The image of the pornography consumer as a loner who lacks socialization skills appears, as a general rule, to be inaccurate. Whereas most research has identified differences in male versus female use of pornography, the reasons for the suggested differences remain unclear. Burt ( 1976) and Thomas ( 1986) suggest that cultural and market forces work to deny women equal opportunity with males to enjoy pornography.
The 1985 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography reported increased public tolerance for pornography, but Smith ( 1987) argued in favor of the opposite conclusion. The complexity of defining pornography renders as inappropriate comparisons across different studies that employ different methods in different time periods. Consistent definitions and methods across extensive time periods are needed to identify trends in the use of pornography. Lacking such consistency, we are able only to describe the use of pornography by specific samples of respondents in certain locations under limited circumstances.
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