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Pornography as Education

Cardoso, Daniel (2020) Pornography as Education. In: The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Wiley. ISBN 9781119429104

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As a media category whose social and cultural role is heavily contested, pornography is often framed as a threat to sexual mores, to cultural propriety, and gender equality, and the savior of the same elements. In both perspectives, pornography is seen as educational—both in the emancipatory and in the regressive sense of the word. The way pornography functions —and does not function—as education is discussed, as are the implications of each perspective, the presuppositions around what pornography is and does, and how to go beyond simplistic “media effects” models in favor of a situated look at the available media and cultural resources that are available to various people in different ways. This different outlook can help foster gender and sexual diversity, but does not guarantee it.

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