There's a vast amount of research on the harmful effects of pornography, and it's important that this information is accessible to the public. Weekly, we highlight a research study that sheds light on the expanding field of academic resources that showcase porn's harms. These studies cover a wide range of topics, from the sociological implications of pornography to the neurological effects of porn-consumption.


The full study can be accessed here.

Authors: Bridges, A.J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., Liberman, R.
Published October 2010

Abstract

The research community has focused largely on the effects of pornography consumption and, consequently, hotly contested debates have surfaced regarding whether all pornography or particular types of pornography are cause for alarm. In contrast to effects studies, comparatively few studies have attempted to systematically document the content patterns in pornographic materials, leading to some unsubstantiated claims regarding its nature.

This current study analyzes the content of popular pornographic videos, with the objectives of updating depictions of aggression, degradation, and sexual practices and comparing the study’s results to previous content analysis studies. Findings indicate high levels of aggression in pornography in both verbal and physical forms. Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88.2% contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-calling. Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.

Methods

In the current study, the designation of the films examined as “adult films” was ready-made by employing lists provided by AVN. The population of titles for this research was drawn from a compilation of 250 best-selling and 250 most rented video lists published monthly by AVN. The researchers selected the top 30 videos appearing on each list from December 2004 to June 2005. After deleting duplications, the population consisted of 275 titles. Fifty titles were randomly selected from this list to comprise the sample, yielding a total of 304 scenes. The sample, therefore, is meant to be generalized to the top titles of this 7-month period.

Results

Findings indicate high levels of aggression in pornography in both verbal and physical forms. Of the 304 scenes analyzed, 88.2% contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-calling. Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.

The full study can be accessed here.

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