Studying Something Is Not Condoning It

The 2014 debut of a new academic journal called Porn Studies (to be published by Routledge) has already created ripples: a petition is circulating to replace the board of editors with a more “balanced” membership, because apparently the current board is too “pro-porn.”

I believe it’s important to study any and every aspect of human behavior, including (duh) the sexual. And it’s also important to note that studying a phenomenon is not the same thing as condoning it. We need better data on all kinds of sexual behavior before we can make sensible policies about it. However, as this Guardian article points out, there are potential links between the ready availability of violent pornography and violent sex acts in real life, which an entirely pro-pornography board of editors might miss if they end up being too biased to publish articles on all aspects of pornography.

I’m curious to see where this new journal goes, and I hope it makes substantial contributions to understanding this area of human behavior.

About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.