First Advisor

Vartabedian, Rebecca


Taylor, Jason


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

85 pages


Often in today’s Western culture, pornography is considered to be “no big deal.” More and more people are routinely consuming more and more pornography, more varied and more extreme than ever before, all the while acclaiming pornography and defending it from censure. These responses are based on perceptions of the essence of pornography as an art form, a legitimate means to sexual exploration and self-expression. Unfortunately, attempts to truly engage the question of pornography’s essence have been sadly lacking, both in popular culture and academia; most commentators focus their energies on expressing their initial reactions to pornography, while skimming over or ignoring completely the question of essence or definition. Yet an understanding of what it means to be “pornography” is a necessary precursor to constructing an appropriate human response to the reality of porn; as such, this thesis represents a direct investigation into the essence of pornography. Ultimately, I will demonstrate that pornography is not a subset of art but is in fact antithetical to art in terms of its actual effects in society and individuals, and that the essence of pornography lies in a deep disrespect for and misrepresentation of sexuality and human reality. As such, we ought not praise, consume, or even ignore pornography, but instead must recognize and fight against the tangible dangers it presents for society and humanity as a whole.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.