SSSS 2016- If Pornography is a Major Threat to Marriages, Families, and Society at Large, Why Can't We Find Reliable Effects?

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Description: Claims about pornography’s potency abound; a seemingly endless parade of academics (e.g. P. Fagan, J Manning, G. Dines, R. Jensen, etc.) and social commentators trumpet pornography’s massive deleterious power to shape the lives of consumers and the people around them. The more sophisticated apologists cherry-pick empirical evidence that “proves” that pornography is highly addictive, corrupts the way that users think about women or damages the way that users feel about their romantic partners. At the other extreme, other anti-pornography advocates deny the validity of empirical research involving pornography, as people who find pornography abhorrent would never participate in such research to begin with. While empirical justification for each of these points exists, publication bias favouring statistically significant results no doubt occurs, leaving little room for reasoned criticism in the published empirical record. The goal of this symposium is to provide a forum to discuss research involving repeated null findings which belie the claims of pornography’s pervasive and powerful influences. Presenters will outline evidence that indicates that pornography’s impact with respect to volunteer bias in research, male erectile functioning, perceptions of love for one’s partner, and attitudes towards gender-egalitarianism may be overstated.

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