Routledge Pro Porn Studies Bias

Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson 11 Comments
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We understand that Routledge is scheduled to publish a new journal, Porn Studies. While we agree that pornography and porn culture demand and deserve more critical attention, as a group of academics, activists, anti-violence experts, health professionals, and educators, we are deeply concerned about the journal’s intention and focus and about its editorial board, which is uniformly pro-porn.


Routledge is in a position of authority, and framing the editorial "experts" on porn as pro-porn under the auspices of neutrality (which is what the journal title does) further fosters the normalization of porn and misrepresents the academic, political and ideological debates about the issue. The composition of the editorial board (at least thus far) risks marginalizing any critical or anti porn position.

Given this, we have three questions: 1) In what ways and to what extent, if any, will this journal feature essays which represent an array of perspectives on the complex and vexed issues concerning pornography and porn culture?; 2) How likely is it that diverse perspectives will be represented, given that the editorial board has a pro-porn academic record?’ and 3) What might Routledge do to address this bias?

In the interest of academic integrity and thorough critical inquiry, it is imperative that a journal titled Porn Studies creates space for critical analyses of porn from diverse and divergent perspectives. Our hope is that you will change the composition of the editorial board, confirm the journal’s commitment to a heterogeneous interrogation of the issues embedded in porn and porn culture, and ensure that diverse perspectives are represented – on the board and also in the essays published in the journal. Failing that, we ask that you change the name to reflect and make evident the bias of its editors (Pro-Porn Studies) and create another journal which will represent the position of anti-porn scholars and activists and the voices of mental health professionals, porn industry survivors, and feminist scholars whose analyses examine the replication and reification of misogyny, child abuse, and sexual exploitation in mainstream pornography (for instance, Critical Porn Studies).

PLEASE INCLUDE TITLE AND AFFILIATION IN SIGNATURE COMMENTS

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