;
(2) undermines some men's internal inhibitions against
acting out their rape desires; and (3) undermines some
men's social inhibitions against the acting out. Research
substantiating this theory is presented and discussed and
suggestions are made for further research.
An empirical investigation of the role of pornography in
the verbal and physical abuse of women. Sommers,E.K. and
Check,J.V. Violence and Victims 1987 2:
189-209. Abstract: Studied the presence of pornography
and both sexual and nonsexual violence in the lives of 44
battered women drawn from shelters and counseling groups,
and a comparison group of 32 women from a mature
university population. It was found that the partners of
the battered subjects (Ss) read or viewed significantly
greater amounts of pornographic materials than did the
partners of the comparison group. In addition, 39% of the
battered Ss (in contrast to 3% of the comparison group)
responded in the affirmative to the question, "Has
you partner ever upset you by trying to get you to do
what he'd seen in pornographic pictures, movies or
books?" It was also found that battered Ss
experienced significantly more sexual aggression at the
hands of their partners than did the Ss in the comparison
The pornography/aggression linkage: Results from a field
study. Smith,M.D. and Hand,C. Deviant Behav. 1987 8:
Abstract: Assessed the impact of presenting a
pornographic movie on a college campus in a longitudinal,
self- report study of 230 women students to determine
effects of the film's showing on the subjects'
experiences with aggression from males. Compared with
weeks prior to and following the movie's showing no
significant difference in reported aggression was found.
Those subjects reporting associations with males
attending the movie reported no significantly different
levels of experienced aggression from those subjects
whose companions did not view the film.
Violent pornography and self-reported likelihood of
sexual aggression. Demare,D. et. al J. Res.
Personality 1988 22: 140-153.
Abstract: 222 undergraduate males were administered an
attitudes survey examining pornography use, attitudes,
and self-reported likelihood of rape (LR) or using sexual
force (LF). Nonviolent pornography was used by 81% of
subjects (Ss) within the previous year, whereas 41% and
35% had used violent and sexually violent pornography,
respectively. 27% of Ss indicated some hypothetical LR or
LF. Discriminant function analysis revealed that use of
sexually violent pornography and acceptance of
interpersonal violence against women were uniquely
associated with LF and LR. It is hypothesized that the
specific fusion of sex and violence in some pornographic
stimuli and in certain belief systems may produce a
propensity to engage in sexually aggressive behavior.
Sexually violent pornography, anti-women attitudes, and
sexual aggression: A structural equation model Demare, D.
et al, J. Res. Person. 1993 27:285-300.
Abstract: Using data provided by 383 male university
students, several structural equation models were
developed and tested to asses the interrelationship of
pornography use, anti-women attitudes, and propensity for
sexual violence. The model best fitting the data is one
in which use of Sexually Violent Pornography and
Anti-Women Attitudes are exogenous latent variables
predicting self-reported Likelihood of Rape and
Likelihood of using Sexual Force, as well as
self-reported history of having achieved sexual
intercourse by use of Coercion and Force. A variation of
this model that includes use of Nonviolent Pornography as
an exogenous variable was also tested. Use of nonviolent
pornography was not uniquely associated with potential or
actual sexual aggression. The findings suggest the
potential roles of both attitudes and sexually violent
pornography in the occurrence of sexual aggression.
Pornography and sex-related crime: A sociological
perspective. Bull. Hong Kong Psych. Soc.. 1986 16-17:
Abstract: Suggests that the incidence of reported rape is
lower in areas in which there are more liberal attitudes
toward pornography. Women may choose to not report a rape
because of fear, threat of further victimization, or
powerlessness and helplessness. In a society that has a
liberal tolerance for pornography and in which rape is
often presented as a normal part of male-female
relations, a woman may assume that rape would not be
viewed as a serious offense by authorities.
The politics of pornography: A critique of liberalism and
radical feminism. Thornton,N. Aust. N.Z. J. Sociol.
1986 22: 25-45.
