Pornography (often abbreviated as "porn" or "porno" in informal usage) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or porn stars, who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in a porn film may also be called a model.
Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral and noxious, labeling them pornographic, and attempting to have them suppressed under obscenity and other laws, with varying degrees of success. Such works have also often been subject to censorship and other legal restraints to publication, display or possession. Such grounds and even the definition of pornography have differed in various historical, cultural, and national contexts.
Social attitudes towards the discussion and presentation of sexuality have become more weasel words] and legal definitions of obscenity have become more limited, leading to an industry for the production and consumption of pornography in the latter half of the 20th century. The introduction of the home video and Internet saw a boom in the worldwide porn industry that generates billions of dollars annually. Commercialized pornography accounts for over US$2.5 billion in the United States alone, including the production of various media and associated products and services. This industry employs thousands of performers along with support and production staff. It is also followed by dedicated industry publications and trade groups as well as the mainstream press, private organizations (watchdog groups), government agencies, and political organizations. More recently, sites such as pornhub.com, redtube.com and youporn.com, have served as repositories for home-made or semi-professional pornography, made available free by its creators (who could be called exhibitionists). It has presented a significant challenge to the commercial pornographic film industry.[
Irrespective of the legal or social view of pornography, it has been used in a number of contexts. It is used, for example, at fertility clinics to stimulate sperm donors. Some couples use pornography at times for variety and to create a sexual interest or as part of foreplay. There is also some evidence that pornography can be used to treat voyeurism.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Classification
- 4 Commercialism
- 5 Study and analysis
- 6 Legal status
- 7 Views on pornography
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The word is similar to the modern Greek πορνογραφία (pornographia), which derives from the Greek words πόρνη (pornē "prostitute" and πορνεία porneia "prostitution"), and γράφειν (graphein "to write or to record", derived meaning "illustration", cf. "graph"), and the suffix -ία (-ia, meaning "state of", "property of", or "place of"), thus meaning "a written description or illustration of prostitutes or prostitution". No date is known for the first use of the word in Greek; the earliest attested, most related word one could find in Greek, is πορνογράφος, pornographos, i.e. "someone writing of harlots", in the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus.
Depictions of a sexual nature are older than civilization as depictions such as the venus figurines and rock art have existed since prehistoric times. However, the concept of pornography as understood today did not exist until the Victorian era. For example the French Impressionism painting by Édouard Manet titled Olympia was a nude picture of a French courtesan, literally a "prostitute picture". It was controversial at the time.
Nineteenth-century legislation eventually outlawed the publication, retail, and trafficking of certain writings and images regarded as pornographic and would order the destruction of shop and warehouse stock meant for sale; however, the private possession of and viewing of (some forms of) pornography was not made an offence until recent times.
When large-scale excavations of Pompeii were undertaken in the 1860s, much of the erotic art of the Romans came to light, shocking the Victorians who saw themselves as the intellectual heirs of the Roman Empire. They did not know what to do with the frank depictions of sexuality and endeavored to hide them away from everyone but upper-class scholars. The moveable objects were locked away in the Secret Museum in Naples and what could not be removed was covered and cordoned off as to not corrupt the sensibilities of women, children, and the working classes.
Fanny Hill (1748) is considered "the first original English prose pornography, and the first pornography to use the form of the novel." It is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published in England as Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. It is one of the most prosecuted and banned books in history. The authors were charged with "corrupting the King's subjects."
The world's first law criminalizing pornography was the English Obscene Publications Act 1857 enacted at the urging of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. The Act, which applied to the United Kingdom and Ireland, made the sale of obscene material a statutory offence, giving the courts power to seize and destroy offending material. The American equivalent was the Comstock Act of 1873 which made it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" materials through the mail. The English Act did not apply to Scotland, where the common law continued to apply. However, neither the English nor the United States Act defined what constituted "obscene", leaving this for the courts to determine. Prior to the English Act, the publication of obscene material was treated as a common law misdemeanour and effectively prosecuting authors and publishers was difficult even in cases where the material was clearly intended as pornography.
The Victorian attitude that pornography was for a select few can be seen in the wording of the Hicklin test stemming from a court case in 1868 where it asks, "whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences." Despite the fact of their suppression, depictions of erotic imagery were common throughout history.
