Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Women's and Gender Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Gupta, Surupa

First Advisor

Citeroni, Tracy

Major or Concentration

Women's and Gender Studies

Abstract

Pornography is a complicated and controversial topic. Much has been said about how porn may or may not affect individuals, but very little has been done in the academic community on how pornography affects the LGBTQ+ community. In debates of censorship and regulation of porn, their voices are often ignored in public debate in favor of straight, feminist, or puritanical, religious discourses. This is problematic because pornography, particularly queer pornography, has done much for the evolution and self-affirmation of the LGBTQ+ community. It would be remiss if such positive effects of such a controversial exploit were to go unacknowledged. In conjunction with my academic readings, I interviewed a contact in the queer porn and Burlesque world named Max Shaw to better understand the finer points of queer porn production and the effects it has on its participators and viewers. Interestingly, the interview often lined up with themes that occurred in some of the more current literature referencing queer porn while giving a specific emphasis on the current issue of censorship of LGBTQ+ sexuality in the public and private spheres as well as an intersectional analysis of the queer porn industry. I will break down my research into three sections beginning with issues of mainstream porn for LGBTQ+ individuals. Then, I will shift to queer porn and discuss how it differs from mainstream porn and how those differences make it a better alternative to the current mainstream LGBTQ+ porn categories. Finally, I will discuss the issues of censorship that have arisen, as well as the merits of porn literacy programs and how they might help dispel some of the main concerns people have over adolescents’ access to pornography.

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