Abstract: Analyzes contrasting liberal, conservative and
radical feminist views on the relationship between
sexuality and pornography. The radical feminist
definition of pornography and the associated attempt to
distinguish pornography both from sexual realism and from
erotica are examined. Radical feminist arguments
purporting to show pornography causes sexual violence
against women, the argument that pornography is
offensive, and the feminist thesis that pornography is
harmful in constituting a serious moral affront to women
are criticized. It is concluded that pornography is an
easy target; that the problem is really the general
culture's pervasive sexism, and that legal prohibition of
pornography would threaten other freedoms, including that
Conflicts and contradictions among feminists over issues
of pornography and sexual freedom. Russo,A. Women's
Studies Int. Forum. 1987 10: 103-112.
Abstract: In general, it is suggested that feminist
arguments concerning pornography have clustered around 2
basic positions: one emphasizing women's sexual
colonization and victimization and the other emphasizing
women's sexual repression and passivity.
The ethics of pornography in the era of AIDS. Money,J. J.
Sex Marital Ther. 1988 14: 177-183.
Abstract: Suggests that a large proportion of today's sex
therapists, researchers, and educators are among those
who cannot remember the past and are, therefore,
condemned to repeat it. They follow the example of
eugenics reformers by adhering to explanatory principles
as if they were apolitically indisputable, whereas, they
are, in fact, dangerously political professional
platitudes for the criminalization of sex. One such
platitude is that pornography is dehumanizing and a
socially contagious criminal offense. These
misconceptions render the nation incapable of using
pornography constructively in a program of sex-safety to
prevent acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
infection, especially among newly pubertal adolescent and
Conflicting ideologies and the politics of pornography.
Cottle,C.E. Gender and Society 1989 3:
Abstract: 85 volunteers sorted 86 opinion statements on
definitions of pornography, personal reactions to it, its
causes and effects and social policy recommendations.
Three patterns of responses emerged: Religious-
Conservative, Liberal, and Antipornography Feminist. The
logical and ethical structures of these points of view
and their political and legal implications are examined.
The viewpoints are too incompatible to sustain stable and
effective political alignments among the adherents.
Regulating pornography: A public dilemma. Thompson,M.E. et.
al. J. Communication 1990 40: 73-83.
Abstract: Surveyed 64 women and 39 men on their opinions
regarding the regulation of pornography. Men agreed more
strongly with the potentially positive effects of
pornography on others. They felt that pornography release
sexual tension for someone who is otherwise unfulfilled,
and that it lowers inhibitions toward sex. However, most
men and women agreed that pornography may have negative
effects. They felt that pornography dehumanizes women and
causes the sexes to lose respect for each other, and that
violent pornography violates women's civil rights.
Overall, 65% of the subjects said that pornography should
be protected by freedom of speech and the press.
Reactions to pornography on a college campus: For or
against? Lottes, I. et alSex Roles 1993, 29:69-89.
Abstract: 663 responses were obtained from mailed
questionnaires designed to examine attitudes about and
exposure to sexually explicit materials. Subjects (Ss)
were predominantly Caucasian graduate and undergraduate
students at a state university in the Midwest. Results
indicate that a majority defined pornography as media
portraying explicit sexual activities, agreed that adults
should have access to sexually explicit materials, and
attributed both harmful and positive effects to such
materials. Ss tended to endorse either the views that
sexually explicit materials are harmful, do not have
positive effects, and should be restricted, or the
opposite views that they are not harmful, do have
positive effects, and should not be restricted. Women,
more religious Ss, less sexually active Ss, and those who
had never seen such materials endorsed the more negative
Report of the Surgeon General's workshop on Pornography
and Public Health. Koop,C.E. Amer. Psych. 1987 42:
Abstract: A panel of clinicians and researchers concluded
that pornography does stimulate attitudes and behavior
that lead to gravely negative consequences for
individuals and for society, and that these outcomes
impair the mental emotional and physical health of
children and adults.
Pornography, social science and politics: When research
and ideology collide. Wilcox,B.L. Amer. Psych.
1987 42: 941-943.