Pornographic film production commenced almost immediately after the invention of the motion picture in 1895. Two of the earliest pioneers were Eugène Pirou and Albert Kirchner. Kirchner directed the earliest surviving pornographic film for Pirou under the trade name "Léar". The 1896 film, Le Coucher de la Mariée showed Louise Willy performing a striptease. Pirou's film inspired a genre of risqué French films showing women disrobing and other filmmakers realised profits could be made from such films.
Sexually explicit films opened producers and distributors to prosecution. Those that were made were produced illicitly by amateurs starting in the 1920s, primarily in France and the United States. Processing the film was risky as was their distribution. Distribution was strictly private. In 1969, Denmark became the first country to abolish censorship, thereby decriminalizing pornography, which led to an explosion in investment and of commercially produced pornography. However, it continued to be banned in other countries, and had to be smuggled in, where it was sold "under the counter" or (sometimes) shown in "members only" cinema clubs.
The scholarly study of pornography, notably in cultural studies, is limited, perhaps due to the controversy about the topic in feminism. The first peer-reviewed academic journal about the study of pornography, Porn Studies, was published in 2014.
Pornography is often distinguished from erotica, which consists of the portrayal of sexuality with high-art aspirations, focusing also on feelings and emotions, while pornography involves the depiction of acts in a sensational manner, with the entire focus on the physical act, so as to arouse quick intense reactions.
Pornography is generally classified as either softcore or hardcore pornography. A pornographic work is characterized as hardcore if it has any hardcore content, no matter how small. Both forms of pornography generally contains nudity. Softcore pornography generally contains nudity or partial nudity in sexually suggestive situations, but without explicit sexual activity, sexual penetration or "extreme" fetishism, while hardcore pornography may contain graphic sexual activity and visible penetration, including unsimulated sex scenes.
Pornography can be classified according to the physical characteristics of the participants, fetish, sexual orientation, etc., as well as the types of sexual activity featured. Reality and voyeur pornography, animated videos, and legally prohibited acts also influence the classification of pornography. Pornography may fall into more than one genre. The genres of pornography are based on the type of activity featured and the category of participants, for example:
- Alt porn
- Amateur pornography
- Ethnic pornography
- Fetish pornography
- Group sex
- Reality pornography
- Sexual-orientation-based pornography
Revenues of the adult industry in the United States are difficult to determine. In 1970, a Federal study estimated that the total retail value of hardcore pornography in the United States was no more than $10 million.
In 1998, Forrester Research published a report on the online "adult content" industry estimating $750 million to $1 billion in annual revenue. As an unsourced aside, the Forrester study speculated on an industry-wide aggregate figure of $8–10 billion, which was repeated out of context in many news stories, after being published in Eric Schlosser's book on the American black market. Studies in 2001 put the total (including video, pay-per-view, Internet and magazines) between $2.6 billion and $3.9 billion.
As of 2014[update] the porn industry was believed to bring in more than $13 billion on a yearly basis in the United States. The porn industry alone brings in more revenue than the combined industries: Netflix, Google, eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.
A significant amount of pornographic video is shot in the San Fernando Valley, which has been a pioneering region for producing adult films since the 1970s, and has since become home for various models, actors/actresses, production companies, and other assorted businesses involved in the production and distribution of pornography.
The pornography industry has been considered influential in deciding format wars in media, including being a factor in the VHS vs. Betamax format war (the videotape format war) and in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war (the high-def format war).
In addition to the porn industry, there is a large amount of non-commercial pornography. This should be distinguished from commercial pornography falsely marketed as featuring "amateurs".
Pornographers have taken advantage of each technological advance in the production and distribution of pornography. They have used lithographs, the printing press, and photography. Pornography is considered a driving force in the development of technologies from the printing press, through photography (still and motion), to satellite TV, other forms of video, and the Internet. With the invention of tiny cameras and wireless equipments voyeur pornography is gaining ground. Mobile cameras are used to capture pornographic photos or videos, and forwarded as MMS, a practice known as sexting.
Computer-generated images and manipulations
Digital manipulation requires the use of source photographs, but some pornography is produced without human actors at all. The idea of completely computer-generated pornography was conceived very early as one of the most obvious areas of application for computer graphics and 3D rendering.
