The objectification of women in mainstream pornographic videos in Australia.In Australia and many other Western countries, there is continuing political, public, and academic concern about the role of pornography pornography
Depiction of erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement. The word originally signified any work of art or literature depicting the life of prostitutes. in society. The accessibility of the internet and the kinds of material it makes available available have renewed public focus on the question of pornographic por·nog·ra·phy
1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
2. The presentation or production of this material.
3. content: what kinds of pornography are people consuming? Many writers make the distinction between good and bad pornographic content. Hamilton (2004), for example, noted,
We are not talking about Playboy centrefolds, which are so tame by today's standards that Hugh Hefner is seen as an old prude. We're talking about a whole new world of extreme and violent images, including internet sites specializing in rape, incest, coprophilia, and bestiality.... Good, healthy erotica is one thing ... but the sex depicted in standard porn is wholly devoid of intimacy and affection. Women are uniformly portrayed as the passive objects of men's sexual urges (p. 11).
Of particular concern to many commentators is the degree of objectification ob·jec·ti·fy
tr.v. ob·jec·ti·fied, ob·jec·ti·fy·ing, ob·jec·ti·fies
1. To present or regard as an object: "Because we have objectified animals, we are able to treat them impersonally" seen in pornography (e.g., Rantzen, 2004). Some worry that porn causes its viewers to act violently toward women (Krome, 2003) or that it turns them into sexual abusers (Hamilton, 2004) or even murderers (Coffman, 2004).
Literature about objectifying content in pornography exists, but we have little information about the degree to which the mainstream pornography being consumed in Australia objectifies its participants. In response to ongoing public concern about this issue, I decided to gather and analyze data about the content of mainstream Australian pornography. Scott and Schwalm have shown that there is an important distinction between the availability and the consumption of pornographic material in a culture (1988a; 1988b). It is important to demonstrate not only what is available to consumers, but also what they are actually consuming.
Concerns about material available on the internet are driving most public debate about pornography at the moment, but videos and DVDs retain the central place in the consumption of pornographic material in Australia. In a recent survey of over 1,000 users of pornography in Australia, videos and DVDs were the most popular pornographic medium, with 63.4% of respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. using them. Almost half (42%) used the internet to view pornography, but only 5.8% accessed paid sites, where "premium," non-mainstream material is usually found (McKee, forthcoming).
Another advantage of using videos in this study was the ease of acquiring information about which titles were the most popular. Because it is illegal to sell, but not to buy, pornography in most areas of Australia, most people purchase it by mail. I merged the best-seller lists of the two biggest adult mail-order companies, Gallery Entertainment and Axis Entertainment, to create a list of 50 of the most popular pornography videos. This list became the study sample. (Contact the author for the list of sample videos.)
It is important to note that the sample does not represent the absolute 50 top-selling videos in Australia. There is some black market for X-rated material, but it is estimated to constitute less than 5% of sales (Australian Adult Industry Association, 2004). Given the importance of mail order in the Australian pornographic market, I can state with certainty that the videos in the sample were best-sellers that represent mainstream tastes. The majority of the tapes were American imports; some were European imports, and none were Australian-made.
Literature Review and Development of Measures
The taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, of analysis for the videos was developed through the viewing of a sub-sample of five of the videos in the best-selling best·sell·er also best seller
A product, such as a book, that is among those sold in the largest numbers.
best 50 and by drawing on extensive previous literature on the content of pornography.
Social science research into pornography has tended to divide the content of pornographic material along two axes axes
[L., Gr.] plural of axis. The straight lines which intersect at right angles and on which graphs are drawn. Usually the horizontal axis is the x-axis and the vertical one the y-axis. Called also axes of reference. . The first of these is violent/non-violent content (see Gossett & Byrne, 2002). There is less agreement on the vocabulary employed in analyzing the second axis, but a commonly used term is degrading/non-degrading (Cowan, Levy, Lee, & Snyder, 1988; Gossett & Byrne). Neither of these terms is transparent, and a review of the history of their usage shows that there has been considerable disagreement about what they mean and how they should be codified cod·i·fy
tr.v. cod·i·fied, cod·i·fy·ing, cod·i·fies
1. To reduce to a code: codify laws.
2. To arrange or systematize. . There has also been considerable confusion in the literature about the relationship between violence and degradation as measures. For some writers, the terms are distinct (Palys, 1986); for others, degradation is a subset A group of commands or functions that do not include all the capabilities of the original specification. Software or hardware components designed for the subset will also work with the original. of violence (Dines, Jensen, & Russo, 1998); and for another group, violence is a kind of degradation (Cowan et al.). Thus, it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons of previous content analyses of pornography.
After reviewing the literature, I decided to use the term "objectification" instead of "degradation" to describe the dehumanization de·hu·man·ize
tr.v. de·hu·man·ized, de·hu·man·iz·ing, de·hu·man·iz·es
1. To deprive of human qualities such as individuality, compassion, or civility: of characters in pornography. Also, I defined violence as a subset of, and a process contributing to, objectification. Objectification is thus the key organizing principle for this research, for reasons outlined in the next two sections.
Degradation (Objectification) in Pornography
The division of pornography into that which is egalitarian e·gal·i·tar·i·an
Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people. and that which is degrading TO DEGRADE, DEGRADING. To, sink or lower a person in the estimation of the public.
2. As a man's character is of great importance to him, and it is his interest to retain the good opinion of all mankind, when he is a witness, he cannot be compelled to disclose occured in experimental work before it appeared in content analysis. Perhaps because of this, the term is used with little precision in the early history of analysis of pornography.
Issues of representation in pornography are complex. Researchers have long been aware that a pornographic representation, or any form of mediated me·di·ate
v. me·di·at·ed, me·di·at·ing, me·di·ates
1. To resolve or settle (differences) by working with all the conflicting parties: representation, may show no violence against a character, but may still present that character in unattractive or undesirable ways.
The most common term used to describe representations which are undesirable, but not actually violent, has been degrading (Donnerstein, Linz, & Penrod, 1987). Although I agree that it is important to make a distinction between non-degrading and degrading pornography, this distinction is less important in terms of research into pornography's effects. There is general agreement among researchers that exposure to non-violent pornography, whether degrading or non-degrading, has no negative effects on consumers (see Donnertstein et al., 1987; Padgett, Slutz, & Neal, 1989; Scott & Cuvelier, 1993; but see Zillmann & Weaver, 1989, for an argument against this position).
Although the term degrading pornography was in use through the 1980s in experimental work on the effects of pornography, it was only in the 1990s that definitions began to emerge (Fisher & Barak, 1991). Experimental work often has not published detailed or validated accounts of researchers' definitions of degrading material, but it is possible to draw out two underlying themes in the common use of the term in experimental work. These are, firstly, that pornography is degrading if it shows non-normative sexual acts, such as oral sex (Zillmann, 1989) or casual sex (Donnerstein et al., 1987); and secondly, that pornography is degrading it if involves status inequalities This page lists Wikipedia articles about named mathematical inequalities. Pure mathematics
In content analysis, the two broad approaches to measuring degradation--the presence of non-normative sexual acts and the lack of reciprocity reciprocity
In international trade, the granting of mutual concessions on tariffs, quotas, or other commercial restrictions. Reciprocity implies that these concessions are neither intended nor expected to be generalized to other countries with which the contracting parties in sexual representations--have led to two approaches to coding pornographic texts. The first approach, measuring non-normative sexual acts, is static; it works with a list of practices which the researcher asserts are degrading and measures the presence or absence of these in pornographic texts (e.g., Dietz & Sears, 1988). The second approach is relativist rel·a·tiv·ist
1. Philosophy A proponent of relativism.
2. A physicist who specializes in the theories of relativity. ; rather than looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. the presence or absence of particular acts, it measures whether characters are presented differentially. For example, in Palys' (1986) content analysis, pornographic scenes were categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat by whether the sex in them is mutual, imbalanced, solitary solitary /sol·i·tary/ (sol´i-tar?e)
1. alone; separated from others.
2. living alone or in pairs only.
being the only one or ones. , or unclear. Cowan et al. (1988) measured whether the sex in pornography was dominant, reciprocal, exploitative, or autoerotic autoerotic adjective Referring to sexuoerotic self-stimulation–eg masturbation. See Masturbation. ; Cowan and Campbell (1994) measured the presence of "status indicators" in sex scenes.
I have used the term degrading to this point for clarity, but in fact, in content analyses of pornography, a number of terms have been used as rough synonyms; these include degradation (Cowan & Campbell, 1994), objectification (Dines et al., 1998), dehumanization (Monk-Turner & Purcell, 1999), and domination (Barron & Kimmel, 2000). Often researchers use them as rough synonyms for objectification, but at other times, they use the terms to refer to distinct elements of the wider process of objectification. There is little agreement about which element should be given which name or about how these elements relate to each other. For example, Cowan and Campbell defined degrading pornography as that involving three distinct but related themes: "domination, inequality inequality, in mathematics, statement that a mathematical expression is less than or greater than some other expression; an inequality is not as specific as an equation, but it does contain information about the expressions involved. , and objectification" (p. 325). They argued that objectification is part of a system of violence, if not violence itself, but also that violence follows from degradation. They also argued that objectification is a subset of inequality. Other authors suggest objectification is separate from degradation and is a subset of degrading behaviors (Cowan & Dunn, 1994). Yet others assume the reverse: that degrading behavior is one part of the process of objectification.