Discusses controversy surrounding the 1985 Attorney
General's Commission on Pornography. Critics argue that
many of the commissioners lacked necessary credentials
and had been selected for ideological reasons, the
commission had too little time and money to adequately
study the topic and conclusions drawn by the commission
were based on overgeneralizations from social
psychological studies that were largely laboratory based.
The need for more precise definitions for pornography and
obscenity and for continued frank participation by
psychologists in such policy debates is emphasized.
The findings and recommendations of the Attorney
General's Commission on Pornography: Do the psychological
"facts" fit the political fury? Linz,D. et. al.
Amer. Psych. 1987 42:946-953.
Abstract: The Attorney General's Commission on
Pornography has concluded that there is a causal
relationship between exposure to many forms of
pornography and several antisocial effects, including
increase levels of violence against women. As a result of
these findings, the commission has called for more strict
legal measures not traditionally handled under obscenity
law. The authors question whether the social science data
relied on by the commission justifies either the
commission's conclusions about harm or the call for more
stringent law enforcement. Although some of the
commission's findings appear to be sound extrapolations
from the empirical studies, the authors find several of
the commission's findings and recommendations incongruent
with available research data. Instead of advocating
stricter legal controls the authors reiterate their call
for educational programs to mitigate the effects of
sexual violence in the media.
A reply to page: Fraud, pornography and the Meese
Commission. Mould,D.E. Amer. Psych. 1990 45:
777-778. Abstract: Criticizes Page's (see PA vol.
76:29305) endorsement of the Meese pornography commission
(Department of Justice, 1986), his attack on pornography
researchers, and his justification of severe legal
restrictions on pornography based on present research
evidence. Page's suggested correlation between increased
pornography and crime in North America is also critiqued.
The question of pornography. Donnerstein, E.I. and
Linz,D.G. Psych. Today 1986 20: 56-59.
Abstract: Questions the conclusions of the 1986 US
Attorney General's Commission on Pornography and argues
that the most important problem in the media is not
pornography but violence. Research is summarized that
suggests that the amount of violence depicted in
pornography has not increased, that the aggression-
evoking effects of exposure to sexually violent material
may be temporary, that materials depicting women
"enjoying" rape have especially damaging
effects on male attitudes and that violence against women
need not occur in a sexual context to have a negative
effect on viewer attitudes and behavior.
A preliminary examination of the pornography experience
of sex offenders, paraphiliacs, sexual dysfunction
patients, and controls based on Meese Commission
recommendations. Condron,M.K. and Nutter,D.E. J. Sex
Marital Ther. 1988 14: 285-298.
Abstract: The Meese Commission Report (1986) claims that
exposure to pornography leads to sex offenses and states
that it is important to examine the developmental patters
of offenders. The present study found that the frequency
of use of pornography, age of exposure to pornography,
age of 1st masturbation experience, and use of
pornography during 1st masturbation experience for 62
male sex offenders, paraphiliacs, sexual dysfunction
patients and controls were not significantly different.
Pornography as a cause or pornographic experience as
constituted? Tsang, A.Bull. Hong Kong Psych. Soc..
Abstract: Suggests that pornography should not be viewed
as the cause of certain behaviors but as the material
constituent of a pornographic experience. Experiments
that attempt to assess the effects of pornography on
behavior ignore the element of choice in the real-life
pornographic situation, since the experimental subjects
are presented with pornography while it must be actively
sought out in real life. It is also suggested that
determining what constitutes pornography may depend on an
individual's personal experience.
The relationship between pornography and sex crimes.
Nemes,I. J. Psych. Law 1992, 20:450-481
Abstract: Examines the research literature concerning the
relationship between pornography and sex crimes.
Theoretical models underpinning such a relationship are
also examined. Apart from laboratory evidence of a
reasonably strong causal connection between violent
pornography and antisocial attitudes in males , the
available research data are, at best, equivocal. It may
be that limitations imposed by methodology, ethics, and
sample bias preclude definitive findings. Approaches to
investigating this question are discussed.
Research Regarding Child Pornography
Durkin, K. F.; Bryant, C. D. "Log on to sex":
Some notes on the carnal computer and erotic cyberspace
as an emerging research frontier. Deviant Behavior,
1995 16 :179-200.