Until the late 1990s, digitally manipulated pornography could not be produced cost-effectively. In the early 2000s, it became a growing segment, as the modelling and animation software matured and the rendering capabilities of computers improved. As of 2004, computer-generated pornography depicting situations involving children and sex with fictional characters, such as Lara Croft, is already produced on a limited scale. The October 2004 issue of Playboy featured topless pictures of the title character from the BloodRayne video game.
Due to the popularity of 3D blockbusters in theaters such as Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon, companies are now looking to shoot pornography movies in 3D. The first case of this occurred in Hong Kong, when a group of filmmakers filmed 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy released in April 2011.
Production and distribution by region
The production and distribution of pornography are economic activities of some importance. The exact size of the economy of pornography and the influence that it has in political circles are matters of controversy.
Study and analysis
Research concerning the effects of pornography is concerned with multiple outcomes. Such research includes potential influences on rape, domestic violence, sexual dysfunction, difficulties with sexual relationships, and child sexual abuse. Viewers of novel and extreme pornographic images may become tolerant to such images, which may impact sexual response. Currently, there is no evidence that visual images and films are addictive. Some studies support the contention that the viewing of pornographic material may increase rates of sexual crimes, whereas others are either inconclusive, suggest no effect, or conclude the liberalization of porn in society may be associated with decreased rape and sexual violence rates.
A 2012 academic study surveyed 308 young adult college women in romantic heterosexual relationships, examining the degree of correlation between their psychological and relational well-being and their partners' use of pornography. A negative correlation was found, which worsened for longer relationships in regard to the womens' sexual satisfaction.
A following study examined the ways in which chronic porn use affects antecedents such as gender roles and levels of attachment among straight men in their romantic relationships. The study went on to link this to lower sexual satisfaction as well as a deterioration in the quality of the relationship. The point of pornographic content is to stimulate sexual desire which as a result presents potential problems among couples. By porn affecting one’s gender roles, this enables problems that affect the viewers psychologically, their views of their own sexuality, how others view their sexuality, and can cause self-inflicted or outward violence. An antecedent found to be affected by porn use by men was emotional attachment as well as attachment style in relationships, which can lead to physical and emotional issues among couples. The men in this study tended to avoid intimacy with their partner, which then led to even more porn use. This was also linked to heightened anxiety in the relationship. Men with lower anxiety tend to have a more stable level of attachment, whereas those that are unstable are either overly or not at all attached. Men that display less attachment and more avoidance also showed higher instances of casual sex and more frequent viewings of porn. This also meant that these men tended to avoid romantic or serious relationships and the relationships they did engage in did not last long. The consequences of higher porn use by men in relationships showed a lower quality in their relationships and reduced satisfaction sexually, including displeasure with a partner’s appearance, the act of sex, and intimacy. This then led to emotional feelings of shame and sometimes resentment.
Two psychotherapists operating EastWind Health Associates in Halifax reported their clinical experience that chronic viewing of pornography by adult men can lead to emotional estrangement from their partners, even though the men may desire emotional intimacy. They also noted that men who watch large amounts of porn come to need more stimulation and aggressive porn in order to become aroused. Because of the increasing numbers of men presenting such problems, one therapist remarked “I think we’re at a tipping point with this phenomenon”.
More than 70% of male internet users from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that Utah was the largest consumer of paid internet pornography per capita in the United States.
|Sex and the law|
(May vary according to jurisdiction)
The legal status of pornography varies widely from country to country. Most countries allow at least some form of pornography. In some countries, softcore pornography is considered tame enough to be sold in general stores or to be shown on TV. Hardcore pornography, on the other hand, is usually regulated. The production and sale, and to a slightly lesser degree the possession, of child pornography is illegal in almost all countries, and some countries have restrictions on pornography depicting violence (see, for example, rape pornography) or animal pornography, or both.
Most countries attempt to restrict minors' access to hardcore materials, limiting availability to sex shops, mail-order, and television channels that parents can restrict, among other means. There is usually an age minimum for entrance to pornographic stores, or the materials are displayed partly covered or not displayed at all. More generally, disseminating pornography to a minor is often illegal. Many of these efforts have been rendered practically irrelevant by widely available Internet pornography. A failed US law would have made these same restrictions apply to the internet.