Despite the centrality of the non/degrading categorization in investigations of pornography, the validity of these constructs was not examined until 1994, when research by Cowan and Dunn found that many of these assumptions about what counted as degrading material were mistaken. In particular, and surprisingly, given the importance of the term in previous analysis of degradation and objectification in pornography, it is not clear that "status inequality" is a valid measure of objectification or degradation.
Cowan and Dunn (1994) showed viewers pornographic scenes which included a number of possibly degrading themes: sexually explicit behavior, availability (casual sex), unreciprocated sex, status reduction, status inequality, submission, penis/semen worship, dominance, and objectification. Of these, they found that dominance, objectification, and penis worship were "the three most degrading themes" (p. 18). Dominance was defined as
sexual activity and the related scenario that explicitly shows that [one partner] is dominant. He [or she] may command [the other] to do what he [or she] wishes or insult her [him] without any regard for her [his] desires.
Objectification was defined as "sexual activity that treats [one partner] as an object or a plaything," and penis/semen worship as "sexual activity that revolves around worship of the penis" (p. 13). Sexual availability and unreciprocated sexual acts such as oral sex were not found to be degrading.
This research suggests that to analyze the extent to which pornography is degrading, researchers should look at the ways in which pornography objectifies participants, the characters who are dominant in each scene, and the degree to which the penis is worshipped. Each of these issues involve lack of reciprocity, or ignoring the wishes of one sexual partner and treating him or her as an object. This is explicitly the case with objectification, but it can be argued that dominance and penis-worship can also be brought under this rubric RUBRIC, civil law. The title or inscription of any law or statute, because the copyists formerly drew and painted the title of laws and statutes rubro colore, in red letters. Ayl. Pand. B. 1, t. 8; Diet. do Juris. h.t. . Dominance, as defined by Cowan and Dunn (1994), involves ignoring the wishes of one sexual partner. Penis worship, in their measures, involves focusing on sexual acts which traditionally have pleasured men more than women. Paying attention Noun 1. paying attention - paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people); "his attentiveness to her wishes"; "he spends without heed to the consequences"
attentiveness, heed, regard to women's pleasure involves treating them as sexual subjects; to ignore this treats them, again, as objects. The rubric of objectification can therefore function as an umbrella term A term used to cover a broad category of functions rather than one specific item. In many cases, a term is so catchy that it tends to be used for technologies that are a stretch from the original concept. See middleware and virtualization. to cover those elements of pornography which Cowan and Dunn identify as being valid indicators of degradation in the genre.
Within this umbrella term, I include a number of behaviors. One of these, as discussed below, is violence. I agree with Cowan et al. (1988) that physical violence can be understood as a subset of degradation, dehumanization, and objectification. To treat another person violently is to deny his full humanity and subjectivity, and thus to treat him as an object rather than as another independently-existing human being.
However, violence is not the only or even the most powerful form of objectifying behavior. I would also agree with Cowan and Dunn (1994) that ignoring the agency of another person by coercing him to perform non-consensual sexual acts is a form of objectifying behavior. Consensual CONSENSUAL, civil law. This word is applied to designate one species of contract known in the civil laws; these contracts derive their name from the consent of the parties which is required in their formation, as they cannot exist without such consent.
2. sadomasochistic sa·do·mas·o·chism
The combination of sadism and masochism, in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse. performance must be understood as a separate case, because it explicitly pays attention to the desires of both parties (see below). I have included measures of both of these forms of objectification--violence and other forms of non-consensual sex--in my analysis.
One advantage of using objectification as the central organizing term in the analysis of pornographic content is that it allows researchers to pay attention, in a systematic way, to a variety of behaviors beyond violence. A second is that much public debate about pornographic content is explicitly concerned with objectification of participants in pornography. More than degradation, it has been a key term in public discussions about the genre and its effects. The data from this study will be particularly useful to participants in this debate. As Zillmann and Bryant (1986) argued, this is an important part of researchers' responsibilities.
A third and equally important point is that I wanted to draw upon insights developed in a number of university disciplines that were useful in understanding how characters might be objectified in pornographic videos. Previous social science research has focused on what is shown in pornography, but as Cowan et al. (1988) suggested, it is also important to pay attention to how it is shown. The discipline of film studies has spent decades developing a vocabulary and a series of methodologies for understanding the way characters in audio-visual media are represented as either objects or subjects. By drawing on this tradition, I developed a series of quantifiable Quantifiable
Can be expressed as a number. The results of quantifiable psychological tests can be translated into numerical values, or scores.
Mentioned in: Psychological Tests measures that provide insight into the differential representational rep·re·sen·ta·tion·al
Of or relating to representation, especially to realistic graphic representation.
rep strategies of pornography for displaying the bodies of men and women in sexual acts. I used these approaches, along with the insights provided by previous analyses of pornographic content, to develop a series of detailed measures to address the objectification and subjectification of men and women in pornography.
The first group of measures I wanted to employ in order to analyze the degree to which characters were presented as objects rather than as subjects was grouped around the concept of stereotypes. The intent was that these variables would measure the degree to which stereotypes are present in pornography, proposing that this is one measure of the degree to which actors are denied fully characterised agency and represented as objects (Cowan & Campbell, 1994). Following public discussions about pornography (Blacker, 2004), I was particularly concerned about physical stereotypes--whether only a limited range of physical types were presented as attractive in these tapes, and whether this was differentiated as gender. To this end I developed four variables; age, body type, breast/penis size, and presence of plastic surgery. Unfortunately, tests of inter-coder reliability revealed too little agreement on these variables to make them useful for analysis, and they were discarded dis·card
v. dis·card·ed, dis·card·ing, dis·cards
1. To throw away; reject.
a. To throw out (a playing card) from one's hand.
b. (see below).
I also developed four measures to study the presence of reciprocity in pornographic texts. As noted above, Cowan and Dunn's (1994) research suggested that dominance was seen to be degrading in pornography, where dominance involved one partner commanding what he wanted from the other without "any regard for her desires" (p. 18). It has been most common in previous research to instruct in·struct
v. in·struct·ed, in·struct·ing, in·structs
1. To provide with knowledge, especially in a methodical way. See Synonyms at teach.
2. To give orders to; direct.
v. coders to code the tone or feel of each scene. Drawing on Cowan and Dunn's insight that dominance involves a lack of respect for the wishes and pleasure of one of the partners in the sexual act, I decided to generate a number of detailed measures which could take account of reciprocity in each scene.
Initiating sex. For each scene in which sex took place in these videos, the coders noted who initiated the sex. This was interpreted as an important marker of agency. Sexual objects would not initiate sexual acts for their own pleasure: they would be used for the sexual pleasure of others. Coders were instructed,
The character who first communicates desire to have sex--whether this is verbal, a physical sexual move, or any other form of clear non-verbal communication--is the initiator.
Number of orgasms in each scene. Coders were instructed to consider whose pleasure was being addressed in these films. The orgasm orgasm /or·gasm/ (or´gazm) the apex and culmination of sexual excitement.orgas´mic
n. was used as the basic unit for measuring pleasure, and for each scene in which sex took place, coders were asked to note which characters had orgasms. One limitation of this approach is that it could be understood as overvaluing climax Climax
Following a protracted period of selling or buying, a point wherein market trends are retarded or discontinued.
At a selling climax, the market is characterized by a trend reversal whereby the market begins to buy stocks and prices rise. over process. Several feminist writers have pointed out that feminine sexuality is not as focused on orgasm as is male (e.g., Cixous, 1988). However, it is also true that an important part of the post-60s feminist project has been a strong fight to see women's pleasure--and in particular women's orgasms--as important (Dell'Ollio, 1972). Counting orgasms provides a rough estimate of whose pleasure was presented most important in each scene. If a character were presented as a sexual object, his sexual pleasure would not be important.
After extensive discussion with coders of both genders after viewing sample tapes, and in order to distinguish between orgasms (or performance of orgasms) and general sounds of pleasure by female performers during sex, coders were instructed that "we are not here trying to work out if they 'really' have an orgasm; the question is diegetic." If women in the videos did not explicitly say "I'm coming," or words to that effect, then coders were instructed that "the best guide to whether a female character is supposed to have had an orgasm is post-coital sighing."
Kinds of sex acts. This measure was taken at the level of individual sex acts, rather than at the level of characters or scenes. It has been common in content analysis of pornography to pay attention to particular sexual acts (e.g., Cowan et al., 1988). This has also been a matter of ongoing public concern about pornography: that pornography is strongly focused on anal sex Noun 1. anal sex - intercourse via the anus, committed by a man with a man or woman
anal intercourse, buggery, sodomy
sexual perversion, perversion - an aberrant sexual practice; , bestiality Bestiality
See also Perversion.
