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Should Porn Have Its Own Academic Journal?

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An academic journal entitled Porn Studies is debuting in 2014 and will be “the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic.” The notion of classifying pornography as academia is already hard for many to swallow, but the new periodical from Routledge may be in for some real opposition. The organization, Stop Porn Culture, has sponsored a petition to have “Porn Studies” change before it even starts. The organization has argued that the periodical is too pro-porn and will not provide enough criticism of the genre.

In a statement on the petition, Stop Porn Culture said:

“While we agree that pornography and porn culture demand and deserve more critical attention, as a group of academics, activists, anti-violence experts, health professionals, and educators, we are deeply concerned about the journal’s intention and focus and about its editorial board, which is uniformly pro-porn.”

Although it is novel to think of pornography of something influential and cultural enough to be considered academia, the people at Stop Porn Culture  have a point. Pornography is complicated. There is plenty of research showing the negative effects that pornography can have on relationships and society at large. For this, sociology professor  Gail Dines has compared people that have a pro-porn background to people that deny climate change. despite overwhelming scientific evidence.

Alas, porn a huge part of sexual culture (even for animals!) and maybe it does deserve to be treated with the respect of an academic subject. The real answer for the porn studies journal may just be balance. In any case, if you happen to have an scholarly paper on Traci Lords lying around, now is your time to shine!

[Guardian UK]

[Guardian UK]

[Jezebel]

[Huffington Post]

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