In the United States, a person receiving unwanted commercial mail he or she deems pornographic (or otherwise offensive) may obtain a Prohibitory Order, either against all mail from a particular sender, or against all sexually explicit mail, by applying to the United States Postal Service. There are recurring urban legends of snuff movies, in which murders are filmed for pornographic purposes. Despite extensive work to ascertain the truth of these rumors, law enforcement officials have been unable to find any such works.
Some people, including pornography producer Larry Flynt and the writer Salman Rushdie, have argued that pornography is vital to freedom and that a free and civilized society should be judged by its willingness to accept pornography.
Child pornography is illegal in most countries, with a person most commonly being a child until the age of 18 (though the age does vary). In those countries, any film or photo with a child subject in a sexual act is considered pornography and illegal.
Pornography can infringe into basic human rights of those involved, especially when consent was not obtained. For example, Revenge Porn is a phenomenon where disgruntled sexual partners release images or video footage of intimate sexual activity, usually on the internet. In many countries there has been a demand to make such activities specifically illegal carrying higher punishments than mere breach of privacy or image rights, or circulation of prurient material. As a result, some jurisdictions have enacted specific laws against "revenge porn".
What is not pornography
In the U.S., a July 2014 criminal case decision in Massachusetts (COMMONWEALTH v. John REX.) made a legal determination of what was not to be considered "pornography" and in this particular case "child pornography". It was determined that photographs of naked children that were from sources such as National Geographic magazine, a sociology textbook, and a nudist catalog were not considered pornography in Massachusetts even while in the possession of a convicted and (at the time) incarcerated sex offender.
In the United States, some courts have applied US copyright protection to pornographic materials. Although the first US copyright law specifically did not cover obscene materials, the provision was removed subsequently.[when?] Most pornographic works are theoretically work for hire meaning pornographic models do not receive statutory royalties for their performances. Of particular difficulty is the changing community attitudes of what is considered obscene, meaning that works could slip into and out of copyright protection based upon the prevailing standards of decency. This was not an issue with the copyright law up until 1972 when copyright protection required registration. When the law was changed to make copyright protection automatic, and for the life of the author.
Some courts have held that copyright protection effectively applies to works, whether it is obscene or not, but not all courts have ruled the same way. The copyright protection rights of pornography in the United States has again been challenged as late as February 2012.
Views on pornography
|This section requires expansion. (December 2014)|
Views and opinions of pornography come in a variety of forms and from a diversity of demographics and societal groups. Opposition of the subject generally, though not exclusively, comes from three main sources: law, feminism and religion.
Feminists, including Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, argue that pornography is demeaning to women and/or that it contributes to violence against women, both in its production and in its consumption. The production of pornography, they argue, entails the physical, psychological, or economic coercion of the women who perform in it, and where they argue that the abuse and exploitation of women is rampant; in its consumption, 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 presents a severely distorted image of sexual relations, and reinforces sex myths; that it always shows women as readily available and desiring to engage in sex at any time, with any man, on men's terms, always responding positively to any advances men make. They argue that because pornography often shows women enjoying and desiring to be violently attacked by men, saying "no" when they actually want sex, fighting back but then ending up enjoying the act – this can affect the public understanding of legal issues such as consent to sexual relations.
In contrast to these objections, some scholars argue that the lesbian feminist movement in the 1980s was good for women in the porn industry. As more women entered the developmental side of the industry, this allowed women to gear porn more towards women because they knew what women wanted, both for actresses and the audience. This is believed to be a good thing because for such a long time, the porn industry has been directed by men for men. This also sparked the arrival of making lesbian porn for lesbians instead of men.
Religious organizations have been important in bringing about political action against pornography. In the United States, religious beliefs affect the formation of political beliefs which concern pornography.
- Adult movie theater
- Adult video arcade
- Cartoon pornography
- Erotic literature
- Golden Age of Porn
- History of erotic photography
- Internet pornography
- Sex in advertising
- Sex-positive feminism
- Sex worker
- Women's erotica
- X rating, sometimes referred to as "XXX"
Government and legislation
- Meese Report, 1986 U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography
- President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, 1969, United States
- Stanley v. Georgia, U.S. Supreme Court case that established a right to pornography
- Williams Committee, 1979 U.K. Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship
- H. Mongomery Hyde (1964) A History of Pornography: 1–26.