Minotaur born to Pasiphaë and Cretan Bull. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 34]
raped by Zeus in form of swan. [Gk. Myth. , and sex with children (Hamilton, 2004). With regard to reciprocity, there is an issue about whether the sex acts being shown in pornography are those that are generally better for men's pleasure (e.g., missionary position missionary position
A position for sexual intercourse in which a woman and man lie facing each other, with the woman on the bottom and the man on the top. vaginal vag·i·nal
1. Of or relating to the vagina.
2. Relating to or resembling a sheath.
pertaining to the vagina, the tunica vaginalis testis, or to any sheath. penetration) or for women's pleasure (e.g., cunnilingus An act in which the female sexual organ is orally stimulated.
At Common Law, cunnilingus was not a crime. It is presently a crime in some jurisdictions and is usually treated as Sodomy. ). Although there is no statistical data on which sex acts are particularly pleasurable pleas·ur·a·ble
pleasur·a·bil for men and women, I recorded the amount of time spent on every sex act in the sample in the hope that this would be useful for public discussion about the genre and for other researchers interested in the ongoing analysis of pornography.
Previous content analyses have tended to note only the presence of particular sexual acts in scenes, not for how long they were practiced. One of the major innovations of this project was to collect this data in greater detail. Coders were given precise instructions on choosing which acts to code and how to time them:
In each scene, how long in seconds is spent on each of the following sexual practices? Focus only on the primary sexual act in each shot. Choose the primary sex act ... by [following] the conventions of framing and editing.
A taxonomy of 74 distinct sex acts was developed for the project (see Appendix 1).
Kinds of sex acts causing orgasms. As a further extension of the concept of penis worship, I developed another measure to take account of possible phallocentrism in pornography. Some writers argue that mainstream representations of sexuality are centered on the penis and that they continue the myth of the vaginal orgasm, the false belief that women should be able to orgasm purely from being penetrated by a penis (Dell'Ollio, 1972). If pornographic videos showed women having orgasms purely from penile penile /pe·nile/ (pe´nil) of or pertaining to the penis.
Of or relating to the penis.
of or pertaining to the penis. intromission, it could be argued that they were showing the sex act from the point of view of men, rather than as it is experienced by women. This would involve objectifying women under the criteria identified by Cowan and Dunn (1994). The coders thus noted the sex act that caused the orgasms in each scene in the videos.
I was aware of the generic expectation that the porn viewer will be able to see the orgasm. This means that men will often withdraw in order to ejaculate ejaculate /ejac·u·late/ (e-jak´u-lat) to expel suddenly, especially semen.
ejaculate /ejac·u·late/ (e-jak´u-lat , sometimes masturbating themselves while they do so. I specified that the coders not to code this as masturbation masturbation
Erotic stimulation of one's own genital organs, usually to achieve orgasm. Masturbatory behavior is common in infants and adolescents, and is indulged in by many adults as well. Studies indicate that over 90% of U.S. males and 60–80% of U.S. if it occurred for five seconds or less.
The measures described to this point have been more detailed and developed versions of previous measures, albeit with no attention to status inequality, and with an attempt to develop a more detailed account of terms, such as domination and penis worship, that have previously been left to the subjective judgement of coders. However, I also wanted to measure the objectification of characters more clearly by drawing on the tradition of film studies, which identifies some characters as subjects--agents, fully human with developed internal states--and others as objects--about whose inner lives we know nothing, and whose agency is not clear. This offers a valuable new approach to the study of objectification in pornography. As Wicke (2002) has argued, "Textual tex·tu·al
Of, relating to, or conforming to a text.
textu·al·ly adv. analysis is particularly useful in debates about pornography ... in isolating features of style and content which are shared with other forms of representation" (quoted in Attwood, 2002, p. 94). I developed five measures to take account of the processes of identification in the pornographic films.
Central characters. I used the film studies concept of "point of view," which suggests that stories are always told from the point of view of a particular character--the character from whose perspective we see the story. Coders were asked to identify the central character of each film, or the character from whose point of view the video was presented, only if one was obvious. A central character in a narrative film would be the one from whose perspective the story was told. In a documentary or amateur film, it could be a character who appeared in multiple scenes throughout the film. This measure took place at the level of the video as a whole; the rest of the measures of identification were developed at the level of character.
Naming. This measure stems from the idea that names are important signs of agency in human culture. To be granted a name is to be seen as a person with an identity; in contrast, being nameless is being not fully human. I examined whether characters were given names or remained as nameless bodies having sex in these videos.
I also drew on the film studies tradition of thinking about how filmic film·ic
Of, relating to, or characteristic of movies; cinematic.
filmi·cal·ly adv. devices are used to encourage us to see characters either as subjects with which to identify or objects at which to look. From his analysis of the history of representation of female nudes Berger (1972) argued,
Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women, but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyer of women in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object--and most particularly an object of vision: a sight (p. 47).
Mulvey expanded on this, arguing from her survey of mainstream Hollywood cinema that in audiovisual media, woman is "'image,' man is 'bearer of the look'" (1975/1990, p. 33). She noted that subjects in film tend to have agency and to drive the narrative, but visual strategies are used to create women as objects of the look. Many of these strategies are measurable, such as who is centered in the frame and who the camera follows, who is in focus, how characters are lit, and where the characters' gazes direct viewers' gazes (Mulvey).
I focused on two measurable elements in this project. The first was who looks at the camera in pornographic videos. This point has been articulated by Dyer (1982), who pointed out that the equation of looking and power is not straightforward. However, he drew attention to the way characters display their subjectivity by "returning the gaze," or looking back at the camera. This is now generally accepted in film studies as giving an insight into which characters are powerful (e.g., Hantke, 1998).
The second point I studied was the presence of speech in these films. Postcolonial post·co·lo·ni·al
Of, relating to, or being the time following the establishment of independence in a colony: postcolonial economics. theory has argued strongly for the importance of characters being allowed to speak for themselves in representations. This idea has been developed in relation to racist representation in film. It is argued that when characters speak in a film, they are showing personality, character, and subjectivity; members of dominated groups do not speak (Said, 1985; Spivak, 1988). Thus, if pornographic videos featured only men's voices, pleasures, and opinions, this would give the masculine MASCULINE. That which belongs to the male sex.
2. The masculine sometimes includes the feminine, vide an example under the article Man, and see also the articles Gender, Worthiest of blood; Poth. Intr. au titre 16, des Testamens et Donations Testamentaires, n. perspective more power.
From these insights, I developed three measures. Measuring such elements of the text is extremely reductive re·duc·tive
1. Of or relating to reduction.
2. Relating to, being an instance of, or exhibiting reductionism.
3. Relating to or being an instance of reductivism. and ignores the messy mess·y
adj. mess·i·er, mess·i·est
1. Disorderly and dirty: a messy bedroom.
2. Exhibiting or demonstrating carelessness: messy reasoning. textual details of how people speak, the tone of voice, how they hold their head, whether it sounds as though they mean what they say, and so on--all of the details that mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power. the ways in which viewers interpret audiovisual images in the real world. However, this is a requirement of content analysis--that measures be developed which can be quantified, even at the expense of accuracy in understanding how images might actually be interpreted (McKee, 2003).
Time spent talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to other character's. There are other ways to communicate apart from speaking, but measuring speech gives some sense of relative subjectivity, so coders measured how much talking each of the characters did. Instructions on this point were explicit, in order to focus on conversation that could reasonably be seen as expressing character and subjectivity:
Note length of time the character spent in conversation in course of the video. Do not count grunts, or exclamations like 'Oh, yes. harder,' or 'You like that?'
Time spent looking at the camera. I also measured how much interaction the characters had with the camera. When characters look at or speak to the camera, they acknowledge that they are being watched and thus express subjectivity.
Time spent speaking to the camera. Film studies tradition dictates that the most powerful form of interaction for suggesting agency in a film is when a character both looks at and talks directly to the camera. Coders thus measured how much time each character spent talking directly to the camera.
Violence in Pornography
As discussed above, I followed the model presented by Cowan et al. (1988) and measured violence as a subset of behaviors that suggest objectification. As with the case of degrading pornography, there is no clear definition of violence available to the researcher. Although this has been a key term in pornography research, no commonly agreed-upon definition exists as to what actions or forms of representation constitute violence.
Before attempting to isolate a workable definition of violence in pornography for this project, I thoroughly reviewed extant literature Extant literature refers to texts that have survived from the past to the present time. Extant literature can be divided into extant original manuscripts, copies of original manuscripts, quotations and paraphrases of passages of non-extant texts contained in other works, on the topic, as summarized below. There are three main traditions of analysis into pornography, violence, and effects on consumers: sex offender sex offender n. generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution. studies, aggregate studies and laboratory experiments.
In sex offender studies, researchers interview subjects who have committed sex crimes--including, though not always limited to, rape--and ask about their exposure to pornographic materials. This information is then compared with the pornographic consumption of non-offending control groups. It is generally agreed that these studies have demonstrated that rapists tend to use less pornography-both violent and non-violent--than control groups; and that, on average, they come from more sexually repressed re·pressed
Being subjected to or characterized by repression. backgrounds and are exposed to pornography at a later age (see Abel, Becker, & Mittleman, 1985; Gebhard, Gagnon, Pomeroy, & Christensen, 1965; Goldstein & Kant, 1973).
