Advertisement

Pornography

  • Kassia R. Wosick
Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of pornography in brief historical and present contexts, with particular attention placed on its empirical significance. While porn has been widely contested, criticized, regulated, and debated, it has and continues to be a central fixture in national and global economies. Scholarly attention to pornography has occurred mainly in the humanities, and more recently the social sciences. Therefore, this chapter draws on an interdisciplinary body of literature to offer a comprehensive look at pornography as it relates to sexualities in an institutional context. The chapter discusses the definitions and categorizations of pornography, presents main dialogues surrounding pornography, and highlights gender and sexual orientation as key factors in porn production, content, consumer, and perception patterns. The chapter also articulates particular porn genres (gay/bisexual male, female-friendly, woman-made, transgender/genderqueer) before moving to a discussion on the relationship between technology and pornography, as well as a brief look at the industry aspects of pornography. The chapter concludes with directions for future research on pornography and the sex industry.

Keywords

Pornography Sex industry Erotica Sexual commerce Sexuality Commodification 

References

  1. Abbott, S. A. (2010). Motivations for pursuing a career in pornography. In R. Weitzer (Ed.), Sex for sale: Prostitution, pornography, and the sex industry (pp. 47–66). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Angel, B. (2013). The power of my vagina. In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 284–286). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  3. Albury, K. (2014). Porn and sex education, porn as sex education. Porn Studies, 1(1–2), 172–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Armstrong, E. A., & Weinberg, M. S. (2006). Identity and competence: The use of culture in the interpretation of sexual images. Sociological Perspectives, 49(3), 411–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Attwood, F. (2002). Reading porn: The paradigm shift in pornography research. Sexualities, 5(10), 91–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Attwood, F. (2009). Mainstreaming sex: The sexualization of western culture. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  7. AVN.com. (2014). http://avn.com. Accessed 28 Dec 2014.
  8. Bakehorn, J. A. (2010). Women-made pornography. In R. Weitzer (Ed.), Sex for sale: Prostitution, pornography, and the sex industry (pp. 91–114), New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Barker, M. (2014). The ‘problem’ of sexual fantasies. Porn Studies, 1(1–2), 143–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barron, M., & Kimmel, M. (2000). Sexual violence in three pornographic media: Toward a sociological explanation. Journal of Sex Research, 37(2), 161–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bart, P. B., Freeman, L., & Kimball, P. (1985). The different worlds of women and men: Attitudes toward pornography and responses to not a love story-a film about pornography. Women’s Studies International Forum, 8, 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benjamin, O., & Tlusten, D. (2010). Intimacy and/or degradation: Heterosexual images of togetherness and women’s embracement of pornography. Sexualities, 13(5), 599–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brown, S. C. (2014). Porn piracy: An overlooked phenomenon in need of academic investigation. Porn Studies, 1(3), 326–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Butler, H. (2004). What do you call a lesbian with long fingers? The development of lesbian and dyke pornography. In L. Williams (Ed.), Porn studies (pp. 167–197). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Burger, J. R. (1995). One-handed histories: The eroto-politics of gay male video pornography. New York: Harrington Park Press.Google Scholar
  16. Carnes, M. (2007). Bend over boyfriend: Anal sex instructional videos for women. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L. Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: Sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 151–160). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  17. Carroll, R. (2013). New HIV outbreak in US porn industry leaves insiders divided over condoms. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/sep/12/porn-industry-california-hiv-condoms. Accessed 1 Jan 2015.
  18. Celline, H. B., & Duncan, D. F. (1988). Homosexual pornography: Trends in content and form over a twenty-five year period. Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior, 25(3–4), 37–41.Google Scholar
  19. Cohler, B. J. (2004). Memoir and performance. Journal of Homosexuality, 47(3–4), 7–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Collins, D. (1998). Lesbian pornographic production: Creating social/cultural space for subverting representations of sexuality. Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 43, 31–62.Google Scholar
  21. Comella, L. (2010). Remaking the sex industry: The adult expo as a microcosm. In R. Weitzer (Ed.), Sex for sale: Prostitution, pornography, and the sex industry (pp. 285–306). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Comella, L. (2013). From text to context: Feminist porn and the making of a market. In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 79–96). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  23. Corneau, S., & van der Meulen, E. (2014). Some like it mellow: On gay men complicating pornography discourses. Journal of Homosexuality, 61(4), 491–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Coopersmith, J. (1998). Pornography, technology and progress. Icon, 4, 94–125.Google Scholar