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$2.6 billion to $3.9 billion. Sources: Adams Media Research, Forrester Research, Veronis Suhler Communications Industry Report, IVD
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- Wagner, "Introduction", in Cleland, Fanny Hill, 1985, p. 7.
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- The Comstock Act 17 Stat. 598
- Eskridge, William N. (2002). Gaylaw: challenging the apartheid of the closet. Harvard University Press. p. 392.
- From the precedent set by R. v. Curl (1729) following the publication of Venus in the Cloister.
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- Schlosser, Eric (8 May 2003). Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-618-33466-7. Schlosser's book repeats the $10 billion figure without additional evidence
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- Mearian, Lucas (2 May 2006). "Porn industry may be decider in Blu-ray, HD-DVD battle". Macworld. Mac Publishing. Archived from the original on 12 July 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2007. Ron Wagner, Director of IT at a California porn studio: "If you look at the VHS vs. Beta standards, you see the much higher-quality standard dying because of [the porn industry's support of VHS] ... The mass volume of tapes in the porn market at the time went out on VHS."
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By many accounts VHS would not have won its titanic struggle against Sony's Betamax video tape format if it had not been for porn. This might be over-stating its importance but it was an important factor. ... There is no way that Sony can ignore the boost that porn can give the Blu-ray format.
- Gardiner, Bryan (22 January 2007). "Porn Industry May Decide DVD Format War". FOXNews.com – Technology News (Ziff Davis Media). Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
As was expected, the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show saw even more posturing and politics between the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD camps, with each side announcing a new set of alliances and predicting that the end of the war was imminent.
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Pornography exists everywhere, of course, but when it comes into societies in which it’s difficult for young men and women to get together and do what young men and women often like doing, it satisfies a more general need.... While doing so, it sometimes becomes a kind of standard-bearer for freedom, even civilisation.
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- Mitchell Bros. Film Group v. Cinema Adult Theater, 604 F.2d 852 (5th Cir.1979) and Jartech v. Clancy, 666 F.2d 403 (9th Cir.1982) held that obscenity could not be a defense to copyright claims.
- Devils Films, Inc. v. Nectar Video Under, 29 F.Supp.2d 174, 175 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) refused to follow the Mitchell ruling and relied on the doctrine of “clean hands” to deny copyright protection to works seen as obscene.
- "You Can’t Copyright Porn, Harassed BitTorrent Defendant Insists", TorrentFreak, 6 February 2012. Retrieved 9 Augusti 2012.
- "2 male porn performers test positive for HIV". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Shrage, Laurie. (2007-07-13). "Feminist Perspectives on Sex Markets: Pornography". In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Mackinnon, Catherine A. (1984) "Not a moral issue". Yale Law and Policy Review 2:321–345. Reprinted in: Mackinnon (1989). Toward a Feminist Theory of the State Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-89645-9 (1st ed), ISBN 0-674-89646-7 (2nd ed). "Sex forced on real women so that it can be sold at a profit to be forced on other real women; women's bodies trussed and maimed and raped and made into things to be hurt and obtained and accessed, and this presented as the nature of women; the coercion that is visible and the coercion that has become invisible—this and more grounds the feminist concern with pornography".
- "A Conversation With Catherine MacKinnon (transcript)". Think Tank. 1995. PBS. http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript215.html. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- MacKinnon, Catharine (1987). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 147.
- Jeffries, Stuart (12 April 2006). "Stuart Jeffries talks to leading feminist Catharine MacKinnon". The Guardian (London).
- Catharine MacKinnon argues that: "Pornography affects people's belief in rape myths. So for example if a woman says 'I didn't consent' and people have been viewing pornography, they believe rape myths and believe the woman did consent no matter what she said. That when she said no, she meant yes. When she said she didn't want to, that meant more beer. When she said she would prefer to go home, that means she's a lesbian who needs to be given a good corrective experience. Pornography promotes these rape myths and desensitises people to violence against women so that you need more violence to become sexually aroused if you're a pornography consumer. This is very well documented."
- Ziv, Amalia (2014). "Girl meets boy: Cross-gender queer and the promise of pornography". Sexualities 17: 885–905.
- Sherkat and Ellison, 1997, "The Cognitive Structure of a Moral Crusade", Social Forces 75(3), p. 958.
