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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1994 Dec;28(4):600-6.

To see or not to see: the debate over pornography and its relationship to sexual aggression.


The role played by pornography in the generation of thoughts, feelings, impulses and behaviours in its viewers has long been a topic of debate and controversy. The uncertainty about its potential effects on human behaviour, especially its relationship to sexual aggression, has stimulated the recent debate with the possibility of tighter censorship laws being implemented throughout this country. A review of the topic from a number of different perspectives fails to establish that pornography in its purely erotic form has any significant detrimental effect on human behaviour. More difficult to determine are its effects on psychological development. If behavioural disturbances do occur following exposure to such material, they occur in the context of an individual who shows more global disturbances of personality. The current debate regarding pornography provides an opportunity to address in a broader social context issues perhaps more significant for our society: the relationships between men and women, and the roles and recognition provided to each of the sexes.

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