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Studies on the effects of Pornography

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.

More info about the Meese Report.

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:

Many of the conclusions that can be drawn from these abstracts are no brainers like:

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.


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Laboratory Studies

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 laboratory aggression.

Treating women as sexual objects: Look to the (gender schematic) male who has viewed pornography. McKenzie, M. et al Personality Soc. Psych. Bul. 1990 16: 296-308.
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.

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Field and Corelational Studies

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: 47-64.
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 violence.

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 molesters.

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 group.

The pornography/aggression linkage: Results from a field study. Smith,M.D. and Hand,C. Deviant Behav. 1987 8: 389-399.
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: 73-81.
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.

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Community Attitudes to Pornography

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 of feminists.

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 young adults.

Conflicting ideologies and the politics of pornography. Cottle,C.E. Gender and Society 1989 3: 303-333.
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 al Sex 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 evaluations.

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Meese Commission

Report of the Surgeon General's workshop on Pornography and Public Health. Koop,C.E. Amer. Psych. 1987 42: 944-945
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.

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Miscellaneous

Pornography as a cause or pornographic experience as constituted? Tsang, A.Bull. Hong Kong Psych. Soc.. 1986 16-17:29-32.
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 sexual behavior.

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 computer access.

Howitt, D. Pornography and the paedophile: Is it criminogenic? British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1995 68:15-27.
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: 253-267.
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 sexual maltreatment.

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: 483-493.
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 rehabilitative approach.

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 continues.

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Data from PsycLIT Database - American Psychological Assn.


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