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date: 21 May 2024



  • Helen King


Pornography can be understood as the explicit representation of sexual activity, in images or in writing; however, many scholars would argue that neither representing sexual activity, nor obscenity, necessarily constitutes pornography. Recent theorists have defined it more specifically as material which presents people—particularly women—as mute, available, and subordinate sexual objects, often shown in a context of violence. In its most extreme form, pornography theory argues that all representation produced by men in patriarchal societies is, by very definition, pornographic. A further element to be considered is the intention of the writer or artist; is the material created deliberately to violate a taboo? In early modern Europe, pornography was often used for political or anticlerical subversion.In antiquity the rare term pornographos is used in a far more limited sense than any of these, to mean a writer about, or a painter of, whores (see prostitution, secular). It first appears in *Athenaeus (1) 13.


  • Gender Studies

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