Testing legal assumptions regarding the effects of dancer nudity and proximity to patron on erotic expression

D. Linz, E. Blumenthal, E. Donnerstein, D. Kunkel, B. J. Shafer, A. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted in order to test the assumptions by the Supreme Court in Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. (1991) and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Colacurcio v. City of Kent (1999) that government restrictions on dancer nudity and dancer-patron proximity do not affect the content of messages conveyed by erotic dancers. A field experiment was conducted in which dancer nudity (nude vs. partial clothing) and dancer-patron proximity (4 feet; 6 in.; 6 in. plus touch) were manipulated under controlled conditions in an adult night club. After male patrons viewed the dances, they completed questionnaires assessing affective states and reception of erotic, relational intimacy, and social messages. Contrary to the assumptions of the courts, the results showed that the content of messages conveyed by the dancers was significantly altered by restrictions placed on dancer nudity and dancer-patron proximity. These findings are interpreted in terms of social psychological responses to nudity and communication theories of nonverbal behavior. The legal implications of rejecting the assumptions made by the courts in light of the findings of this study are discussed. Finally, suggestions are made for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-533
Number of pages27
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Testing legal assumptions regarding the effects of dancer nudity and proximity to patron on erotic expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this