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Pornography continues to be a contentious matter with those on the one side arguing it detrimental to society while others argue it is pleasurable to many and a feature of free speech. The advent of the Internet with the ready availability of sexually explicit materials thereon particularly has seemed to raise questions of its influence. Following the effects of a new law in the Czech Republic that allowed pornography to a society previously having forbidden it allowed us to monitor the change in sex related crime that followed the change. As found in all other countries in which the phenomenon has been studied, rape and other sex crimes did not increase. Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.
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... Outcomes from these studies are mixed, yet those that find a relationship usually report small but statistically significant effects of pornography on aggressive behavior (Alexy et al., 2009;Burton et al., 2010) in mostly samples of male adolescent or college students (for two recent studies, see Dawson et al., 2019;Hagen et al., 2018). Other studies find no effects (Endrass et al., 2009;Hagan et al., 2018) or even inverse relationships (Diamond et al., 2011). Further still, some studies suggest the relationship is more complex, citing both mediators and moderators that reduce the strength of the effect of pornography consumption on sexually aggressive behavior (Malamuth et al., 2000) or eliminate its influence altogether (Hagen et al., 2018;Kjellgren et al., 2009). ...
... A third group of studies considers relationships between pornography consumption and sexual violence at the population level (e.g., Diamond et al., 2011;Gentry, 1991). In such studies, changes in the population rate of sexual crimes are associated with changes in the availability of pornography, often due to changes in the law. ...
... Investigations of the effects of pornography on aggressive behavior or sexual assault have produced inconsistent results. Some studies finding small statistically significant effects of pornography on aggressive behavior (Alexy et al., 2009;Burton et al., 2010;Dawson et al., 2019), and others reporting no effects (Endrass et al., 2009;Hagan et al., 2018), or even results suggesting that pornography may reduce aggressive and assaultive behavior (Diamond et al., 2011). The few previous existing meta-analytic studies are also mixed related to conclusions about a relationship between pornography consumption and aggressive behavior (Allen, D'Alessio, & Brezgel, 1995;Hald et al., 2010;Wright et al., 2016). ...
Article
Whether pornography contributes to sexual aggression in real life has been the subject of dozens of studies over multiple decades. Nevertheless, scholars have not come to a consensus about whether effects are real. The current meta-analysis examined experimental, correlational, and population studies of the pornography/sexual aggression link dating back from the 1970s to the current time. Methodological weaknesses were very common in this field of research. Nonetheless, evidence did not suggest that nonviolent pornography was associated with sexual aggression. Evidence was particularly weak for longitudinal studies, suggesting an absence of long-term effects. Violent pornography was weakly correlated with sexual aggression, although the current evidence was unable to distinguish between a selection effect as compared to a socialization effect. Studies that employed more best practices tended to provide less evidence for relationships whereas studies with citation bias, an indication of researcher expectancy effects, tended to have higher effect sizes. Population studies suggested that increased availability of pornography is associated with reduced sexual aggression at the population level. More studies with improved practices and preregistration would be welcome.
... Although the cathartic potential of dolls has never been explored empirically, there is some evidence that access to mainstream pornography is associated with lower rates of sexual violence at the societal level (Ferguson & Hartley, 2009 which is potentially indicative of people seeking sexual gratification in pornography rather than via the coercion of living victims. Similar trends have been found in relation to child sexual exploitation material, with there being no direct evidence for a link between the consumption of sexually explicit materials depicting children and subsequent engagement in abusive behaviors (Diamond et al., 2011;Seto & Eke, 2005;Seto et al., 2011). Within the context of child-like sex doll ownership, it is possible that being able to own a doll that resembles a preferred sexual target (regarding perceived age or specific physical characteristics) could help some MAPs to achieve sexual satisfaction and to reduce sexual fantasy engagement about real children (Moen & Sterri, 2018;Rutkin, 2016). ...