  25. Crooks, R., & Baur, K. (2007). Our sexuality. Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  26. Cottle, C. E., Searles, P., Berger, R. J., & Pierce, B. A. (1989). Conflicting ideologies and the politics of pornography. Gender and Society, 3(3), 303–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Craig, P., Honick, R., & Burnett, M. (Eds.). (2005). Software piracy exposed: Secrets from the dark side revealed. New York: Syngress.Google Scholar
  28. Dalecki, M. G., & Price, J. (1994). Dimensions of pornography. Sociological Spectrum, 14(3), 205–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dalton, A. (2014). “Very strong evidence” of HIV transmission during porn shoot. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/30/hiv-transmission-porn_n_6396066.html. Accessed 1 Jan 2015.
  30. Davis, J. A., & Smith, T. W. (1986). General social surveys: Cumulative codebook. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  31. Dines, G. (2010). Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality. Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  32. Duits, L., & Van Zoonen, L. (2006). Headscarves and porno-chic disciplining girls’ bodies in the European multicultural society. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 13(2), 103–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Escoffier, J. (2007). Porn star/stripper/escort: Economic and sexual dynamics in a sex work career. Journal of Homosexuality, 53(1–2), 173–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Evans-DeCicco, J. A., & Cowan, G. (2001). Attitudes toward pornography and the characteristics attributed to pornography actors. Sex Roles, 44(5–6), 351–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. FSCPass. (2014). http://fscpass.com/about_us. Accessed 28 Dec 2014.
  36. Griffith, J. D., Mitchell, S., Hart, C. L., Adams, L. T., & Gu, L. L. (2013). Pornography actresses: An assessment of the damaged goods hypothesis. Journal of Sex Research, 50(7), 621–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Griffiths, M. (2001). Sex on the internet: Observations and implications for internet sex addiction. Journal of Sex Research, 38(4), 333–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Grov, C., Breslow, A. S., Newcomb, M. E., Rosenberger, J. G., & Bauermeister, J. A. (2014). Gay and bisexual men’s use of the internet: Research from the 1990s through 2013. Journal of Sex Research, 51(4), 390–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hardy, S. (1998). The reader, the author, his woman, and her lover: soft-core pornography and heterosexual men. Continuum Intl Pub Group.Google Scholar
  40. Hardy, S. (2004). Reading pornography. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 4(1), 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Heffernan, K. (2013). From “It could happen to someone you love” to “Do you speak ass?”: Women and discourses of sex education in erotic film and video. In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 237–254). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  42. Herman, M. S., & Border, D. C. (1983). Attitudes toward pornography in a southern community. Criminology, 21, 349–374.Google Scholar
  43. Herman, M. S., & Bordner, D. C. (2013). Attitudes toward pornography in a southern community. Criminology, 21, 349–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hill-Meyer, T. (2013). Where the trans women aren’t: The slow inclusion of trans women in feminist and queer porn. In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 155–163). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  45. Hines, C., & Kerr, D. (Eds.). (2012). Hard to swallow: hard-core pornography on screen. London: Wallflower.Google Scholar
  46. Huntley, R. (1998). Slippery when wet: The shifting boundaries of the pornographic (a class analysis). Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 12(1), 69–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Isola, M. J. (2013). ‘The string of this one story’: Erotica, HIV, and the construction of safe sex in gay male popular memory. Journal of Homosexuality, 60(8), 1185–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Juffer, J. (1998). At home with Pornography: Women, sex, and everyday life. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Kangasvuo, J. (2007). Insatiable sluts and almost gay guys: Bisexuality in porn magazines. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L., Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 139–150). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  51. Kendrick, W. (1997). The secret museum: Pornography in modern culture. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  52. Kipnis, L. (1996). Bound and gagged: Pornography and the politics of fantasy in America. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  53. Kirkpatrick, R. G., & Zurcher, L. A. (1983). Women against pornography: Feminist anti-pornography crusades in American society. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 3, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Klaassen, M. J., & Peter, J. (2014). Gender (in) equality in internet pornography: A content analysis of popular pornographic internet videos. The Journal of Sex Research, 0(0), 1–15.Google Scholar
