The Findings and Recommendations of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography: Do the Psychological "Facts" Fit the Political Fury?

Daniel Linz, Edward Donnerstein, Steven Penrod

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45 Scopus citations


"The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography has concluded that there is a causal relationship between exposure to many forms of pornography and several antisocial effects, including increased levels of violence against women. As a result of these findings, the commission has called for more strict enforcement of existing obscenity laws and serious consideration of additional legal measures not traditionally handled under obscenity law. The authors question whether the social science data relied on by the commission justifies either the commission's conclusions about harm or the call for more stringent law enforcement. Although some of the commission's findings appear to be sound extrapolations from the empirical studies, the authors find several of the commission's findings and recommendations incongruent with available research data. Instead of advocating stricter legal controls the authors reiterate their call for educational programs to mitigate the effects of sexual violence in the media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-953
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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