Pornography and Dehumanization: The Essentialist Dimension

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to show that pornography dehumanizes women through essentialization. First, I argue that certain acts of subject-essentialization are acts of subject-dehumanization. Second, I demonstrate, by reviewing evidence about the linguistic material that we find in and around pornography, that pornography systematically deploys content that essentializes women in the ways identified as problematic. It follows that pornography dehumanizes women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-717
Number of pages15
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • dehumanization
  • essentialism
  • essentializing language
  • pornography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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