Disrupting Cause-and-Effect Narratives of Pornography and Violence: A Contextual and Theoretical Case Study of Sexual Violence in Mainstream Media

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The Ohio State University

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


This research project and paper directly challenges the scientific and legal cause-and-effect model for understanding the effects of violent pornography on the behaviors of consumers. That is to say, the cause-and-effect model operates on the assumption that sexually violent pornography can incite violence against women. The goal of this project is to call into question the use of the cause-and-effect model to label and censor images deemed too dangerous and obscene for public consumption. In the effort to fracture the empirical research supporting the cause-and-effect model, its methodology will first be analyzed to reveal the problems underlying the experimentation. Secondly, the stability of the cause-and-effect model used to support censorship will be complicated by the introduction of two fashion advertisement campaigns that use imagery that eroticizes sexual violence against women. The conclusive argument that I will generate from the analysis of these fashion advertisements is the concept of the media apparatus. Based upon Hegelian and Foucauldian theories of aesthetics and censorship, the media apparatus is a theoretical alternative to the clear-cut notion that pornographic materials cause sexual violence against women.


This Thesis was presented at The Ohio State University's Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
This Thesis was submitted to Juros, the journal for undergraduate research at The Ohio State University


Pornography, Media, Censorship, Media Apparatus, Foucault, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Sexuality