chapter  7
Pornography’s piggy in the middle: pressure groups, the media and research
ByDennis Howitt
Pages 15

At the end of the day, it is difficult to believe that a society can really afford to embrace pornography with welcoming arms since this may serve to legitimise those attitudes which pornography itself may reinforce. The question must be considered to be wider than just prohibition or other forms of control alone, but how to promote those attitudes and values which undermine pornography’s potential influence. (Howitt and Cumberbatch, 1990, p. 96)

This is the final paragraph of our report Pornography: Impacts and Influences (Howitt and Cumberbatch, 1990) commissioned by the Home Office. An account of its treatment by the media probably makes little sense in terms of the report’s actual content Understanding the involvement of pressure groups in determining the media coverage is necessary to make the process clearer.