Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations

By Dolf Zillmann; Jennings Bryant | Go to book overview

13
The Case Against Censorship of Pornography

William A. Linsley University of Houston


THE MARKET

The publication of sexually explicit material is a multi-billion dollar annual business in America. From the public's patronage of bookstores and movie theatres to the use of videocassette recorders (VCRs), telephones, and computers to bring pornography into the home, the evidence of its acceptance and impact on the economy is indisputable. Despite efforts to censor pornography, the market for it demonstrates the appetite, or at least the indulgence, of a staggering number of people.

An estimated 165,000 people are involved as producers, distributors, retailers, writers, or photographers of sexually explicit materials. Twenty million adult magazines are bought by us per month. Sexually explicit films account for 10%-15% of the videocassette market. A 1985 Gallup poll of 1,020 adults found X-rated films account for one-fifth of all video sales, and 9% of all Americans (40% of all VCR owners) bought or rented an X-rated cassette within the year prior to the poll. (The war against pornography, 1985). Every week Americans buy more than 2 million tickets to X-rated movies, representing a box office in excess of $500 million annually. Pornography is big business and our friends, neighbors, relatives,

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