The methodology from sex offender studies has provided the most reliable data we currently possess about the effects of pornography on its users. Findings from such studies have proven consistent and replicable and there is little dispute about the interpretation of such data (for exceptions see Brannigan bran·ni·gan
1. A noisy or confused quarrel.
2. A drinking spree; a binge.
[Probably from the name Brannigan.] , 1991; Check & Malamuth, 1986). In contrast, the data generated by aggregate studies and laboratory studies are contradictory and highly contested. In aggregate studies, researchers compare the availability or consumption of pornographic material in a society with reported levels of sex crimes, particularly rape. Some aggregate studies show that in societies where pornographic material is more readily available, rates of reported rape drop, or at least rise less quickly than other forms of crime (e.g., Kutchinsky, 1991). However, other studies show that there is a correlation between availability of pornography and rape rates (e.g., Scott & Schwalm, 1988a). Possible explanations for these disjunctions include the distinction between availability and consumption, the presence of intervening variables An intervening variable is a hypothetical concept that attempts to explain relationships between variables, and especially the relationships between independent variables and dependent variables. , the fact that people consuming pornography are not demonstrably de·mon·stra·ble
1. Capable of being demonstrated or proved: demonstrable truths.
2. Obvious or apparent: demonstrable lies. the same people as those committing sexual violence, and the fact that evidence is being interpreted in multiple, contradictory ways. Aggregate studies are now falling from favor because of these problems.
Laboratory studies face similar difficulties: 30 years of research have produced contradictory results and no consensus about the effects of violent pornography on individual behavior (Fisher & Grenier, 1994). Problems include the fact that data are open to multiple, contradictory interpretations (Brannigan, 1987); the possibility of mediating variables, such as the reactions of victims in the films (Donnerstein & Berkowitz, 1981); and the issue of the ecological validity
A key issue in previous laboratory studies has been the failure of researchers "to arrive at a suitable operational definition of media violence, or a suitable definition of what constitutes aggressive behavior" (Donnerstein et al., 1987, p. 18). As Gossett and Byrne pointed out, "Researchers vary in how to classify clas·si·fy
tr.v. clas·si·fied, clas·si·fy·ing, clas·si·fies
1. To arrange or organize according to class or category.
2. To designate (a document, for example) as confidential, secret, or top secret. certain depicted de·pict
tr.v. de·pict·ed, de·pict·ing, de·picts
1. To represent in a picture or sculpture.
2. To represent in words; describe. See Synonyms at represent. acts as violent, aggressive and coercive co·er·cive
Characterized by or inclined to coercion.
co·ercive·ly adv. " (2002, p. 693). It is difficult to find a laboratory study about the effects of violent pornography in which researchers state their definition of violence and test the validity of that definition.
Although it is more common to find definitions of violence in content analyses, there is no standard definition, and there is much contradiction in the literature. Two points of disagreement stand out (although they are rarely discussed explicitly). The first is the issue of consent. Some writers feel that consensual sex should not be counted as violence, even if it is physically aggressive (Baron, as quoted in Donnerstein et al., 1987). However, such opinions have been in the minority; most researchers tend to code all physically aggressive sexual acts as violence, even if they are consensual, as in sadomasochistic practises (e.g., Barron & Kimmel, 2000; Dietz & Sears, 1988; Palys, 1986). Other authors use a mixture of these approaches (Cowan, et al., 1988; Monk-Turner & Purcell, 1999).
For this research, I followed the model set out by Donnerstein et al. (1987) in relation to violence:
The majority of social scientists have agreed on a definition of violence.... One of the leading researchers in the field of aggression, Robert Baron, has summarized the definition acceptable to most social scientists and implicit in most research on the effects of violent pornography: 'Any form of behavior directed toward the goal of harm; or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment' (p. 18).
Thus, I did not count consensual acts of sadomasochism sadomasochism /sa·do·ma·so·chism/ (sa?do-mas´o-kizm) a state characterized by both sadistic and masochistic tendencies.sadomasochis´tic
n. , bondage BONDAGE. Slavery. , and domination as violence, because they include no intent to harm and no motivation to avoid such treatment (Schramm-Evans, 1995).
A point of possible confusion must be addressed here. Previous research on pornography has shown particular concern about those scenarios in which a woman is forced into non-consensual sexual acts, but then begins to enjoy her own rape, portraying a character who "has been sexually assaulted and eventually appears to be aroused by the assault" (Fisher & Grenier, 1994, p. 32). Such representations are troubling, since "this positive reaction on the part of the victim justifies aggression and reduces inhibitions [in viewers]" (Donnerstein, 1984, p. 69). These scenes support the "rape myth" that women want to be forced into sex (Burt, 1980).
However, this is not the same thing as consensual sadomasochist sa·do·mas·o·chism
The combination of sadism and masochism, in particular the deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse. or bondage and domination/discipline acts, and must not be confused with them. In sadomasochistic and consensual B&D scenes, there is no point at which consent is not clear: all participants make it explicit that they are willing participants at all points in the process. There is no initial non-consent which might encourage a spectator Spectator, English daily periodical published jointly by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele with occasional contributions from other writers. It succeeded the Tatler, a periodical begun by Steele on Apr. 12, 1709, under the pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff. to think that people might enjoy being forced to do things which they say they do not want to do. There is no point at which it is suggested to viewers that "No" actually means "Yes." In sadomasochistic scenes, explicitly, "Yes" means "Yes" (Albury, 2002a).
The second point of disagreement in previous research into violence in pornography is how expansively ex·pan·sive
1. Capable of expanding or tending to expand.
2. Broad in size or extent; comprehensive: expansive police powers.
3. one should understand violence. Should the concept include only physical force, or should it include verbal and emotional force (Cowan et al., 1988)? Should it include putting people into awkward situations (Cowan & Campbell, 1994), anything that causes physical or social discomfort, or any kind of physical contact that is not explicitly gentle and tender (Dines et al., 1998)? There is no agreement on these questions in the literature.
With an awareness of this tradition of research, I aimed in this analysis to produce measures of violence which were as detailed in description and execution as possible. To this end, I drew on previous research to identify three familiar areas of violence: physical violence, measured by number of scenes including non-consensual physical sexual violence; verbal violence, measured by number of scenes including non-consensual use of sexually violent language; and coerced sex that does not necessarily involve physical or verbal force, measured by number of scenes including other forms of non-consensual sex.
I believe that this is the first study to make explicit the issue of consent in relation to violence. I also made explicit the limits of what would be coded as violence. The definition of violent actions comprised physical or verbal attacks which were obviously not consensual and therefore included an element of desire to harm (including emotional harm) other participants. In deciding what counted as violence, I drew on the work of a number of previous researchers. My basic definition fitted that of Baron, as quoted above: "Any form of behavior directed toward the goal of harm; or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment." This made it possible to measure violence objectively by drawing the attention of coders to a number of exclusions from the category of violence.
"Isolated moments of rough sex play" were defined for coders as including those moments: "where a character may throw another on to a bed, push him back against a wall, etc., while the character being pushed laughs or makes clear in another way that he is enjoying this."
To exclude consensual sadomasochistic practices, I provided a detailed definition of sadomasochistic scenes for coders in the following terms:
Sadomasochistic scenes are obviously generic and consensual. Recognizable sadomasochistic tropes will often be employed-referring to 'the mind as the ultimate sexual organ,' characters referring to each other as 'Miss' or 'Master,' instructions that characters must not use their hands, explicit and forceful instructions as to sexual practice, the use of iconography such as leather, shoes, whips, etc. Such scenes are not counted as 'sexual violence,' even though they may include isolated moments which are, in the strictest sense, violent--for example, isolated slaps, shoves, pokes, etc.
However, coders were also informed that if at any point a sadomasochistic scene appeared to be non-consensual, or if it inflicted real bodily damage, then it should be coded as sexual violence. Although occasionally sadomasochistic scenes will involve cutting, branding, or piercing, this is rare in mainstream pornography, and such behavior suggests the possibility that the scene may have progressed beyond S&M. Coders were instructed,
The one exception to this taxonomy is if a sadomasochistic scene involves an act which is more violent than one would expect, to the point where it conceivably caused lasting injury--for example, a punch in the face or a cut that leads to bleeding. Such acts SHOULD be counted as sexual violence.
Sexually rough language was defined for coders as
language that would be insulting outside of the sexual context: e.g., 'you're a whore, what are you? Tell me what you are. You're a whore!' Don't include expletives used outside of the sexual context. Don't include simply saying 'Fuck' during sex--the category is reserved for language that is explicitly addressed to another person.
Coders had to note for each scene where sexually rough language appeared whether the character at whom it was addressed appeared to be pleased by it or offended of·fend
v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends
1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.
2. by it. In those instances where they were pleased, it was taken to be consensual and not defined as violence. In those instances where they were upset, it was coded as a violent act.
