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Pornography and Violence Against Women

Cordelia Anderson

Wrote “Impact of Pornography on Children, Youth, and Culture” which “offers a researched and shocking overview of the impact of pornography on children and youth. Describing the clear shifts in our culture that demonstrates how yesterday’s pornography is part of today’s mainstream advertising for children.”

Gail Dines

Authored PORNLAND; How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality. As her website states, “PORNLAND: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality takes an unflinching look at today’s porn industry: the stories woven into the images, the impact on our culture, the effects on us as men and women, the business machine that creates and markets porn, and the growing legitimacy of porn in mainstream media. Above all, PORNLAND examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and behaviors.”

Robert Jensen

The co-writer/producer of an educational slide show in PowerPoint about pornography, “Who wants to be a porn star? Sex and violence in today’s pornography industry.” Information about the show is available at or by writing to [email protected]. He was a consultant to the directors of the documentary “The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality, and Relationships.”

Sexual Politics Now

Sexual Politics Now is raising questions about pornography. About the sexism, misogyny and racism that shape portrayals of women and men in popular pornography as well as in wider media and culture. Pornography is widely accessible and widely consumed. Yet, how much do people in general know about what is in everyday pornography? What do they know about how it shows women, men, and sex? And what do we all think about this? We set up Sexual Politics Now as a front door to some of the work we are doing at The University of Auckland, asking these kinds of questions. As well as giving a glimpse into the projects we are working on, we want to make a space right here for talking about sexism and racism within pornography and for sparking creative critical responses to it.” Provides a comprehensive guide for conducting youth workshops.

Here is a small collection of articles and books that discuss the relationship between pornography and violence against women:

Abel GG (1983). Effects of exposure to violent erotica. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, Chicago, Il.

Abel GG, Becker JV, Mittleman MS (1985). Sex Offenders. Paper presented at the 11th annual meeting of the International Academy of Sex Research, Seattle, WA.

Allen M, d’Alessio D, Brezgel K. A meta-analysis summarizing the effects of pornography II: Aggression after exposure. Human Communication Research. 1995; 22: 258-283.

Barak A, Fisher WA, Belfry S, Lamshambe DR. Sex, guys, and cyberspace: Effects of internet pornography and individual differences on men’s attitudes toward women. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality. 1999; 11 (1): 63-91.

Baron RA Bell PA. Effects of heightened sexual arousal on physical aggression. Proceedings of the 81st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. 1973; 8: 171-172.

Baron M, Kimmel M. Sexual Violence in Three Pornographic Media: Toward a Sociological Explanation. The Journal of Sex Research. 2000; 37 (2): 1616-168.

Bay-Cheng LY, Eliseo-Arras RK. The Making of Unwanted Sex: Gendered and Neoliberal Norms in College Women’s Unwanted Sexual Experiences. Journal of Sex Research. 2008; 45(4): 386-397.

Boyle K. Producing abuse: Selling the harms of pornography. Women’s Studies International Forum. 2011; 34: 593-602.

Berkowitz L. Some effects of thoughts on anti-and prosocial influences of media events: A cognative-neoassociation analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 1984; 95: 410-427.

Brosi, M. W., Foubert, J.D., Bannon, R.S., & Yandell, G. (2011). Effects of women’s pornography use on bystander intervention in a sexual assault situation and rape myth acceptance. Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/ Sorority Advisors, 6(2), 26-35.

Check JVP. (1985). The effects of violent and non-violent pornography. Ottawa: Department of Justice of Canada.

Copp D. Pornography and censorship. An introductory essay. Pornography and censorship (pp. 15-41). Copp D, Wendell S (eds). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1983.

Diamond M. Corrigendum to ‘Pornography, public acceptance and sex related crime: A review’[International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 32 (2009) 304-314]. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 2010; 33: 197-199.

Donnerstein E. Aggressive Erotica and Violence Against Women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1980; 39(2); 269-277.

Donnerstein E. Erotica and human aggression. In Aggression theoretical and empirical reviews: Volume 2. Issues in research (pp.127-154). Green R, Donnerstein E (Eds) New York: Academic Press, 1983.