Abstract: Discusses how innovation in technology provides
new opportunities for the pursuit of sexual deviance. New
technology in computers may have applicability for carnal
behavior. Through on-line bulletin boards dedicated to
particular modes of sexual behavior, computer users with
special sexual predilections can communicate with persons
who share similar interests around the world. Erotic
computer communication may involve mild flirtations,
exchanging information about sexual services
availability, and specific varieties of deviant behavior.
Computers have been used for child pornography and to
arrange meetings for sexual purposes. The appearance of
computer erotica can be interpreted at various functional
levels and holds considerable import for social behavior
and may revolutionize crime and the parameters of deviant
Davis, L; McShane, M. D.; Williams, F. P. Controlling
computer access to pornography: Special conditions for
sex offenders. Federal Probation, 1995 59:43-48.
Abstract: Discusses the role of advanced computer
technology in the promotion of pornography. A distinction
between pedophiles and child molesters has been made and
child molesters are divided in two categories: (1)
fixated child molesters, who exhibits primary interest in
children; and (2) regressive child molesters, whose
sexual interest in children is a departure from a primary
sexual orientation towards adults. Preferential child
molesters have a higher probability of molesting a larger
number of victims, and it is likely that these offenders
have access to some form of pornography or erotica. Terms
and conditions for probationers and the use and access to
computers are determined by proficient classifications
and investigations. It is concluded that components such
as polygraph testing may enhance supervision, allowing
officers to question probationers concerning illegal
Howitt, D. Pornography and the paedophile: Is it
criminogenic? British Journal of Medical Psychology,
Abstract: Presents case studies of 11 fixated adult male
pedophiles interviewed in a private clinic for sex
offenders about topics including their offending, their
psychosexual histories, pornography, fantasy, and sexual
abuse in childhood. Commercial pornography was rarely a
significant aspect of their use of erotica although some
experience of such materials was typical. Most common was
"soft-core" heterosexually oriented
pornography. Explicit child pornography was uncommon.
However, Subjects also generated their own erotic
materials from relatively innocuous sources such as
television advertisements, clothing catalogs featuring
children modeling underwear, and similar sources. In no
case did exposure to pornography precede
offending-related behavior in childhood.
Ford, M. E.; Linney, J. A. Comparative analysis of
juvenile sexual offenders, violent nonsexual offenders,
and status offenders. Journal of Interpersonal
Violence, 1995 10:56-70.
Abstract: 82 juvenile sexual offenders, violent nonsexual
offenders, and status offenders (aged 9-18 yrs) were
compared using psychometric instruments to assess
intrafamily violence, quality of offender social skills,
interpersonal relationships, and self-concept.
Self-report and record data were gathered on family
history, education, behavior problems, criminal history,
history of abuse, exposure to pornography, and early
childhood memories. Juvenile child molesters experienced
more parental use of violence and were victims of
physical and sexual abuse more often than other offender
groups. Child molesters expressed greater need for
control and inclusion in interpersonal relationships and
problems related to self-esteem. The content of early
childhood memories and exposure to pornographic material
differed among the groups. The groups did not differ in
assertiveness, self-concept, or family history variables.
Nutter, D. E.; Kearns, M. E. Patterns of exposure to
sexually explicit material among sex offenders, child
molesters, and controls. Journal of Sex & Marital
Therapy, 1993 19:77-85.
Abstract: The final report of the Attorney General's
Commission on Pornography (1986) claimed that exposure to
sexually explicit material leads to sex offenses and
recommended examining developmental patterns and
pornography experiences of offenders. Questionnaires and
frequency data on 51 sex offenders and 51 controls were
analyzed. Child molesters were significantly older than
controls when exposed to sexually explicit material.
Frequency of adult use of sexually explicit material did
not differ significantly among groups.
Knudsen, D. D.
