Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Obscenity and Pornography: Behavioral Aspects - Availability And Spread Of Pornography, Obscenity And Pornography Defined, Ideologies And Estimates Of Harm, Types Of Pornography For Research

Obscenity and Pornography: Behavioral Aspects - Types Of Pornography For Research

material violent commission degrading

Before we examine the evidence concerning the behavioral effects, we must look at the different classifications of pornography for purposes of research, because pornography encompasses a wide range of material (from James Joyce's novel Ulysses to the most unartful, sexually explicit video), and not all forms of pornography have the same effects. The most useful classification was provided by the Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, which posited three types: (1) sexually violent material, which portrays "unmistakably simulated or unmistakably threatened violence presented in a sexually explicit fashion," including sadomasochism, unwanted sexual aggression, and "slasher" films that depict violence along with sexual content; (2) nonviolent but degrading sexual material, which depicts "degradation, domination, subordination, or humiliation" (the commission decided what material is degrading based on what it thought "most people" would consider degrading, dominating, humiliating, and the like); (3) sexual material that is neither degrading nor violent.

The commission's findings concerning the predominant content of pornography were pessimistic and disturbing. It concluded that the vast majority of available pornography fits into categories 1 and 2. However, some more recent studies have looked more closely at content and concluded (at least tentatively) that the trend is away from violence and degradation. Furthermore, others have challenged the rather imprecise and impressionistic way the commission categorized material, casting doubt on its conclusion that violent and degrading material are predominant. (For example, the commission classified all sado-masochistic material as "violent," even though such sex is consensual, and it considered playful forms of "biting" to be violent.) While few question that the overall availability of pornography has increased (especially with videos, cable television, and the Internet), no one can say with any assurance what types or forms of pornography are most predominant.

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over 11 years ago

The concept of violence is very relative. The factor that would determine this would be VERY subjective. Also, what do you consider to be a sub/dom relationship. This would imply that it was something that the persons involved did not want. Sub/dom play can be just that... play. It is USUALLY a consensual act where the participants wish to play one of the roles. TO me this is not degrating, because they choose to participate. When choosing words like obscene you have to be VERY careful what your definition of the word is, and what content you include in that category!