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There is a fervent social debate ongoing that relates to the ownership of child-like sex dolls. On the one hand, some proponents of dolls suggest that they offer a safe sexual outlet for minor-attracted people (MAPs) and could be used in efforts to prevent the sexual abuse of children. On the other side of the debate, child-like dolls are seen as articles that sexualize children, encourage deviant fantasies, and increase offending risk. To date, no empirical analyses have been undertaken with people who own such dolls. In this paper, we present data from child-like sex doll owners (n = 85) and MAPs who do not own dolls (n = 120) recruited from online forums visited by people who own sex dolls or forums for people with sexual attractions to children. Specifically, we compared their psychological characteristics and proclivities for sexual aggression. Among non-owners, 79.2% of participants declared an interest in owning a sex doll, which is higher than the 20–40% rate reported in adult-attracted samples of non-owners. We found few differences between the groups on most personality variables, with doll owners being less antisocial and anxiously attached than non-owners, but exhibiting more schizotypal traits. Related to offending proclivities, doll ownership was associated with lower levels of sexual preoccupation and self-reported arousal to hypothetical abuse scenarios, but higher levels of sexually objectifying behaviors and anticipated enjoyment of sexual encounters with children. We discuss these data in relation to a functional model of child-like sex doll ownership among MAPs.
... The concern is whether there is a good fit between the task and the ecological problem it is approximating (Adolph, 2019;Salmon, 2020). While the target article focuses on decision-making, research examining effects of pornography on violence has also been plagued by experimental results that don't correspond to those of more ecologically valid studies (Diamond, Jozifkova, & Weiss, 2011;Ferguson & Hartley, 2020;Hatch et al., 2020) When designing tasks to test hypotheses, we must be mindful of all contexts and factors the mechanism of interest is theoretically sensitive to and what aspects are likely to be more general across contexts. Consider deception detection research. ...
Article
The target article raises important questions about the applicability of experimental social psychology research on topics with policy implications. This commentary focuses on the importance of attending to a variety of factors to improve ecological validity as well as considering the ultimate factors shaping behavior and the role of natural categories in the stability of stereotypes and their influence.
... To go further, Ferguson and Hartley (2022) have suggested that individual studies that find cross-sectional data in favor of an argument supporting adverse effects of pornography consumption are theoretically or methodologically flawed, and/or suffer from citation biases. Similar trends have been found in relation to child sexual exploitation material, whereby a clear and direct link between consuming sexually explicit materials depicting children and engaging in sexual offending has not been reported (Diamond et al., 2011;Seto & Eke, 2005;Seto et al., 2011). ...
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The ownership of sex dolls has become an increasingly controversial social issue over the last five to ten years, with many in society (and academia) calling for the criminalization of such dolls. At the root of these calls is the implicit (and often explicit) assumption that sex doll ownership contributes to increases in negative social attitudes toward women, and sexual offense risk among doll owners. However, there are yet to be any empirical examinations of these claims. In this work we compared the psychological characteristics and comparative sexual aggression proclivities of sex doll owners (n = 158) and a non-owner comparison group (n = 135). We found no substantive differences in most psychological traits. Doll owners scored lower than comparators in relation to sexual aggression proclivity. They were, however, more likely to see women as unknowable, the world as dangerous, and have lower sexual self-esteem. They also had more obsessive and emotionally stable personality styles. We conclude that there is no evidence that sex doll owners pose a greater sexual risk than a non-owning comparison group, before highlighting the need for more evidence-informed social debates about the use of sex dolls in modern society.
... Studies on the accessibility to child pornography in specific countries have not suggested that this leads to an increase of child sex abuse. Even though this could be explained by the dark omen that affects it, Diamond and colleagues [60] found that when the Czech Republic lifted, in 1989, its ban on pornography, including child pornography, there was a decrease in rape and child sexual abuse. Similar findings were obtained in Japan, China, and United States [61]. ...
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This is the first Italian study to examine views on sexbots of adult male sex offenders and non-offenders, and their perceptions of sexbots as sexual partners, and sexbots as a means to prevent sexual violence. In order to explore these aspects 344 adult males were involved in the study. The study carried out two types of comparisons. 100 male sex offenders were compared with 244 male non-offenders. Also, sex offenders were divided into child molesters and rapists. Preliminary findings suggest that sex offenders were less open than non-offenders to sexbots, showed a lower acceptance of them, and were more likely to dismiss the possibility of having an intimate and sexual relationship with a sexbot. Sex offenders were also less likely than non-offenders to believe that the risk of sexual violence against people could be reduced if a sexbot was used in the treatment of sex offenders. No differences were found between child molesters and rapists. Though no definitive conclusion can be drawn about what role sexbots might play in the prevention and treatment of sex offending, this study emphasizes the importance of both exploring how sexbots are both perceived and understood. Sex offenders in this study showed a high dynamic sexual risk and, paradoxically, despite, or because of, their sexual deviance (e.g. deficits in sexual self-regulation), they were more inclined to see sexbots as just machines and were reluctant to imagine them as social agents, i.e. as intimate or sexual arousal partners. How sex offenders differ in their dynamic risk and criminal careers can inform experts about the mechanisms that take place and can challenge their engagement in treatment and intervention.