Child sexual abuse and pornography: Is there a
relationship? Journal of Family Violence, 1988 3:
Abstract: A review of official reports and other research
indicates that the circumstances surrounding sexual abuse
are inadequately specified to allow specific causal
interpretations. The role of pornography in contributing
to such abuse is explored by reviewing laboratory studies
and the circumstances of child sexual abuse. An
assessment of the research literature suggests that
pornography is a minor and indirect influence on child
Kutchinsky, B. The effect of easy availability of
pornography on the incidence of sex crimes: The Danish
experience. Journal of Social Issues, 1973, 29:163-181.
Abstract: Cites the Danish liberalization of legal
prostitution and of laws concerning pornography and the
ensuing high availability of such materials as a unique
opportunity to test hypotheses concerning the
relationship between pornography and sex offenses. It is
shown that, concurrent with the increasing availability
of pornography, there was a significant decrease in the
number of sex offenses registered by the police in
Copenhagen. On the basis of various investigations,
including a survey of public attitudes and studies of the
police, it was established that at least in 1 type of
offense (child molestation) the decrease represents a
real reduction in the number of offenses committed.
Various factors suggest that the availability of
pornography was the direct cause of this decrease.
Langevin, R.; Lang, R. A. Psychological treatment of
pedophiles. Behavioral Sciences & the Law,
1985 3: 403-419.
Abstract: Suggests that the main treatment problem of
pedophilia is motivating the offender to change. Reasons
for the perpetrator's resistance to therapy and
strategies for motivating change are discussed. Current
assumptions about the etiology of this sexual anomaly are
examined. Results from the 1st author's (1983) databank
of sex offenders are reviewed to show that it is uncommon
for pedophiles to be victims of sexual abuse, including
incest, and few need pornography as stimulants.
Therapeutic difficulties include the egocentric,
egosyntonic, and erotically gratifying nature of
pedophilia to the perpetrator, an unwillingness to give
up the behavior, and a tendency to rationalize the acts
and to see the child as consenting. Group therapy and a
variety of clinical imagery procedures with case examples
are discussed as ways of overcoming the poor motivational
state of pedophiles for treatment.
Pierce, R. L. Child pornography: A hidden dimension of
child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 1984, 8:
Abstract: Sexually exploited children involved in the
pornography industry are usually recruited among
runaways, although some filmmakers may use their own or
neighborhood children. Little research exists on how
exposure to and participation in pornography affect
children, although it is apparent that such experiences
often produce feelings of betrayal, guilt, worthlessness,
and rage. Efforts to control this exploitation are
considered in relation to problems in defining
pornography and in laws designed to protect children from
injury and abuse. The value of an intervention model
based on a detached social worker is discussed.
Schoettle, U. C. Treatment of the child pornography
patient. American Journal of Psychiatry 137:
1109-1110. [A case history]
Blumberg, M. L. Child sexual abuse: Ultimate in
maltreatment syndrome. New York State Journal of
Medicine, 1978, 78: 612-616.
Abstract: Discusses sexual abuse of children in today's
permissive society. A number of psychological reasons
motivate the offender and induce the child victim to
submit even when physical force is not employed. Sexual
abuse of children has various manifestations, including
digital manipulation, masturbation, fellatio, sodomy, and
intercourse. Using children for pornography is a
particularly degrading form of abuse. Immediate emotional
trauma is usually evidenced in the misused child.
Persistent psychological effects can produce future
sexual maladjustments and marital problems in adulthood.
Except in cases of violent crime, offenders and their
victims should both be handled by a multidisciplinary
Tyler, R. P.; Stone, L. E. Child pornography:
Perpetuating the sexual victimization of children. Fifth
International Congress on Child Abuse & Neglect
(1984, Montreal, Canada). Child Abuse & Neglect, 1985,
9 : 313-318.
Abstract: Discusses the sexual exploitation of children
throughout recorded history and the expansion of the
exploitation industry due to the invention of visual
media that facilitate the distribution of pictorial
representations on a worldwide basis. It is contended
that a major use of commercial child pornography is to
convince a potential child victim that the sexual acts
desired by the adult offender are fun and are a socially
acceptable means of expressing affection. It is concluded
that, although many jurisdictions have now prohibited
child pornography, the need for a worldwide ban