Is Pornography a Problem?1


  • 1

    The experimental work reported in this paper was supported by a grant from the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Preparation of this paper was made possible in part by support from institutional grant HD-03110 from NICHD to the Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514.


Twenty-three experimental subjects were exposed to pornographic materials for 90 minutes per day for 15 days. Extensive pre and post testing of attitudes and behavior showed no detrimental effect of this exposure either in terms of change on any measure or with regard to a control group (N = 9). Behavioral and physiological measures demonstrated that this massive exposure to pornography resulted in much lowered interest in it and much less response to it. It is concluded that pornography is an innocuous stimulus which leads quickly to satiation and that public concern over it is misplaced.