Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations

By Dolf Zillmann; Jennings Bryant | Go to book overview

may prove necessary to design different interventions for men and women, for different age groups, and for lower versus higher propensity-to-aggression individuals.

Competitive Effects of Other Treatments. It is necessary for evaluation research to determine whether the proposed interventions are "good" along the dimensions that have been enumerated. It is also necessary for evaluation research to demonstrate that the proposed interventions are better than other competing policy options such as censorship (which, it was argued earlier, might have narrow positive and important negative effects) and other educational interventions. Moreover, the effectiveness of other channels (documentary films, videotapes, television programs) for reaching nonclassroom audiences must be assessed in terms of the dimensions discussed herein.

The research agenda for evaluating remedies for possible effects of pornography is a formidable one, but there are important payoffs for research involvement as well. On an applied level, it may be of immense importance to devise means for immunizing individuals against possible effects of an increasingly brutal and inhumane media array. On a conceptual level, this research agenda provides many opportunities for testing, extending, and building theory in social and personality psychology and in communications, among other areas. For these problem-focused and theoretical reasons, the implementation and study of sex education as a corrective to possible effects of pornography should be a rewarding pursuit.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Work on this paper was supported in part by a grant (410-86- 0716) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the first author. The authors wish to thank Clive Seligman and Guy Grenier for their comments on this manuscript. Correspondence should be addressed to William A. Fisher, Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2.


REFERENCES

Abramson P. R., & Hayashi H. ( 1984). "Pornography in Japan: Cross-cultural and theoretical considerations". In N. M. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and sexual aggression (pp. 173-183). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

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