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Virginia Wesleyan College
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Student Research Projects

“Nothing but Smut”: Addressing Misrepresentations of Pornography and Advancing its Positive Attributes

Student Jaclyn Boyce
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Women's and Gender Studies
Course WGS 430: Women's Studies/Gender Studies Seminar


Despite demeaning representations of women in mainstream media and culture, procensorship feminists ignore the influence of mass media by holding pornography responsible for the prevalence of negative ideological beliefs about women and, ultimately, for gender inequality. Anti-porn factions rely on skewed case studies, unreliable statistics and wholly misandric interpretations of relevant data to assert its harms to women. However, the indictment of all pornography is unjustified; in fact, much of it presents women and sexuality in positive ways. This “egalitarian” pornography subverts conventional ideological representation of women by allowing them to accept their sexuality, enjoy fluid sexual identification, and experience various outlets for erotic experimentation.

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