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Porn as Erototoxic | Posted: March 4, 2013

1984 Task Force: Recommendation on Pornography

Excerpt from The Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence: final report

The following is an excerpt from the final report of the Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence, dated September 1984. The recommendation on pornography can be found on page 112, with notes on page 151.

Read the full report here

Recommendation on Pornography

  1. The Task Force endorses the creation of the National Commission on Pornography.


Pornography Recommendation 1:
The Task Force endorses the creation of the National Commission on Pornography.

For the last fifteen years in America, the pornography industry has had a definite and devastating impact on the stability of the American family and the relationship between men, women, and children.--Bruce Taylor, Attorney

Pornography has become a big business in the United States. Some government officials estimate that pornography is a $4 to $6 billion industry that continues to grow and expand.1 It is an industry that victimizes countless children who are exploited in pornographic photographs and films. Task Force testimony indicates that an alarming number of rape and sexual assault offenders report that they were acting out behavior they had viewed in pornographic materials. Experts also testified that the only uses for child pornography are to lower the inhibitions of the child, gratify the sexual desires of the pedophile, and control and blackmail the child.

The 1970 Commission on Obscenity and Pornography found no relationship between pornography and subsequent anti-social behavior, and its report inferred that pornography was harmless. The report was repudiated by three members of the Commission and by the United States Senate. In the years since, the Commission's data and analyses have been severely challenged by scholars, clinicians and criminal justice practitioners. However, the findings of the Commission have been used to demean current research and efforts to address the problem in light of new findings and understandings.

Every child is a potential victim. Child pornographers are single-minded propagandists; they are at work in every size community and among every socio-economic group. They are organized and they are willing to support each other legally and emotionally. They have a powerful underworld network of peers focused totally on children as targets.--Rita Rooney, Journalist

Pornography is a complex issue that cannot be easily addressed. The Task Force welcomes and offers its full support to the newly formed National Commission on Pornography.2 Further, the Task Force recommends that the Commission should examine: the nature, extent, and effects of pornography on society, concentrating especially on the areas of child pornography; the enforcement of obscenity statues; and the development of model legislation.


  1. Testimony of Bruce Taylor, San Antonio hearing, February 1, 1984.
  2. The National Commission on Pornography was announced by President Reagan in June 1984.

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Retrieved: March 4, 2013