I included the category of "scenes including other forms of non-consensual sex" in order to capture any moments when it seems that characters were being forced into particular acts that they may not want to do, even if they were not being subjected to physical violence. This category made the coding was as inclusive as possible in picking up any non-consensuality in sexual acts in these videos:
Include in this category any character who states that he or she doesn't want to partake in a particular sexual practice and is then forced to do so; any restraint forcing someone to remain within a sexual scene, outside of obviously consensual sadomasochistic roleplaying; any character who appears to be unhappy performing a given sexual act even if he does not explicitly say so; and any actor who appears to be unhappy performing a given sexual act even if he does not explicitly say so.
Three coders worked on this project. All were graduate students at the University of Queensland The University of Queensland (UQ) is the longest-established university in the state of Queensland, Australia, a member of Australia's Group of Eight, and the Sandstone Universities. It is also a founding member of the international Universitas 21 organisation. , and all were in their twenties and White. Two were female and one was male; one was heterosexual heterosexual /het·ero·sex·u·al/ (-sek´shoo-al)
1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or directed toward the opposite sex.
2. one who is sexually attracted to persons of the opposite sex. and two were homosexual. Both of the women had some familiarity with sexually explicit materials Sexually explicit material (video, photography, creative writing) presents sexual content without deliberately obscuring or censoring it. The term sexually explicit media is often used as euphemism for pornography. from their own research projects; the man had less familiarity. The coders met with the project leader for several sessions in which they were talked through the elements being measured and practiced these as a group. They were provided with pictorial reference material for coding physical aspects of actors' bodies.
All three coders coded a randomly chosen video from the sample--Nineteen--in order to test inter-coder reliability. For the nominal ratings, the appropriate measure of inter-rater reliability Inter-rater reliability, Inter-rater agreement, or Concordance is the degree of agreement among raters. It gives a score of how much , or consensus, there is in the ratings given by judges. is the multi-rater kappa Kappa
Used in regression analysis, Kappa represents the ratio of the dollar price change in the price of an option to a 1% change in the expected price volatility.
Remember, the price of the option increases simultaneously with the volatility. , as described by Siegel and Castellan cas·tel·lan
The keeper or governor of a castle.
[Middle English castelain, from Norman French, from Medieval Latin castell (1988). The multi-rater kappa is an extension of the more usual Cohen's (1960) kappa beyond just two raters. For the variables which used continuous measurement (the time-based measurements), an intraclass correlation In statistics, the intraclass correlation (or the intraclass correlation coefficient) is a measure of correlation, consistency or conformity for a data set when it has multiple groups. was used (McGraw & Wong, 1996).
Tests of reliability for the nominal ratings revealed that four of the variables had multi-rater kappas of below .75 (age, body type, breast/penis size, and plastic surgery); these were discarded from the analysis. The discrepancies between coders for these variables may have arisen because each of these categories relied on making fine distinctions across a continuum. In contrast, intercoder reliability was high for those variables where coders were measuring the presence or absence of a factor. On the questions of whether characters were named, who initiates sex in a scene, whether there was sexual violence, sex without consent, who had orgasms, and which sex acts caused orgasms, multi-rater kappas were all 1.
For the variables using continuous measurement, reliability on time spent talking to other people was analysed as an intra-class correlation of over .9; time spent looking at the camera without talking had an intra-class correlation of 1; and time spent talking to the camera had an intra-class correlation of close to 1. Reliability on time spent in particular sex acts was analysed as an intra-class correlation of .85.
Of the 838 scenes, 196 (23.4%) did not contain sex. Of the 642 that did, 198 (30.8%) of them had sex initiated by women; 110 (17.1%) had sex initiated by men. Forty-seven (7.3%) had sex initiated by both or all participants equally; and 287 (44.7%) opened after sex had been initiated. More women initiated sex (including both/all, 38.1% of scenes) than did men (24.5%).
Coders found that in 102 of the 642 sex scenes (15.9%), no characters had orgasms. In 51 cases (7.9%), all characters had orgasms, and in 23 cases (3.6%), some characters of each gender (but not all characters) had orgasms. In 25 cases, only women had orgasms in the scene (3.9%). However, in a majority (436 cases, 68%) of scenes, only male characters had orgasms. In three cases (0.5%), only intersexed characters had orgasms. In 79.5% of sex scenes, a male character had an orgasm (bearing in mind that some scenes will be lesbian scenes), while women clearly had orgasms in only 15.4% of scenes. Table 1 shows the most common sex acts in the sample, including all of those featured for over an hour. Penile/vaginal penetration was the most popular act, although missionary position was not the most common position. Oral sex was also popular, although it was more common for women to give oral sex. This observation is in agreement with Dines et al. (1998), who found that "the scenes of men performing cunnilingus, if they appeared at all, were shorter in duration than those of women performing fellatio A sexual act in which a male places his penis into the mouth of another person.
At Common Law, fellatio was considered a crime against nature. It was classified as a felony and punishable by imprisonment and/or death. " (p. 77). The wide range of sex acts presented is also notable.
Table 2 shows the most common causes of orgasms differentiated by gender. In this sample, male characters had many more orgasms than female characters. The most common causes of both male and female orgasms were penile-vaginal intercourse INTERCOURSE. Communication; commerce; connexion by reciprocal dealings between persons or nations, as by interchange of commodities, treaties, contracts, or letters. and masturbation.
Coders identified 1,494 characters in the 50 videos. About 52% of the characters were female, and 47% were male; the rest consisted of hermaphrodite hermaphrodite (hərmăf`rədīt'), animal or plant that normally possesses both male and female reproductive systems, producing both eggs and sperm. , transsexual trans·sex·u·al
A person who strongly identifies with the opposite gender and who chooses to live as a member of the opposite gender or to become one by surgery.
1. Of or relating to such a person.
2. , and drag queen drag queen Female impersonator, gynemimetic Sexology A ♂ with ♀ affect–often 'overplayed'; a ♂ homosexual and ♀ wannabe, with ♂ genitalia; DQs may take hormones to ↑ breasts, and thus are hormonally, but not surgically characters.
More than half (54%) of the videos had no central character and were not filmed from a specific viewpoint. Twenty percent were presented from the point of view of a central male character, and 20% were presented from the point of view of a central female character; 6% were structured around two central characters, one male and one female.
Most characters in the videos did not have names: 1,158 out of 1,494 (77.5%) were nameless. Broken down by gender, 592 female characters (76.0%) and 549 (78.9%) male characters were nameless. Table 3 shows the extent to which characters were "given voice" in the videos. A slightly larger percentage of men than women spoke to other characters, but each spoke for slightly less time than the women who spoke. More female characters looked at the camera for slightly longer than each male character did. Neither of these differences was large. One notable difference was that many more women spoke to the camera and for longer than male characters.
In the sample of 838 scenes, coders identified seven scenes which contained physical sexual violence. All featured male violence against women. Coders also identified one scene where sexually violent language was used between two women. Eight scenes featured other forms of non-consensual sex. In five of these, men forced women into non-consensual acts. In two, women forced men. In the eighth, a man and a woman forced another woman into a non-consensual act. Thus, a total of 16 scenes (1.9%) featured some form of violence. In 13 scenes (1.6%), men were violent to men or women; in four (0.5%), women were violent to men.
It is difficult to make meaningful comparisons of results between different content analyses of pornographic material because there has been little standardization standardization
In industry, the development and application of standards that make it possible to manufacture a large volume of interchangeable parts. Standardization may focus on engineering standards, such as properties of materials, fits and tolerances, and drafting of measures. Previous studies have used a variety of names for measures--objectification, degradation, dehumanization, dominance, violence, and so on--and have defined these measures in contradictory ways. I chose not to code particular acts, like anal sex or the use of toys, as being degrading or dehumanizing (unlike, for example, Dietz & Sears, 1988). Similarly, I did not analyze status inequalities (as did Cowan & Campbell, 1994), since research has shown that this is not a valid measure of degradation (Cowan & Dunn, 1994). Rather, I measured objectification by looking at elements of pornographic texts under three broad headings: reciprocity, identification, and violence. I had hoped to measure stereotyping, but intercoder reliability was too low to be useful for the relevant measures.
Previous researchers have measured the presence or absence of reciprocity as a single variable, often named "dominance." Detailed definitions of the textual features that would count as dominance, beyond the presence of status inequalities, are rarely provided; often coders are instructed to respond to the tone or the feel of a scene. This may explain the wide range of previous findings. Palys (1986) found that in Triple X porn, 13.7% of the sex scenes are imbalanced; and in adult porn, 15.4%. Monk-Turner and Purcell (1999) reported that 39% of sex scenes in pornographic videos involve subordination. Cowan et al. (1988) reported that 52% of sex scenes involved either dominance or exploitation. Barron and Kimmel (2000) measured patterns of dominance and submission in pornographic magazines, videos and the Usenet and found that in magazines, 69.5% of scenes are "egalitarian," and in videos, 80.8% are reciprocal; in the Usenet, only 49.3% of scenes are reciprocal. Rather than taking reciprocity as a single variable to be assessed by coders, I measured a number of distinct textual features which would make the presence or absence of reciprocity visible.
The fact that women in pornographic videos initiate sex more often than men has led to concerns that the genre provides an unrealistic vision of women's sexuality. It also makes clear that, in the terms of this research, women in pornography are presented not as sexual objects but as active sexual subjects. However, taking into account of how little women's pleasure is addressed in these videos, there is more cause for concern; women in pornographic videos are less likely to have orgasms than are men.