Donnerstein E. Pornography: It’s effect on violence against women. In Pornography and sexual aggression (p.53-82). Malamuth NM, Donnerstein E (eds). Orland, FL: Academic Press, 1984.

Donnerstein E, Berkowitz L. Victim reactions in aggressive erotic films as a factor in violence against women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1981; 41: 710-724.

Donnerstein, EI, Donnerstein M, Evans R. Erotic Stimuli and aggression: Facilitation or inhibition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1975; 43: 853-860.

Donnerstein, E., Linz, D. and Penrod, S. (1987). The question of pornography: research findings and policy implications. New York: Macmillan/Free Press.

Fisher WA, Barak A. Pornography, Erotica, and Behavior: More Questions than Answers. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 1991; 14: 65-83.

Fisher WA, Bryne D. Sex differences in response to erotica? Love versus lust. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1989; 36: 117-125.

Fisher WA, Barak A. Sex education as a corrective: Immunizing against the possible effects of pornography. In Pornography: Rescent research, interpretations, and policy considerations (pp. 289-320). Zillman D, Byrant J. (Eds). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1989.

Fisher, W.A. & Grenier, G. (1991) Failures to replicate effects of pornography on attitudes and behavior. Manuscript in preparation, London; The University of Western Ontario.

Fisher WA, Grenier G. Violent pornography, anti-woman thoughts, and anti-woman acts: in search of reliable effects. The Journal of Sex Research, 1994; 31: 23-38.

Flood, M. (2007). Exposure to Pornography Among Youth in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 43(1): 45-60.

Flood, M. (2009). The Harms of Pornography Exposure Among Children and Young People. Child Abuse Review 18: 384-400. URL:

Flood, M. (2010). Young Men Using Porn. In Everyday Pornographies. Ed. K. Boyle. Routledge. URL:

Foubert, J.D., Brosi, M.W., & Bannon, R. S. (2011). Pornography viewing among fraternity men: Effects on bystander intervention, rape myth acceptance and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault. Journal of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity, 18, 212-231.

Garcia LT. Exposure to pornography and attitudes about women and rape: A correlational study. Journal of Sexual Research. 1988; 22: 378-385.

Gebhard PH, Gagnon JH, Pomeroy WB, Christenson CV. Sex
Offenders. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

Goldstein MJ, Kant HS. Pornography and Sexual Deviance. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.

Hald GM, Malamuth NM. Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2008; 37: 614-625.

Hald, G.M., Malamuth, N.M., Pipitan, E., Yuen, C., & Koss, M. (2007) Pornography consumption and attitudes supporting violence: Revisiting the relationship. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Hald GM, Malamuth NM, Yuen C. Pornography and Attitudes Supporting Violence Against Women: Revisiting the Relationship in Nonexperimental Studies. Aggressive Behavior. 2009; 35: 1-7.

**Jackson, T.S. Palys, & S. Gavigan S (Eds.) Regulating Sex: An Anthology of Commentaries on the Findings and Recommendations of the Badgley and Fraser Reports (pp. 159-176). Burnbay, BC: Simon Fraser University.

Kimmel MS. The sexual self: The construction of sexual scripts. Nashville: Vanderbilt University, 2007. Available at:

Kutchinsky B. The effect of easy availability of pornography on the incidence of sex crimes: The Danish experience. Journal of Social Issues. 1973; 29: 161-181.

Kutchinsky B. Pornography and its effects in Denmark and the United States: A rejoinder and beyond. Comparative Social Research. 1985; 8: 301-330.

Kutchinsky B. Pornography and rape: theory and practice? Evidence from crime data in four countries where pornography is easily available. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 1991; 14: 47-64.

Linz D. Exposure to sexually explicit materials and attitudes towards rape: a comparison of study results. The Journal of Sex Research. 1989; 26: 50-84.

Linz D, Donnerstein E, Penrod S. Effects of long-term exposure to violent and sexually degrading depictions of women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1988; 55: 758-768.

Linz D, Donnerstein E, Penrod S. The Findings and Recommendations of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography: Do the Psychological ‘Fact’ Fit the Political Fury? American Psychologist. 1987; 42 (10): 946-953.

Malamuth NM. Aggression against women: Cultural and individual causes. In Pornography and sexual aggression (pp 17-52). Malamuth NM, Donnerstein E (Eds). Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1984.

