Free Adult Internet Web Sites: How Prevalent Are Degrading Acts?


Russell (Dangerous relationships: Pornography, misogyny, and rape, 1988) argued that essential features of pornography were the inclusion of more female than male nakedness and the portrayal of men in dominant roles. Utilizing a sample of 45 Internet adult web sites, a content analysis was conducted to see if free and easily available Internet adult videos may generally be described as pornography in line with Russell’s (1988) work. A majority of videos in our sample portrayed more female than male nakedness as well as much higher representations of men in sexually dominant positions. The prevalence of violence in this sample of video and the presence of various acts (name calling, ejaculating on the face, submission, and eagerness to participate in any sex act) were also content analyzed and used to establish prevalent themes. We found a significant difference in the likelihood of a video having a theme of exploitation or domination and whether or not the video portrayed one of these acts. If the video had a theme of exploitation or domination, 92% of the videos also included a minimum of one of these acts while those videos that had themes of reciprocity or autoeroticism were significantly less likely to contain such acts. This study contributes to the literature on gender and pornography by examining issues of degradation and power relations within the context of a rapidly expanding cybersex industry.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth Monk-Turner.

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Gorman, S., Monk-Turner, E. & Fish, J.N. Free Adult Internet Web Sites: How Prevalent Are Degrading Acts?. Gend. Issues 27, 131–145 (2010).

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  • Pornography
  • Degradation
  • Internet