  55. Lane, F. S. (2001). Obscene profits: Entrepreneurs of pornography in the cyber age: Entrepreneurs of pornography in the cyber age. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Laumann, E. O., Gagnon, J. H., Michael, R. T, & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Social practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  57. Magill, F. N. (1995). Pornography. International Encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 985–988). Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn.Google Scholar
  58. McKee, A., Albury, K., & Lumby, C. (2008). The porn report. Melbourne: University of Melbourne Press.Google Scholar
  59. McKee, A. (2009). Social scientists don’t say “Titwank”. Sexualities, 12(5), 629–646.Google Scholar
  60. McKee, A. (2014). Humanities and social scientific research methods in porn studies. Porn Studies, 1 (1–2), 53–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McNair, B. (1996). Mediated sex: Pornography and postmodern culture. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  62. McNair, B. (2009). Teaching porn. Sexualities, 12(5), 558–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. McNair, B. (2013). Porno? Chic! How pornography changed the world and made it a better place. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Mercer, J. (2004). In the slammer. Journal of Homosexuality, 47(3–4), 151–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Miller-Young, M. (2010). Putting hypersexuality to work: Black women and illicit eroticism in pornography. Sexualities, 13(2), 219–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Morrison, T. G. (2004). “He was treating me like trash, and I was loving it…”: Perspectives on gay male pornography. Journal of Homosexuality, 47(3–4), 167–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mowlabocus, S. (2007). Gay men and the pornification of everyday life. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L. Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: Sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 61–72). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  68. Mowlabocus, S., Harbottle, J., & Witzel, C. (2013). Porn laid bare: Gay men, pornography and bareback sex. Sexualities, 16(5/6), 523–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Nagle, J. (1997). Introduction. In J. Nagle (Ed.), Whores and other feminists (pp. 1–18). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  70. Nathan, D. (2007). Pornography: A groundwork guide. Toronto: Groundwood Books.Google Scholar
  71. O’Hara, S. (1997). Autopornography: A memoir of life in the lust lane. New York: Harrington Park Press.Google Scholar
  72. O’Toole, L. (1998). Pornocopia: Porn, sex, technology and desire. London: Serpent’s Tail.Google Scholar
  73. Paasonen, S. (2007). Epilogue: Porn futures. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L. Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: Sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 161–170). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  74. Paasonen, S., & Saarenmaa. L. (2007). The golden age of porn: Nostalgia and history in cinema. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L. Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: Sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 23–32). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  75. Paasonen, S., Nikunen, K., & Saarenmaa, L. (2007). Pornification and the education of desire. In K. Nikunen, S. Paasonen, & L. Saarenmaa (Eds.), Pornification: Sex and sexuality in media culture (pp. 1–22). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  76. Parvez, F. Z. (2006). The labor of pleasure: How perceptions of emotional labor impact women’s enjoyment of pornography. Gender and Society, 20(5), 605–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Patterson, Z. (2004). Going on-line: Consuming pornography in the digital era. In L. Williams (Ed.), Porn studies (pp. 104–126). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Paul, P. (2005). Pornified: How pornography is transforming our lives, our relationships, and our families. New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
  79. Paul, B. (2009). Predicting internet pornography use and arousal: The role of individual difference variables. Journal of Sex Research, 46(4), 344–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Penley, C. (2013). “A feminist teaching pornography? That’s like scopes teaching evolution!” In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 179–199). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  81. Pfeffer, C. A. (2014). Making space for trans sexualities. Journal of Homosexuality, 61(5), 597–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Polk, R. K., & Cowan, G. (1996). Perceptions of female pornography stars. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 5(3), 221–229.Google Scholar
  83. Poole, W. (2000). Dirty Poole: The autobiography of a gay porn pioneer. Los Angeles: Alyson Publications.Google Scholar
  84. Pornography [Orig.]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/pornography. Accessed 1 Jan 2015.
  85. Poulsen, F. O., Busby, D. M., & Galovan, A. M. (2013). Pornography use: Who uses it and how it is associated with couple outcomes. Journal of Sex Research, 50(1), 72–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Rosser, B. R. S., Smolenski, D. J., Erickson, D., Iantaffi, A., Brady, S. S., Grey, J. A., & Hald, G. M., et al. (2013). The effects of gay sexually explicit media on the HIV risk behavior of men who have sex with men. AIDS and Behavior, 17(4), 1488–1498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2014). “Without porn…I wouldn’t know half the things I know now:” A qualitative study of pornography use among a sample of urban, low-income, black and Hispanic youth. Journal of Sex Research, 0(0), 1–11.Google Scholar
  88. Sinkovic, M., Stulhofer, A., & Bozic, J. (2013). Revisiting the association between pornography use and risky sexual behaviors: The role of early exposure to pornography and sexual sensation seeking. Journal of Sex Research, 50(7), 633–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sabo, A. G. (2012). After pornified: How women are transforming pornography & why it really matters. Winchester. UK: Zero Books.Google Scholar
  90. Shaw, S. M. (1999). Men’s leisure and women’s lives: The impact of pornography on women. Leisure Studies, 18, 197–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Smith, C. (2009). Pleasure and distance: Exploring sexual cultures in the classroom. Sexualities, 12(5), 568–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Sonnet, E. (1999). Erotic fiction by women for women: The pleasures of post-feminist heterosexuality. Sexualities, 2(2), 167–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Stein, D., Silvera, R., Hagerty, R., & Marmor, M. (2012). Viewing pornography depicting unprotected anal intercourse: Are there implications for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 411–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Taormino, T. (Ed.). (2011). Take me there: Trans and genderqueer erotica. Berkeley: Cleis Press.Google Scholar
  95. Taormino, T. (2013). Calling the shots: Feminist porn in theory and practice. In T. Taormino, C. Penley, C. Shimizu, & M. Miller-Young (Eds.), The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure (pp. 255–264). New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  96. Taormino, T., Penley, C., Shimizu, C., & Miller-Young, M. (Eds.). (2013). The feminist porn book: The politics of producing pleasure. New York: The Feminist Press.Google Scholar
  97. Tibbals, C. A. (2014). Gonzo, trannys, and teens: Current trends in US adult content production, distribution, and consumption. Porn Studies, 1(1–2), 127–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Van Doorn, N. (2010). Keeping it real: user-generated pornography, gender reification, and visual pleasure. Convergence, 16, 411–430.Google Scholar
  99. Vannier, S. A., Currie, A. B., & O’Sullivan, L. (2014). Schoolgirls and soccer moms: a content analysis of free “teen” and “MILF” online pornography. Journal of Sex Research, 51(3), 253–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Voss, G. (2012). ‘Treating it as a normal business’: Researching the pornography industry. Sexualities, 15(3/4), 391–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Waskul, D. (2002). The naked self: Being a body in televideo cybersex. Symbolic Interaction, 25(2), 199–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Waskul, D. (Ed.). (2004). Net.seXXX: readings on sex, pornography, and the internet. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  103. Waskul, D. (2015). Techno-sexuality: The sexual pragmatists of the technological age. In T. S. Weinberg & S. Newmahr (Eds.), Selves, symbols, and sexualities: An interactionist anthology (pp. 77–88). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  104. Waskul, D., & Radeloff, C. (2009). ‘How do I rate?’ Nude ‘rate me’ websites and gendered looking glasses. In F. Attwood (Ed.), Porn.Com: Making sense of online pornography (pp. 202–216). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  105. Watson, P., Zizzo, D., & Fleming, P. (2014). Determinants and welfare implications of unlawful file sharing: A scoping review. Glasgow: CREATe.Google Scholar
  106. Weitzer, R. (2010). Sex work: Paradigms and policies. In R. Weitzer (Ed.), Sex for sale: Prostitution, pornography, and the sex industry (pp. 1–45). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  107. Williams, L. (1989). Hard core: Power, pleasure, and the “frenzy of the invisible. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  108. Williams, L. (Ed.). (2004). Porn Studies. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  109. Williams, L. (2014). Pornography, porno, porn: Thoughts on a weedy field. Porn Studies, 1(1–2), 24–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Wood, M., & Hughes, M. (1984). The moral bias of moral reform: Status discontent vs. culture and socialization as explanations of anti-pornography social movement adherence. American Sociological Review, 49, 86–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Wosick-Correa, K., & Joseph, L. J. (2008). Sexy ladies sexing ladies: Women as consumers in strip clubs. Journal of Sex Research, 45(3), 201–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Wright, Paul J. (2013). U.S. males and pornography, 1973–2010: Consumption, predictors, correlates. Journal of Sex Research, 50(1), 60–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Xbizworld.com. (2014). http://xbizworld.com/editorial.php. Accessed 28 Dec 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

Personalised recommendations