The Social and Moral Costs of Pornography

Robert P. George of Princeton University recently hosted a three day event centered on the social costs of pornography.

The Witherspoon Institute:

Consultation Overview
The consultation on “The Social Costs of Pornography was organized by the Witherspoon Institute in conjunction with the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Washington, DC and held at Princeton University, December 11 – 13, 2008. The consultation was hosted by Robert P. George, Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. This meeting assembled leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory to present a rigorously argued overview of the problem of pornography in our society and to make recommendations. The primary purpose of the meeting was to examine the real nature of pornography in its moral and social consequences.

It is essential to note the scholars who participated in this consultation represent a wide range of political perspectives, but share a common interest in addressing pornography’s devastating social cost. At the two-day-long consultation, ten scholars delivered papers on subject-specific aspects of pornography’s impact, and approximately twelve scholars served as discussants throughout the meeting. This format ensured that the papers will be energetically critiqued in order to promote a fair and in-depth assessment of the issues in question.

Below are some papers from the event:

Hadley Arkes, Pornography: Settling the Question in Principle

Roger Scruton, On the Abuse of Sex

Pamela Paul, From Pornography to Porno to Porn

Norman Doidge, MD, Acquiring Pornographic Tastes

Jill Manning, The Impact of Pornography on Women

Ana Bridges, Pornography’s Effects on Interpersonal Relationships

Kirk Doran, The Economics of Pornography

Gerard V. Bradley, Moral Principles Which Govern the Legal Regulation of Pornography

James Stoner, Freedom, Virtue, and the Politics of Regulating Pornography

Hamza Yusuf, Climbing Mt. Purgatorio: Reflections from the Seventh Cornice

(HT: JT)


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