Principle of Charity


Is There Good Pornography or is it Inherently Demeaning to Women?

Season 1, Ep. 2

Media professor and feminist Catharine Lumby sees a role for pornography in a healthy sexual diet, whereas public ethics professor Clive Hamilton has the self-confessed unfashionable view that it’s destructive and demeaning. They’ve clashed in the media, and we bring them together for the first time to see if we can tease out this complex topic, in a conversation that exemplifies the principle of charity. 

Everyone seems to be looking at pornography but its rarely discussed.


35% of all internet downloads are estimated to be porn-related, and porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month. A third of porn users are female, and the industry is estimated to be worth $97 billion worldwide. 

So is pornography a healthy form of sexual expression, exploration and enjoyment for all these people? And a thriving industry of empowered performers?

Or is pornography exploitative, demeaning, and ultimately destructive to our intimate relationships, even sometimes promoting violence against women?

Our guests are Catharine Lumby and Clive Hamilton. Catharine is Professor of Media at Sydney University. She’s written extensively on this topic as an author, and is a frequent media commentator across print, radio and television. Clive is Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University. He has held academic positions at the University of Oxford and Yale. Clive was the executive director of public policy think tank The Australian Institute. 

Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman,

You can find Emile at:

You can find Lloyd at:


Produced by Jonah Primo

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