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Laura Kipnis has described pornography as “an archive of data about…our history as a culture”. Therefore if, she described it as such, what can it tell us about the sexual history of the 20th century? Examining the history of the forms of archive from pornographic playing cards to blu-ray discs and the internet, this shows the ever changing form of how as a society we view pornography. From the forms of archive come the social implications of pornography. This will be examined through the 1986 Meese Commission in the United States of America into the pornographic industry. Finally, this exposition will also examine the differing views of Gay and Straight pornography and the changes that have taken over the 20th century. Overall, the 20th century was a fundamental shift in sexual attitudes towards pornography.
In order to examine the sexual history of the 20th century, it is crucial to understand the context of what Kipnis meant in her quote about pornography. Her idea is no matter what your opinion about pornography; it entices and interests the viewer. It is intriguing to thi…