In analyzing the sexual acts presented in mainstream pornography in Australia, I noted the wide range of sexual acts that were included; the genre is not as "phallocentric phal·lo·cen·tric
Centered on men or on a male viewpoint, especially one held to entail the domination of women by men.
[phall(us) + -centric. " as some of its critics fear, in the sense of defining sex only as penile intromission intromission /in·tro·mis·sion/ (-mish´un) the entrance of one part into another.
The act or process of intromitting. in the vagina vagina: see reproductive system.
Genital canal in females. Together with the cavity of the uterus, it forms the birth canal. In most virgins, its external opening is partially closed by a thin fold of tissue (hymen), which has various forms, (Dworkin, 1981). I found over 60 distinct sexual acts even in mainstream pornography (which, in accordance Accordance is Bible Study Software for Macintosh developed by OakTree Software, Inc.
As well as a standalone program, it is the base software packaged by Zondervan in their Bible Study suites for Macintosh. with Australian law, does not include such specialized spe·cial·ize
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es
1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.
2. tastes as golden showers golden shower: see senna. ), including vaginal, anal, and oral sex, rimming, slapping slapping,
n massage technique that uses the flat palms of the hands percussively; a form of tapotement. See also tapotement. the face with the penis, masturbating a man with breasts, hand jobs, frottage frottage
Technique of obtaining an impression of a raised, incised, or textured surface by placing a piece of paper over it and rubbing it with a soft pencil or crayon. , use of dildos, vibrators, and buttplugs, cross dressing Noun 1. cross dressing - the practice of adopting the clothes or the manner or the sexual role of the opposite sex
practice, pattern - a customary way of operation or behavior; "it is their practice to give annual raises"; "they , foot worship, panty sniffing sniff
v. sniffed, sniff·ing, sniffs
a. To inhale a short, audible breath through the nose, as in smelling something.
b. To sniffle.
2. , voyeurism Voyeurism
See also Eavesdropping.
turned into stag for watching Artemis bathe. [Gk. Myth.: Leach, 8]
elders of Babylon
watch Susanna bathe. , and more. There were no animals or children involved in any sex scenes; there is no bestiality or pedophilia pedophilia, psychosexual disorder in which there is a preference for sexual activity with prepubertal children. Pedophiles are almost always males. The children are more often of the opposite sex (about twice as often) and are typically 13 years or age or younger; in the mainstream of Australian pornography.
In thinking about whether women are regarded as sexual subjects in these videos rather than passive sexual objects, it is important that, although penile/vaginal intromission remains the most common sexual act in the sample (with a total of 37 hours, 6 minutes, and 3 seconds in the sample), the missionary Missionary
converts savages to Christianity. [Fr. Lit.: Atala]
missionary to the German infidels in 8th century. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 271]
Davidson, Rev. position--which is generally agreed to provide least direct pleasure to the woman (Dell'Ollio, 1972)--is by far the least popular form. Doggy-style sex and woman-on-top, both of which are generally agreed to provide more clitoral clitoral
pertaining to or emanating from the clitoris.
may occur in Cushing's syndrome as a result of increased androgens produced by a hyperplastic or neoplastic adrenal cortex. stimulation for women, are much more popular. Although women have fewer orgasms in these videos, I suggest that in this way they are not regarded as sexual objects whose own pleasure is unimportant un·im·por·tant
Not important; petty.
unim·portance n. .
The next most common sexual act was oral sex. There was an important disparity dis·par·i·ty
n. pl. dis·par·i·ties
1. The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree; difference: "narrow the economic disparities among regions and industries" in gender representation: women performed oral sex on men far more than men performed oral sex on women. This may represent an overvaluing of male over female sexual pleasure in these videos. Adding woman-on-woman oral sex (there were only three examples of man-on-man oral sex in these 838 scenes, which lasted for a combined total of 43 seconds), there was a total of 7 hours, 33 minutes, and 58 seconds spent on oral sex on women--about half of the time spent on men. The presence of lesbian sexual activity in these videos is worth noting. This compares with Dietz and Sears' (1988) listing of the most popular sexual acts presented on book, magazine, and video covers, which has fellatio at the top of the list (21.9%), followed by penile/anal penetration (11.7%), then penile/vaginal intromission (7.0%), cunnilingus (6.9%), masturbation (4.5%), and penetration by inanimate objects Inanimate Objects
the study of inanimate things.
the assignment to inanimate objects, forces, and plants of personalities and wills, but not souls. — animatistic, adj. (2.9%).
The largest group of female orgasms in the sample was provided by forms of penile/vaginal penetration: a total of 38 orgasms (27.0% of female orgasms). But only three of these were caused by traditional missionary position penetration (2.1%). Twelve orgasms (8.5% of total female orgasms) were caused by doggy-style penetration, eight (5.7%) by the woman-on-top position, and 15 (10.6%) by other penetrative pen·e·tra·tive
1. Tending to penetrate; penetrant.
2. Displaying keen insight; acute.
Adj. 1. penetrative situations. Penetrative anal sex caused 12 orgasms (8.5%), and vaginal penetration by dildo dil·do or dil·doe
n. pl. dil·dos or dil·does
An object that is shaped like and is used as a substitute for an erect penis. caused 15 (10.6%).
Although these traditional forms of heterosexual sex were privileged, they were not unchallenged as the provider of female pleasure. Other forms of sex which researchers have argued are more suitable to providing female pleasure are also an important part of pornography's representation of sex. Masturbation provided women with 32 orgasms in the sample (22.5%). If clitoral and vaginal rubbing rubbing,
v creating friction and heat by drawing the hands across the body at varying speeds, rhythms, and depths. Benefits include muscle elongation, tension release, and increased flexibility. are included, a total of 40 orgasms for women resulted from non-penetrative genital genital /gen·i·tal/ (jen´i-t'l)
1. pertaining to reproduction, or to the reproductive organs.
2. (in the plural) the reproductive organs.
1. stimulation--more than were caused by penile penetration. Cunnilingus further provided 23 orgasms (16.2%) in the sample; 17 (12.0%) occurred due to cunnilingus performed by a woman, and 6 (4.2%) resulted from cunnilingus performed by a man. Although there is no agreed-upon scale with which to measure how much attention is paid to women's pleasure in sex, I suggest that the above figures demonstrate that the many of the sex acts in pornography pay attention to women's pleasure.
For men, the single most important cause of orgasm (even when all penile/vaginal penetrative positions are added together) was male masturbation, causing 241 orgasms (38.4%). When hand jobs (masturbation by another character--43 orgasms) are included in this total, masturbation caused 283, or 45.0%, of male orgasms n. 1. An orgasm in a male animal accompanied by the ejaculation of semen.
Noun 1. male orgasm - an orgasm accompanied by the sensation of ejaculation of semen in these videos. This was true even when coders were instructed not to code as masturbation those scenes where men withdrew from penetration and quickly "finished themselves off."
The second most popular causes of orgasm were the vaginal/penile penetrative positions; together these caused 205 orgasms (32.6%). The most common position was doggy-style (35 cases, 5.6%); missionary was the next popular with 15 (2.4%), and then woman-on-top with 11 (1.8%). Various other innovative penetrative positions provided 144 male orgasms (22.9% of all male orgasms). Anal sex with a woman provided 77 orgasms (12.3%); oral sex on a man by a woman provided 50 (8.0%). Again, this suggests that the sample is not straightforwardly phallocentric in its presentation of sex. Although penile/vaginal intromission was important, masturbation was more important; and even within the penetrative acts, the missionary position was not the most common.
These measures provide us with data relevant to the ongoing concern in both experimental and content analysis work about the issue of dominance or inequality in pornographic representations. There was not full equality in the attention paid to male and female pleasure. However, it is equally clear that women's pleasure was not ignored in these videos. There is a degree of reciprocity in pleasure-giving--and thus, a lack of dominance or inequality--in this sample of mainstream pornographic videos.
The second set of measures addressing concerns about objectification in pornography were those which dealt with the issue of identification. I looked at whether the viewer was encouraged to see characters as subjects or objects in each video. Again, the measures were developed from the concerns of previous writing, but rather than taking objectification to be a single variable to be coded, I identified various textual features which make clear whether characters were subjectified or objectified.
I did not find gender differentiation in the numbers of central characters in the films. This was also true of the naming of characters; almost all characters in these videos were "objectified" in this sense (not being supplied with names). There appears to be no gender differentiation in the presentation of characters' speech to each other. Slightly fewer female than male characters spoke in the videos, but the mean of female speaking time was slightly longer. These are minor differences, however. In a general content analysis such as this study, it is not possible to analyze in detail what was said by the characters--but, as shown above, the coders were instructed to exclude speech which was merely expressions of pleasure at what was being done to somebody. I can state with confidence that the female characters are not presented as silent, passive objects. This is an invitation to identify with female characters as subjects.
