CHAPTER FIVE - Conclusions and Recommendations


Rebecca Hoad


Firstly this chapter will be briefly drawing together the main discussion points that arose within this study.  Following this will be a series of recommendations.

This study was contributing to research already undertaken, and summarising these points within this area of study.  It was not intended to establish any firm results, however it was set to discover if todays attitudes were changing towards the issue of sex, and if surrounding issues contributed towards this effect on attitudes, among a group of students.

Chapter one established there are many background issues proving the difficulty of regulating and defining material especially with the contribution of the feminism debates.  This was continued in the following chapter with how the BBFC dealt with regulating material when having to deal with societies diverse set of opinions.  The results and discussion progressed on with todays attitudes of sex within the small group studied. 

It became apparent there still are a variety of views, but seems that people find the topic of sex a more acceptable and more open topic in the present day.  This is similar with the BBFCs national sample results, where a majority vote presented regulations to be liberlised, on the portrayal of sex.  A resemblance also in the primary research and the BBFCs was women found the whole topic slightly sensitive and was concerned about the consequences sex created, or contributed to, such as underage pregnancies.  These could be continuing in the issues that feminists created, that was discussed within chapter one.  Although it is not on the same issues, women in general seem to be more concerned on the topic as a whole compared to men, who in the research came across more comfortable to be able to discuss the topic.  It was then it was discovered these males in the research felt pornography was beneficial for sexual arousal.  These main findings display how difficult it would be to regulate for everyones needs.

Despite this, both genders have expressed that attitudes towards pornography and censorship have liberalised.  Again the respondents in the research felt the State should not intervene in regulating material involving sexual content, and leave it instead to the individual to decide.  This seems to be similar with the results from the BBFC, with adults wanting sex guidelines to be liberalised.

Throughout the study is was evident there is still a confusion of what is and what is not acceptable within the context of pornography, as there still is only vague definitions set.  This could be contributing towards the controversy created on the topic, and is why so many debates have sparked, because individuals all have different views.  A suggestion for an update in policy could be made, yet this would cause controversy, and prove to be very difficult.  However one set of guidelines could be used by everyone, and not use separate ones which is the picture at present.  These include the police and licensing authorities. 

The BBFCs role is the responsibility over these current guidelines, which they continue to update with shifts in societal trends.  This is promising, but to contribute to this, society needs to be made more aware of these regulations and emphasise on the consumer advice in film and video.  For example when a film is released more detailed information could be made easily accessible to everyone, then individuals would step in at this point, and make their own decision from the advice provided.  This is currently the responsibility of the film distributors, but with the BBFCs authority it could increase the impact of this. 

As it was expressed earlier there are many issues surrounding the area of sex, noted within this study.  This again could be contributing to the silence created on sex so long ago.  To some it is still talked of in discourse, and problems could arise because of the sensitivity of the topic.  There is a need to establish an appropriate level that society is happy to discuss with.  This would be including sex education, and other advice centres.  Although there is plenty of this help around today, there is still a problem with issues such as high pregnancy rates.  It would be difficult to say if adding this would contribute into helping, but it is a step that could be made.

This study has discussed the popularity of pornography and how widespread it is, so for a lot of people there are no problems with this type of genre, and see it for pure enjoyment only.  This has been discovered in the primary research but only the males expressed this view.  This cannot commit to societies views, but this industry has become so profitable and popular, it obviously is attracting many people, but it is normally these comments that are never usually expressed.  It is the help of the media that has created this phenomenon, which again was established within the primary research.  Despite all this it is not going to stop feminists and others believing it can only do harm to consumers.

This study proves that linking pornography and censorship contributes to so many other issues, that even if one issue was identified and changed, it would not mean that all the other issues would diminish.  All the issues come together, and in the future more will probably arise.  One suggestion could be to re-think the whole structure of the guidelines implemented, and to strive to educate the public to be their own censors and regulators, as it has become evident society will always hold different views, now and in the future.  By tackling these issues, it could hopefully come closer to constructing regulations that will benefit society as a whole.