Dr. Carolyn M. West is an award-winning author and Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington where she teaches courses on Family Violence, Sex Crimes and Sexual Violence, and Psychology of Black Women. Author of more than 50 academic papers and co-editor of the journal Sexualization, Media, & Society she writes, trains, consults, and lectures internationally on intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and racial stereotypes in pornography and hypersexualized media.
The hypersexualization of Black women and girls is a pervasive feature of our daily visual landscape. Although pornography is widely consumed, researchers still know little about the racial stereotypes in this form of sexualized media. The purpose of this slide presentation and documentary is to (1) Offer a content analysis of 6,000 mainstream adult film covers and packaging featuring African American performers that were produced in the past three decades, with a focus on physical features of Black women (e.g., skin color, weight); (2) Explore the historical origins of the images that are found in pornography; (3) Identify how racial stereotypes in pornography promotes sexual violence against Black girls and women; and (4) Provide suggestions for ways to promote healthy sexuality and combat hypersexualized images.