Pornography and Sexual Aggression

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The question of whether pornography viewing relates to sexual aggression is perhaps one of the most discussed topics in criminology. What motivates us to watch pornography at the first place? Is it for pleasure and entertainment? What happens when pornography was never created? Would we behave the same? Would there be sexual aggression stimulated by erotic media? Criminologist and psychologist have been trying to find out the answer to all those questions yet there are still many flaws and indecisive results. In an attempt to figure out more facts about this interesting topic, the following write-up would examine the different aspect related to pornography and sexual aggression. The following information would be examined in order to get a better understanding of the relationship between pornography and the effects it has on sexual aggression: an analysis of the definition of pornography, the possible effect prolong consumption of pornography may bring, the relationship between pornography and sex offenders, and the mixed theories and analysis from different scholars. By the end of this research, there would be a better overview of how pornography may or not may not bring sexual aggression.

First of all, let us understand this: what is the definition of pornography? Numerous efforts have been made to universally define the meaning of pornography and distinguishing it from the likes of erotica. Though there are really no consensus as to what pornography can be defined, Stuart Potter of the Supreme Court Justice implied he cannot define the meanings of pornography, but “he knew it when he saw it” (Malamuth, 2000). However, there are also definitions of pornography as something that causes an arousal in sexual behavior can be recognized as pornographic (Brown and Bryant, 1989). According to Malamuth, formulations of perspectives have been formed in order to interpret the meaning of pornography. The first perspective, Conservative, suggests that he influence pornography has is negative to our social and traditional values. Unlike the Conservative approach, the Liberal position looks at pornography being something that is negligible negative, but perhaps also bringing beneficial effects to the audiences. This perspective is interested in whether pro-long viewing of explicit sexual materials may lead evidence of ‘direct harm’or criminal matters. The final perspective is the Radical Feminist where they focus on the role-dominance of men and the attitudes they have towards women. Radical Feminist also analyze the evidence of violence against women or signs of sexism resulting from consumption of pornography (Malamuth, 2000). In another article of Malamuth’s, he describes pornography with two models: Sexual Communications and the Feminist models. The Sexual Communications model work similar to that of the Liberal approach mentioned above in that in supports pornography for having no negative effects. The sexual interest of the communication model suggests that “consumers are attracted to pornography in a desire to fulfill their sexual curiosities and needs ( Malamuth, 1996)”. The Artistic version of the communication model, on the other hand, suggests that there is a need to express sexuality. Malamuth argues that in this model, pornography is “the imaginative record of man’s sexual will (Malamuth, 1996)”. The Feminist Model looks at the portrayal of women in pornography. The key point feminist theorist argues for is the ideology of anti-female and that women serves as an object for pleasuring men.

A question that had psychologist, criminologist as well as normal people have been wondering about this question: would prolong consumption of pornography affect a human being’s aggression. Would the behavior change with an increase of sexual aggression and violence? The study of Malamuth and Ceniti examined the long-term effects of repeated exposure to violent and nonviolent pornography and the...
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