Investigating Connections: Pornography and Violence Against Women

Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Jennifer Fish

Committee Member

Katarina Wegar

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 G67 2009


This thesis is a content analysis of internet pornography websites. Using the most popularly searched adult search terms, Google searches were performed in order to replicate the pornographic website search of an internet pornography user. Videos were then selected and viewed on each site in order to identify themes of domination, exploitation, reciprocity, and autoeroticism. Also coded for were each sex act performed in the video as well as the number of performers, their race and sex. Key words describing each video were recorded in addition to user comments about the videos when available.

The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of degradation and violent acts among internet pornography websites. In addition, user comments were used to determine whether the videos were considered to be erotic and if the behaviors displayed were appealing to viewers. Results showed that violence was not as prevalent as degradation among the sample. A majority of the videos were described as having themes of domination or exploitation as opposed to presenting reciprocity. User comments were sparse but when present did indicate an overall approval and enjoyment of the videos, as well as some indication of finding a variety of acts desirable and erotic.


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