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12:57 am
November 23, 2017


Seattle, WA


posts 63


Since the safe wow gold 1980s, there has been a steady growth in the number of academics who study pornography and believe they are being unconventional or somehow radical in their defence, even celebration, of it. To treat pornography as an avant garde political gesture, however, requires its defenders to turn a blind eye to the harms it does.
A great deal of pro pornography academic research in the social sciences is taken up with this task of masking the harms of pornography, in order to defend the lucrative global industry and guarantee a continued supply of cool pleasures to the hip consumer.
One such piece of research, The Porn Report by Alan McKee, Katherine Albury and Catharine Lumby (2008), was heralded as "the first piece of serious research" on the state of pornography in Australia. The book is widely cited in political and academic debates for its analysis of the production, distribution and consumption of pornography.
The project on which the book is based was funded by the Australian Research Council from 2002 to 2004, and was conducted in liaison with, and with support from, the peak Australian sex industry organisation, the Eros Association, along with pornography businesses such as Gallery Entertainment and Axis Entertainment.
Alan McKee notes that the researchers did not assume they would find "bad effects" in and from pornography; in fact, from the project's inception, the researchers assumed that pornography has "good effects." In conducting the project, the researchers confirmed those "good effects" by looking in the obvious place: the self reporting of a self selecting group of currently active pornography users.
The Porn Report uses the term pornography in what is sometimes called a "non stipulative" manner, meaning that the term is not a definition but simply reflects commonly held views about what falls into the category of pornography. For example, a text box entitled "Great Moments in Amateur Porn" judges One Night in Paris [Hilton] to be "perhaps the best title ever of a porn movie against stiff competition that includes Edward Penishands and Buttbanged Naughty Nurses" it is unlikely that many nurses outside of Carry on Doctor share their enthusiasm for such a title. The popular video Hairfree Asian Honeys did not make the shortlist.
In its early stages, the project was plugged in the Eros Association magazine by Alan McKee, who described its genesis:
"A group of academics, fed up with this studied ignorance of [the likes of academic Robert Manne and radio host John Laws] have just begun a three year research project called 'Understanding pornography in Australia' to try to get away from the idea that 'ignorance is bliss' and to provide some facts about the subject . Together, Albury, Lumby and McKee hope that this information will help to change the way that we talk about pornography in Australia: to make some facts available, so that we can have a more informed an [sic] intelligent debate about the adult industry in this country."
The Association appended the comment, "Eros encourages all of its members to support the researchers in their project." McKee's statement makes it clear that the very point of the project was to tilt public discourse towards a certain view of pornography, one that is in alignment with that held by the sex industry.
For example, Yasmin Element wrote in EROS Magazine in 2006 to recommend that McKee's analysis of the objectification of women in pornography videos "should be used as widely as possible by the industry," adding:
"I encourage all Eros members to read the report and hand it on to staff, business colleagues and journalists, as it is extremely interesting and informative on many diverse areas of the adult retail industry.
In 2007, Day sought a review of a Classification Review Board decision on a film entitled Viva Erotica, a pastiche of "real depictions of actual sexual activity between consenting adults." The Board had determined the film to be "offensive to a reasonable adult" and classified it as X18+, which meant it was not available for sale or hire except in the ACT and NT. Judge Jacobson in the case noted that in canvassing the question of how the film Viva Erotica would strike "reasonable adults," "Professor McKee's evidence addressed the wrong question because it focussed only on the attitudes of consumers of sexually explicit films," and not on reasonable adults more generally.
In terms of establishing the character of the "reasonable adult," the project's survey of pornography users and the content analysis of pornographic videos attempted to "gentrify" the consumers of pornography.
The project set out reshape the image of the "average" user from that of a "dirty old man" to that of an intelligent, educated, reasonable and hip participant in consumer culture, who can offer "expertise" in the formulation of public policy on such matters.
This construction of a previously unrecognised "expertise" was accompanied by an attempt to conjure away any suggestion of harm in pornographic videos, by a careful selection of the "typical" material viewed by the "average" consumer. The first assumption is that the voices of pornography users are not heard. Second, as a consequence, the "expertise" of users had not been aired.
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