PORNOGRAPHY AND SEXUAL CALLOUSNESS: THE PERCEPTUAL AND BEHAVIORAL CONSEQUENCES OF EXPOSURE TO PORNOGRAPHY
James B. Weaver III
Over the last two decades the status of sexually explicit mass media (i.e., erotica and pornography) in the entertainment marketplace has been radically transformed and expanded (cf. Weaver, 1991, 1992). According to Hebditch and Anning ( 1988), production and distribution of such materials have rapidly evolved from "a seedy and illicit cottage industry to a stable and well-refined, mass-production business employing the latest know-how" and yielding annual worldwide revenues in excess of $5 billion (p. 3). Spurred by new communication technologies -- especially the domestication of videotape recorders -- the marketplace for pornography has metamorphosed from one tailored to a few elite connoisseurs into a mass market providing an affordable form of entertainment to all consumers (cf. Zillmann & Bryant, 1989).
Awareness of the prolific availability and tremendous popularity of pornographic fare has fueled substantial public scrutiny of and debate over such materials (cf. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, 1986; Lederer, 1980; Zillmann & Bryant, 1989). Two distinct and yet inseparable concerns, issues that have been the focus of discussion for some time (cf. Kendrick, 1987), are the basic contentions in this controversy. One involves interpretation of the content characteristics of pornography. The other