Malamuth NM. Factors associated with rape as predictors of laboratory aggression against women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1983; 45: 432-442.

Malamuth NM. Sexually explicit media, gender differences, and evolutionary theory. Journal of Communication. 1996; 46: 8-31.

Malamuth NM, Addison T, Koss M. Pornography and sexual aggression: Are there reliable effects and can we understand them? Annual Review of Sex Research. 2000; 11: 26-91.

Malamuth NM, Centi J. Repeated exposure to violent and non-violent pornography. Likelihood of raping ratings and laboratory aggression against women. Aggressive Behaviour. 1986; 12: 129-137.

Malamuth NM, Check JVP. The effect of mass media exposure on the acceptance of violence against women: A field experiment. Journal of Research in Personality. 1981; 15: 436-446.

Malamuth NM, Check JVP, Briere J. Sexual arousal in response to aggression: Ideological, aggressive, and sexual correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1986; 50: 330-340.

Malamuth NM, Pitpitan EV. The effects of pornography are moderated by men’s sexual aggression risk. In Pornography: Driving the demand in international sex trafficking (pp. 125-143). Guinn, DE (Ed). Los Angeles: Captive Daughters Media, 2007.

McKee A. The relationship between attitudes towards women, consumption of pornography, and other demographic variables in a survey of 1023 consumers of pornography. International Journal of Sexual Health. 2007; 19(1): pp 31-45.

Mosher D, Anderson RD. Macho personality, sexual aggression, and reactions to guided imagery of realistic rape. Journal of Research in Personality. 1986; 20: 77-94.

Mosher DL, Sirkin M. Measuring a macho personality constellation. Journal of Research in Personality.1984; 18: 150-163.

Mould DE. A critical analysis of recent research on violent pornography. Journal of Sex Research. 1988; 24: 326-340.

Padgett VR, Brislin Slutz, J, Neal JA. Pornography, erotica and attitudes towards women: the effects of repeated exposure. The Journal of Sex Research. 1989; 26: 479-491.

Palys TS, Lowman J. Methodological meta-issues in pornography research: Ecological representation and contextual integrity. Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Ottowa. 1984.

Peter J, Valkenburg PM. Adolescents’ exporsure to sexually explict online material and recreational attitudes towards sex. Journal of Communications. 2006; 56: 639-660.

Rubin I. New sex findings. Sexology. 1970; 67-68.

Scott J. Violence and erotic material: The relationship between adult entertainment and rape. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science. 1985.

Scott JE, Cuvelier, SJ. Violence and Sexual Violence in Pornography: is it really increasing?. Archives of Sexual Behaviour. 1993; 22: 357-372.

Smeaton G, Bryne D. The Effects of R-Rated Violence and Erotica, Individual Differences, and Victim Characteristics on Acquaintance Rape Proclivity. Journal of Research in Personality. 1987; 21: 171-184.

Vega V, Malamuth NM. The role of pornography in the context of general and specific risk factors. Aggressive Behavior. 2007; 33: 104-117.

Weitzer R. Pornography’s Effects: The Need for Solid Evidence. A Review Essay of Everyday Pornography, edited by Karen Boyle (New York: Routledge, 2010) and Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, by Gail Dines (Boston: Beacon, 2010). Violence Against Women. 2011: 17(5); 666-675.

White LA. Erotica and aggression: The influence of sexual arousal, positive affect, and negative affect on aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1979; 37: 591-601.

Zillmann, D (1986). Effect of prolonged consumption of pornography. In E.P. Mulvey & J.L. Haugaard (Eds), Report of the Surgeon General’s Workshop on Pornography and Public Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Zillman, D. (2000) Influence of Unrestrained Access to Erotica on Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Dispositions Towards Sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health 27S; 41-44.

Zillmann D, Bryan J. Effects of massive exposure to pornography. In Pornography and sexual aggression (pp. 115-138). Malamuth NM, Donnerstein E. (Eds). Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1984.
Zillman D, Bryant J. Shifting preferences in pornography consumption. Communication Research. 1986; 13: 560-578.

Zillman D, Bryant J. Pornography’s impact on sexual satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 1988: 18; 438-453.

From the NSVRC Special Collection: Men and Boys: Preventing Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence