When most of us talk about porn today, it's about the taboo – and, often, its relation to violence, feminism, or sex addiction. It hasn't always been this way. Society-level reactions to sexually explicit images have varied widely over the course of history, from considering them humorous to fearing they would make people go insane. "The existence of pornography and the strong emotional reactions people have – either pro or con – tells us something about our culture," says James Beggan, professor of sociology at the University of Louisville. Over time pornography has been revered, reviled, and accepted, and each reaction reveals something about the society that fosters it.
In 1984 yet another commission on porn came to be. The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography was formed by Reagan and given basically the same task as the last commission. It too explored the links between anti-social behavior and obscenity but came up with a very different finding. This commission concluded that there was a causal relationship between porn and harmful effects, such as negative attitudes toward women and violence. Their report called for increased enforcement of existing obscenity laws and further legal measures, like banning the transmission of obscene materials via phone. Consequent reviews of these findings have been mixed, some of their conclusions seem to be sound while others stretched the evidence.