... Under communist rule, heavy state intervention and indoctrination instilled the view that the state is essential for individual well-being. As Diamond et al. (2011) note, during this period, the laws and customs were extremely puritanical. Pornography, the depiction of naked bodies, and descriptions of sexual activities were forbidden by law. ...
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Recently, there has been a “research boom” on the topic of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism). Studies have covered a wide range of countries including the UK, USA, Brazil and Western Germany. Nevertheless, ethnographical research of the BDSM subculture in a postcommunist state has been extremely rare. In fact, there have not been many studies on postcommunist subcultures in general. This study explores how the BDSM subculture has been evolving in the Czech Republic after the fall of the communism. The focus is on the intergenerational conflict that has arisen between the first and second generations of the Czech BDSM scene. The history of Czech BDSM subculture has never been studied. Except for a few tables showing data and events, BDSM practitioners themselves in the Czech Republic have no written documents about how they created the subculture, how it was established and what pitfalls they needed to overcome. In contrast to studies of the BDSM scene in such countries as the UK which had long-standing democracies, the Czech scene could only emerge after the overthrow of the communist-ruled dictatorship in 1989. Consequently, the scene is newer and it developed in a situation in which the first generation was culturally much more tied to the communist-past than the second generation. We show how the scene might have developed differently when taking place in the post-communist context.
... Despite the strong opposition, pornography creation and consumption have continued. While some suggest mainstream culture has become increasingly pornified (Paasonen, Nikunen, & Saarenmaa, 2007;Paul, 2007), other scholars suggest access to pornography may prevent sexual crimes (Diamond, Jozifkova, & Weiss, 2011). Additionally, some scholars remained skeptical of a direct and powerful effect of pornography, suggesting that the level of violent content and the individual differences of consumers moderated the effect on consumer's sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors (Check & Malamuth, 1986;Donnerstein, 1984;Ferguson & Hartley, 2009;Linz, 1989;Linz, Penrod, & Donnerstein, 1987). ...
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For decades, scholars and public health officials have been concerned with the depictions of sexual aggression in pornography, especially when acts of aggression are depicted with no consequences. Social cognitive theory suggests behaviors that are rewarded are more likely to be learned by consumers while those punished are less likely to be learned. To date, however, there has not been a large-scale content analysis to provide researchers with the baseline knowledge of the amount of sexual aggression in online pornography nor have previous content analyses examined the reactions of the targets of sexual aggression. This study of 4009 heterosexual scenes from two major free pornographic tube sites (Pornhub and Xvideos) sought to provide this baseline. Overall, 45% of Pornhub scenes included at least one act of physical aggression, while 35% of scenes from Xvideos contained aggression. Spanking, gagging, slapping, hair pulling, and choking were the five most common forms of physical aggression. Women were the target of the aggression in 97% of the scenes, and their response to aggression was either neutral or positive and rarely negative. Men were the perpetrators of aggression against women in 76% of scenes. Finally, examining the 10 most populous categories, the Amateur and Teen categories in Xvideos and the Amateur category in Pornhub had significantly less aggression, while the Xvideos Hardcore category had significantly more physical aggression against women. This study suggests aggression is common against women in online pornography, while repercussions to this aggression are rarely portrayed.