- Sherkat and Ellison, 1999, "Recent Developments and Current Controversies in the Sociology of Religion", Annual Review of Sociology 25, p. 370.
- 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. May 8, 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.
- Gever, Matthew (3 December 1998). "Pornography Helps Women, Society". UCLA Bruin. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Gregory, Michele. "Pro-Sex Feminism: Redefining Pornography (or, a study in alliteration: the pro pornography position paper)". Witsendzine.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2002. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- 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.
- McElroy, Wendy (29 June 2000). "You Are What You Read?". Lewrockwell.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011. Defends the availability of pornography, and condemns feminist anti-pornography campaigns.
- McElroy, Wendy. "A Feminist Overview of Pornography, Ending in a Defense Thereof". Wendymcelroy.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- McElroy, Wendy. "A Feminist Defense of Pornography". Council for Secular Humanism. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Newitz, Annalee (8 May 2002). "Obscene Feminists: Why Women Are Leading the Battle Against Censorship". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Strossen, Nadine. Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women's Rights. ISBN 0-8147-8149-7.
- Blumen, Jonathan (November 1995). "Nadine Strossen: Pornography Must Be Tolerated" 1 (11).
- Tucker, Scott (1991). "Gender, Fucking, and Utopia: An Essay in Response to John Stoltenberg's Refusing to Be a Man". Social Text (27): 3–34. Critique of Stoltenberg and Dworkin's positions on pornography and power.
- Assiter, Alison (1989). Pornography, feminism, and the individual. London Winchester, Mass: Pluto Press. ISBN 9780745303192. Assiter advocates seeing pornography as epitomizing a wider problem of oppression, exploitation and inequality which needs to be better understood.
- Carse, A., 1995, "Pornography: An Uncivil Liberty?", Hypatia 10(1): 155–182. An argument for approaches to end harm to women caused by pornography.
- Hill, J. 1987, "Pornography and Degradation", Hypatia 2: 39–54. A critique of the pornographic industry within a Kantian ethical framework.
- Michael Kimmel. "Men Confront Pornography". New York: Meridian—Random House, 1990. A variety of essays that try to assess ways that pornography may take advantage of men.
- Secondary Negative Effects on Employees of the Pornographic Industry, by Shelley Lubben
- MacKinnon, C., 1984, "Not a Moral Issue", Yale Law & Policy Review 2(2): 321–345. An argument that pornography is one element of an unjust institution of the subordination of women to men.
- MacKinnon, C., 1989, "Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: 'Pleasure under Patriarchy'" Ethics 99(2): 314–346.
- Vadas, M., 1987, "A First Look at the Pornography/Civil Rights Ordinance: Could Pornography be the Subordination of Women?", The Journal of Philosophy 84(9): 487–511. A defence of the Dworkin-MacKinnon definition and condemnation of pornography employing putatively relatively rigorous analysis. See (Parent, 1990) in the same publication for a criticism of this paper.
- Vadas, M., 1992, "The Pornography / Civil Rights Ordinance v. The BOG: And the Winner Is...?", Hypatia 7(3): 94–109.]", Hypatia 84(9): 487–511. An argument that pornography increases women's vulnerability to rape.
- Williams, B. (ed.), 1988, Pornography and Sexual Violence: Evidence of the Links, London: Everywoman. A representation of the causal connections between pornography and violence towards women.
- Linda Williams: Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible (University of California Press, 1989). Expanded Paperback Edition: University of California Press, 1999, ISBN 0-520-21943-0
- Linda Williams (ed.): Porn Studies, B&T, 2004, ISBN 0-8223-3312-0
Neutral or mixed
- 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.
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- "American Porn". Frontline (PBS). Retrieved 2014-02-01. Interactive web site companion to a Frontline documentary exploring the pornography industry within the United States.
- From teledildonics to interactive porn: the future of sex in a digital age (2014-06-06), The Guardian
- Susannah Breslin, Contributor (2013-12-20). "LEADERSHIP: What Porn Stars Do When The Porn Industry Shuts Down". Forbes.
- Patricia Davis, Ph.D., Simon Noble & Rebecca J. White (2010). The History of Modern Pornography. History.com.
- Diamond, M. and Uchiyama, A. (1999). "Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan". International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 22 (1): 1–22. doi:10.1016/s0160-2527(98)00035-1.
- "Pornography and Censorship". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.