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Journal Article

Pornography and Gender Equality: An Empirical Analysis

Larry Baron
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 27, No. 3, Feminist Perspectives on Sexuality. Part 2 (Aug., 1990), pp. 363-380
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812808
Page Count: 18
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Pornography and Gender Equality: An Empirical Analysis
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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the circulation rates of soft-core pornographic magazines and gender equality in the 50 American states. Gender equality is measured with the Gender Equality Index (GEX) which combines 24 indicators of the status of women relative to men in the three institutional domains of politics, economics, and legal rights. Multiple regression analysis is used to test the hypothesis that the higher the circulation rate of soft-core pornographic magazines, the lower the level of gender equality. Several additional variables are included in the analysis to control for spurious relationships. Contrary to the hypothesis, the results show that gender equality is higher in states characterized by higher circulation rates of pornography. This relationship is interpreted as suggesting that pornography and gender equality both flourish in politically tolerant societies.

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