Social Science, Pornography, and Values

Social Epistemology 2:2 (1988), pp. 135-144, 1987

13 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2013

See all articles by Alan Soble

Alan Soble

University of New Orleans

Date Written: September 1, 1987


Through a close analysis of the writings of Augustus Brannigan and Sheldon Goldenberg on the causal effects of the consumption of pornography, the author reaches the conclusion that social scientific research on the effects of pornography, and specifically research on the causal relationship between pornography and rape, are inevitably value-laden. To the extent that values play a non-eliminable role in the formulation and testing of social science hypotheses, values -- if understood as subjective, non-cognitive, and essentially-contestable or "mere" opinions -- prevent the social sciences from being "mature" sciences and imply that the "science" in "social science" is misused.

Keywords: Pornography, Rape, Robin Morgan, Social Science, Values & Science, Feminism, Joel Feinberg, Susan Brownmiller, Atlanta, Augustus Brannigan, Sheldon Goldenberg

Suggested Citation

Soble, Alan, Social Science, Pornography, and Values (September 1, 1987). Social Epistemology 2:2 (1988), pp. 135-144, 1987. Available at SSRN:

Alan Soble (Contact Author)

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States

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