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Contrary to the earlier notion that addiction is predominantly a substance dependency, research now suggests that any source or experience capable of stimulating an individual has addictive potential. This has led to a paradigm shift in the psychiatric understanding of behavioural addictions. These can refer to a range of behaviors such as gambling, video gaming, and sexual practices. Hypersexual behavior and pornography addiction come to the fore when the behavior becomes intensive, out of the individual’s control, and persists in that pattern despite harmful consequences and risk of harm to one’s emotional and/or physical health. The ongoing Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic with its’ social distancing norms has further turned sexual practices to digital platforms with increase in pornography use, and hence addictions and unhealthy use of technology. There are several overlapping lines between these dimensions, and there are both components of compulsivity and impulsivity involved. Substantial evidence of neurobiological and psychological models has been used to conceptualize sex and pornography addictions. However, there is no academic consensus or operational criteria that can aid in diagnosing these conditions or estimating their impact. Moreover, the body of evidence on effective treatments is limited. With this background, this descriptive review looks at the various neurophysiological, genetic, and imaging markers of sex and pornography addictions including their possible evidence-based neuroplastic effects on the brain functioning and sexual behavior, and the neurobiological intersections with substance-abuse disorders, and finally outlines the future directions of related research.
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After a thorough description of key terminology relevant to fully understanding non-consensual image-based sexual offending and details of our own and others’ work in this field in areas of beliefs and attitudes, the final chapter of this book explores what remains to be known about this research area, and pinpoints some potential future directions. The roles of cultural differences and gender norms are discussed in terms of framing our attitudes towards offenders and victims of IBSA, before noting a potential holistic explanation of offending behaviour by drawing upon the biopsychosocial model. Finally, potential barriers for treatment and support are outlined in an urge to normalise discussion of this offence, while simultaneously reducing victim-related stigma.
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The material contained herein is intended as a general guide only and is not intended to be a memorandum of law study, nor to provide legal advice, and should not be treated as a substitute for legal advice concerning particular situations. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action based on the information provided. The publishers, editors, and author bear no responsibility for any errors or omissions contained therein.
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Revisits and updates the centrality of the social construction of sexuality, especially in the age of Viagra, FSD (female sexual dysfunction) and the media saturation of sex. Leonore Tiefer is one of the foremost sexologists working in the United States today; she is a well-known and respected scholar who writes engagingly and humorously about a wide array of topics in sexuality to appeal to both students and general readers. Revised and updated with new pieces on the medicalization of sex, FSD (female sexual dysfunction) and the politics of sex, as well as classic pieces found in the original edition, such as “Am I Normal?: The Question of Sex.”
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Preface Background: Sexual Desire and Fantasy Background: Sex and Values Common Charges Against Sexual Explicitness Pornography and Women Portrayals of Violence Degrading Content Alleged Ill Effects from Use Sex and Psychological Health Elicitation of Violence: The Theories Elicitation of Violence: The Evidence Portrayed Violence and Real Aggression Sexual Repressiveness and Violence Pornography and the Law Bibliography Index
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Feminist positions on pornography currently break down into three rough categories. The most common one -at least, in academia -is that pornography is an expression of male culture through which women are commodified and exploited. A second view, the liberal position, combines a respect for free speech with the principle "a woman's body, a woman's right" and thus produces a defense of pornography along the lines of, "I don't approve of it, but everyone has the right to consume or produce words and images." A third view -a true defense of pornography -arises from feminists who have been labeled "pro-sex" and who argue that porn has benefits for women. Little dialogue occurs between the three positions. Anti-pornography feminists treat women who disagree as either brainwashed dupes of patriarchy or as apologists for pornographers. In the anthology Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism (1990), editor Dorchen Leidholdt claims that feminists who believe women make their own choices about pornography are spreading "a felicitous lie" (p. 131). In the same work, Sheila Jeffreys argues that "pro-sex" feminists are "eroticizing dominance and subordination." Wendy Stock accuses free speech feminists of identifying with their oppressors "much like ... concentration camp prisoners with their jailors" (p. 150). Andrea Dworkin accuses them of running a "sex protection racket" (p. 136) and maintains that no one who defends pornography can be a feminist. The liberal feminists who are personally uncomfortable with pornography tend to be intimidated into silence. Those who continue to speak out, like American Civil Liberties Union President Nadine Strossen (Defending Pornography) are ignored. For example, Catharine MacKinnon has repeatedly refused to share a stage with Strossen or any woman who defends porn. "Pro-sex" feminists -many of whom are current or former sex-workers -often respond with anger, rather than arguments.
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The incidence of rape in the United States has declined 85% in the past 25 years while access to pornography has become freely available to teenagers and adults. The Nixon and Reagan Commissions tried to show that exposure to pornographic materials produced social violence. The reverse may be true: that pornography has reduced social violence.