Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations

By Dolf Zillmann; Jennings Bryant | Go to book overview

11
Sex Education as a Corrective: Immunizing Against Possible Effects of Pornography

William A. Fisher The University of Western Ontario Azy Barak Tel Aviv University

As readers of this volume are aware, many social scientists are concerned about the proliferation of pornography in our society and about its presumed negative effects. Reflecting these concerns, this chapter reviews some of the evidence--pro and con--regarding the prevalence and effects of pornography. We consider social policy options for dealing with possible negative effects of pornographic material, and we propose a school-based sex education program that is intended to produce highly generalized rejection of the antisocial messages that pornography may convey. We close this discussion by proposing a research agenda for testing the efficacy of sex education as a corrective for possible negative effects of pornography.


CONCEPTUALIZING PORNOGRAPHY

Before we may discuss the prevalence or effects of pornography, it is necessary to specify just what we mean by this term. In accord with basic social psychological theory ( Bandura, 1965, 1986), we believe that the content of a stimulus in large part determines its

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