More female than male characters "returned the gaze" by looking directly at the camera. The mean amount of time spent looking at the camera by each character of each gender is almost the same, however. Most characters-male and female--did not return the gaze. However, more female characters than male characters spoke directly to the camera (over three times as many), and they spoke for longer (almost six times as long). Although speaking to the camera--the ultimate example of agency in a video--is unusual in popular pornographic videos, in those instances where it does occur, women are more likely to take this powerful role and are likely to do so for longer than men. Again, we are thus invited to identify with the female characters in these tapes as subjects.
By analyzing reciprocity and identification in these videos, I found data that is relevant to ongoing concerns in the literature that pornography degrades or dehumanizes female characters, either through dominance or through a specific form of objectification which denies human agency. It is clear from the data that mainstream Australian pornographic videos do not objectify ob·jec·ti·fy
tr.v. ob·jec·ti·fied, ob·jec·ti·fy·ing, ob·jec·ti·fies
1. To present or regard as an object: "Because we have objectified animals, we are able to treat them impersonally" women more than men.
The measure in this study of 1.9% of scenes featuring violence is lower than has been discovered by some other researchers. As noted above, there has been little consensus about the definition of violence in content analyses of pornography, and this may be part of the explanation of the conflicting results of different studies. Another possible explanation is differences between media. Scott and Cuvelier's (1993) analysis of magazine pornography found that 3.13% of cartoons were sexually violent on average each year, and 2.79% of all pictorials were either violent or sexually violent; Malamuth and Spinner's (1980) analysis of magazine pornography found that 10% of cartoons and 5% of the pictures contained sexual violence. Estimates of violence in pornographic movies range from 4.88% (Yang yang (yang) [Chinese] in Chinese philosophy, the active, positive, masculine principle that is complementary to yin; see yin, under principle. & Linz, 1990) to 23% (Cowan et al., 1988). Dietz and Sears (1988) found that a total of 12.7% of book, magazine, and video covers depicted violence. Barron and Kimmell (2000) found violence in 24.8% of magazine scenes, 26.9% of video scenes, and 42.1% of Usenet scenes.
Since there has been so little agreement in previous studies, which have found that between 3.13% and 42.1% of scenes are sexually violent in a variety of media, I do not feel a strong need to justify the variance between previous findings and my own. However, two points are worth mentioning. Firstly, the legislative context in Australia must be borne in mind. Although sexually-explicit videos can legally be bought throughout Australia by people over the age of 18, since changes to the country's classification system in 2000, it is illegal for any sexually-explicit scene in a video to contain violence. The instances of violence which were identified in this sample must therefore be explained by my definition of violence being more inclusive than that employed by the Australian government (e.g., coding aggressive speech as violence). Secondly, as discussed in the literature review, many previous researchers have chosen to include consensual bondage, domination, and sadomasochistic acts as violence. Since I excluded consensual acts from this study's definition of violence, I did not code these acts of violent.
Seven scenes from the sample depicted physical sexual violence; one scene was clearly non-consensual, and in the other six, it was unclear. Five of the seven scenes of physical violence come from videos that were specifically aimed at female viewers. It is also worth noting that one of the scenes was explicitly a fantasy scene.
There was one scene in the videos analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. that included violent language (where there was no reciprocity or pleasure). This can be contrasted with Cowan et al.'s (1988) finding that 28% of pornographic scenes included verbal dominance, or "verbal demands and commands" (p. 305), but without attention to consent or reciprocity. Again, it is notable that the violent language occured in a video meant for couples, with high production values Production values is a media term for "production cost." It refers to the professional look, or "polish," of a production. Factors that affect perceived production value may include video and audio quality, lighting, number of errors, and amount and quality of special effects. , marketed to women as well as men.
Eight scenes included other forms of non-consenting sexual contact. Five showed men forcing women, two showed women forcing men, and one showed a male/female couple forcing a woman. Three of these scenes were from videos marketed to women, and two of them were explicitly fantasy scenes.
Three of the moments of sexual violence in the sample of 50 tapes occur in a single video: Debbie Does Dallas (1978). This is the only video that shows a woman being spanked against her will and starting to enjoy it. This variation on the "rape" theme has vanished from recent pornography. In fact, in comparing the original Debbie Does Dallas with its sequel, Debbie Does Dallas '99, it seems that pornography has changed remarkably over the two decades. The storyline Noun 1. storyline - the plot of a book or play or film
plot - the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.; "the characters were well drawn but the plot was banal" of the latter video features women embracing their sexuality and being empowered by it. In contrast, in the original Debbie Does Dallas, a cheerleading The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. team wanted to raise money to travel to see their team play, so they took on a variety of low-paying, humiliating hu·mil·i·ate
tr.v. hu·mil·i·at·ed, hu·mil·i·at·ing, hu·mil·i·ates
To lower the pride, dignity, or self-respect of. See Synonyms at degrade. jobs to make money, many of which lead to sexual encounters they did not enjoy.
Debbie Does Dallas was the oldest tape in the sample; the rest of the videos that provided production dates were all produced after 1990. More recent tapes tell very different stories. In couples tapes such as Conquest (1996), which tells the story of a headstrong head·strong
1. Determined to have one's own way; stubbornly and often recklessly willful. See Synonyms at obstinate, unruly.
2. Resulting from willfulness and obstinacy. young woman who joins a pirate ship, the female characters are at the center of the story; they drive the narrative by seeking out and enjoying sexual pleasure. Search for the Snow Leopard snow leopard
Endangered species ( Uncia uncia;) of nocturnal long-haired cat that inhabits the high mountains of Central Asia and India. It is about 6 ft (1.8 m) long, including the 3-ft (1-m) tail, stands about 2 ft (0. (1998) tells of an internationally-successful female anthropologist who leaves her partner, who constricts both her career and her sexuality, to travel the world and rediscover Re`dis`cov´er
v. t. 1. To discover again.
Verb 1. rediscover - discover again; "I rediscovered the books that I enjoyed as a child" sexual pleasure. These tapes are the current best-sellers. Recently-produced mainstream pornographic tapes do not show women being abused; the narrative trope trope
1. A figure of speech using words in nonliteral ways, such as a metaphor.
2. A word or phrase interpolated as an embellishment in the sung parts of certain medieval liturgies. of a woman learning to enjoy her own rape has vanished from mainstream pornography.
Of the sample's 16 violent scenes, nine occured in videos marketed to women; four were set in explicit fantasy environments. These points may be related: much popular women's fiction Women's fiction is an umbrella term for a wide-ranging collection of literary sub-genres that are marketed to female readers, including many mainstream novels, romantic fiction, "chick lit," and other sub genres. is set in melodramatic mel·o·dra·mat·ic
1. Having the excitement and emotional appeal of melodrama: "a melodramatic account of two perilous days spent among the planters" Frank O. Gatell. , or explicitly fantastic situations. This may be a gendered address in pornography, where it is material aimed at women that is more likely to include violence. Rocco Siffredi, whose videos are responsible for three of the seven physically violent moments, is the most popular male porn star with female audiences (Albury, 2002b). Only two of the violent acts come from tapes primarily marketed to straight men. This raises interesting questions about the relationship between sex, aggression, and gender in 21st century Western countries.
This analysis of 50 of the best-selling pornographic videos in Australia shows that women are not objectified in this genre more than men. Of the 12 measures used in this study, seven can be analyzed to measure gendered differentiation of objectification in pornography. I excluded the kinds of sex acts, and sex acts causing orgasm from this part of the analysis; this data is important and suggestive sug·ges·tive
a. Tending to suggest; evocative: artifacts suggestive of an ancient society.
b. but cannot be compared in this way, since no scale quantifies the pleasure different sex acts cause each gender. I also excluded measures of violence from gendered comparison, since they are too uncommon in the sample to allow meaningful comparison of gender roles.
Of these seven measures, one shows women being more objectified than men (presence of orgasms, where women have fewer orgasms). Three show men being more objectified than women (in time spent looking at camera, where men return the gaze less; in time spent talking to the camera, where they are also less engaged; and in initiating sex, where men are more sexual objects than active sexual subjects in seeking their sexual pleasure in the sample). Three measures showed no large difference in objectification between men and women (naming, central characters, and time spent talking to other characters).
I hope these results will reassure re·as·sure
tr.v. re·as·sured, re·as·sur·ing, re·as·sures
1. To restore confidence to.
2. To assure again.
3. To reinsure. critics who are worried about the content of pornography. Although the internet is emerging as a source of pornography, videos and DVDs remain the central medium. In the mainstream of pornographic videos in Australia, I found no bestiality, no children involved in sexual situations, and a very small amount of violence. The majority of scenes containing violence came from videos which were explicitly marketed to women. Overall, women were no more objectified than men in the mainstream of pornography.
This is the first study to survey and attempt to reconcile the measures employed in previous content analyses of pornography. By choosing to use the term objectification as the concept under which various other forms of undesirable representation (including violence) can be measured, I have offered a potentially useful new approach to the analysis of pornography. It allows for analyses that are sensitive to the specificity of filmic representations, that work within accepted social science definition of aggression, and that can be easily articulated to ongoing public debates about the genre. I hope that other researchers will use this approach to provide a more detailed understanding of the workings of pornography across media and across cultures. For example, how objectifying are different media genres in their presentation of gender (comparing genres such as visual art, art films, mainstream films, advertising, fashion, and pornography)? Are there differences in levels of objectification in different genres of pornography, including amateur, couples, and traditional pornography?
It would be particularly interesting to explore this study's discovery that the majority of sexually-violent scenes occurred in videos aimed specifically at women. Can this result be replicated? And finally, is the objectification of characters in pornography handled the same way in different national cultures, with particular reference to European countries?
APPENDIX 1. TAXONOMY OF SEX ACTS USED IN CODING (1)
01: Anal penetration of man, by man (digital)
02: Anal penetration of man, by woman (digital)
03: Anal penetration of woman, by man (digital)
04: Anal penetration of woman, by woman (digital)
05: Anal penetration of man, by man (penis)
06: Anal penetration of woman, by man (penis)
08: Biting biting
pertaining to the characteristic behavior of performing a bite.
see species of the insect suborder mallophaga.
insects of the family ceratopogonidae. or chewing chewing
Up-and-down and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw, using the teeth to grind food for easier swallowing. During chewing, the tongue shapes food into a lump and saliva lubricates it for swallowing. of body parts other than those specified elsewhere
09: Oral sex on man, including sucking sucking
the application of suction to an object by the mouth.
instinctive enthusiasm of the neonate to suck on a teat, or any object which even remotely resembles a teat. testicles Testicles
Also called testes or gonads, they are part of the male reproductive system, and are located beneath the penis in the scrotum.
Mentioned in: Testicular Cancer, Testicular Surgery, Vasectomy , by man
10: Oral sex on man, including sucking testicles, by woman
13: Buttplug use
14: Candle wax Candle wax may refer to the following substances when used to make candles:
15: Clitoral rubbing
18: Dildo use (including penetration and sucking, hand held)
19: Dildo use (including penetration and sucking, strapped strapped
In financial need: We are strapped for cash right now.
strapped for Slang on)
20: Double penetration, anal (man)
21: Double penetration, anal (woman)
22: Double penetration, vaginal
23: Enema enema /en·e·ma/ (en´e-mah) [Gr.] a solution introduced into the rectum to promote evacuation of feces or as a means of introducing nutrients, medicinal substances, or opaque material for radiologic examination of the lower intestinal
24: Exhibitionism exhibitionism /ex·hi·bi·tion·ism/ (ek?si-bish´in-izm) a paraphilia marked by recurrent sexual urges for and fantasies of exposing one's genitals to an unsuspecting stranger.
25: Fanny slapping (patting or gently slapping the area around the vagina)
26: Feet used sexually
27: Fingers in mouth
28: Frottage (two clothed clothe
tr.v. clothed or clad , cloth·ing, clothes
1. To put clothes on; dress.
2. To provide clothes for.
3. To cover as if with clothing. parts of the body rubbing together, more than one person involved)
29: Golden showers
30: Hand job, by man
31: Hand job, by woman
32: Kissing, man and man
33: Kissing, man and woman
34: Kissing, woman and woman
36: Licking Licking, river, c.320 mi (515 km) long, rising in E Ky. and flowing NW to the Ohio River opposite Cincinnati; the North and South Forks are its chief tributaries. body parts other than those specified elsewhere
37: Massage, erotic erotic /erot·ic/ (e-rot´ik)
1. charged with sexual feeling.
2. pertaining to sexual desire.
1. Of or concerning sexual love and desire.
38: Masturbation (female)
39: Masturbation (male)
40: Oral sex on woman by man
41: Oral sex on woman by woman
42: Nipple stimulation with tongues, fingers or other body parts (please specify)
44: Panty-sniffing or licking
46: Public sex
47: Rimming (tongue in and round anus, man rims man)
48: Rimming (tongue in and round anus, man rims woman)
49: Rimming (tongue in and round anus, woman rims man)
50: Rimming (tongue in and round anus, woman rims woman)
52: Rubbing of area around vagina without penetration
53: Rubbing of body other than those areas specific elsewhere
54: Sadomasochistic performance
55: Shoe-sniffing or licking
56: Sixty-nine (mutual oral sex)
57: Slap (isolated, on buttock but·tock
1. Either of the two rounded prominences on the human torso that are posterior to the hips and formed by the gluteal muscles and underlying structures.
2. buttocks The rear pelvic area of the human body. )
58: Slap (isolated, other body part)
59: Spanking spanking Pediatrics Corporal punishment, usually of children, in which the buttocks, are pummeled, swatted, or otherwise struck. See Corporal punishment Sexology Slapping, usually of the buttocks as a part of sexuoerotic activity. Cf Sadomasochism. (more than one slap)
60: Talking dirty
62: Masturbation of man using breasts
63: Use of toys other than those mentioned elsewhere (please specify)
64: Slapping face with penis
65: Vaginal penetration, by man, with finger
66: Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (both parnters standing up)
67: Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (doggy style)
68: Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (missionary position)
69: Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (woman on top)
70: Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (other)
71: Vaginal penetration, by woman, with finger
72: Vibrator vibrator /vi·bra·tor/ (vi´bra-tor) an instrument for producing vibrations.
an apparatus used in vibratory treatment. use
74: Other (please specify)
Note. I would like to thank the research assistants who worked on this project: Andrew Pearce, Stewart McAuley, Cath Hart, Craig Murray, Jean Burgess BURGESS. A magistrate of a borough; generally, the chief officer of the corporation, who performs, within the borough, the same kind of duties which a mayor does in a city. In England, the word is sometimes applied to all the inhabitants of a borough, who are called burgesses sometimes it , Kelly McWilliam, Jessica Eagleton, Jenny Burton Jenny Burton, born November 18 1957 in New York, is a female R&B singer who had several hits on the dance chart. She was lead singer of the dance music band C-Bank's 1983 Top 5 Hot Dance Music/Club Play single "One More Shot", notable for producer John Robie's use of a "non-linear" , and particularly Denise Durrington. Thanks also to the most excellent Stephen Cox. Without their sterling contributions, this project could never have been completed.
Manuscript accepted February 19, 2005
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Queensland University of Technology
Address correspondence to Alan McKee, Queensland University of Technology, Film and Television, Creative Industries, Kelvin Grove Kelvin Grove is the name of various places:
Table 1. Most Common Sex Acts (over 1 hour in the sample) Sex act Time in sample Vaginal penetration by man, with penis (other, including woman on side with one leg in the air, scissors, woman's legs on man's shoulders) 18 h 33m 25s Oral sex on man, by woman 15h 26m 07s Anal penetration of woman, by man (penis) 7h 35m 30s Exhibitionism 5h 53m 47s Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (doggy style) 5h 40m 46s Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis (woman on top) 5h 01m 33s Oral sex on woman by man 4h 45m 27s Dildo use, hand held 3h 49m 56s Masturbation (male) 3h 28m 51s Masturbation (female) 3h 18m 48s Oral sex on woman by woman 2h 54m 03s Talking dirty 2h 28m 49s Intersexed lovemaking (coded under Other) 2h 00m 20s Nipple stimulation 1h 50m 50s Kissing, man and woman 1h 16m 32s Hand job by a woman 1h 16m 29s Breast rubbing 1h 13m 37s Rubbing of area around vagina without penetration 1h 07m 17s Vaginal penetration, by man, with penis, missionary position 1h 5 m 49s Rubbing of body other than those areas specified elsewhere 1h 04m 32s Table 2. Most Common Sex Acts Causing Orgasm, by Gender Number of Number of orgasms orgasms caused for caused female for male characters characters Sex act by sex act by sex act (n = 141) (n = 628) Masturbation (male) -- 241 (38.4% of male orgasms) Vaginal penetration 15 (10.6% of 144 (22.9%) by man, with penis (other) female orgasms) Anal penetration, of woman, by man, with penis 12 (8.5%) 77 (12.3%) Oral sex on man by woman -- 50 (8.0%) Hand job by woman -- 42 (6.7%) Vaginal penetration by man, with penis (doggy style) 12 (8.5%) 35 (5.6%) Masturbation, female 32 (22.9%) -- Vaginal penetration by man, with penis (missionary) 3 (2.1%) 15 (2.4%) Vaginal penetration by man, with penis (woman on top) 8 (5.7%) 11 (1.8%) Oral sex on woman, by woman 17 (12.1%) -- Dildo use, hand held 15 (10.6%) -- Masturbation of man with breasts -- 7 (1.1%) Oral sex on woman, by man 6 (4.3%) -- Vaginal penetration, by man, with finger 5 (3.5%) -- Clitoral rubbing 4 (2.8%) -- Rubbing of area around vagina without penetration 4 (2.8%) -- Other causes 8 (5.7%) 6 (1.0%) Table 3. Giving Voice: Looking and Speaking by Gender Female (n=779) Male (n=696) Talking to other characters Number of characters who talk to others 399 (51.2%) 389 (55.9%) Mean length of time spent talking to others 2 m 22s 2m 9s Looking at the camera Number of characters who look at camera 70 (9.0%) 34 (4.9%) Mean length of time spent looking to camera 1m 13s 1m 11s Talking to camera Number of characters who talk to camera 137 (17.6%) 38 (5.5%) Mean length of time spent talking to camera 29s 5s