City Research Online

‘Porn Trouble’: On the Sexual Regime and Travels of Postfeminist Biologism

García-Favaro, L. (2015). ‘Porn Trouble’: On the Sexual Regime and Travels of Postfeminist Biologism. Australian Feminist Studies, 30(86), pp. 366-376. doi: 10.1080/08164649.2016.1150937


In this article, I explore the emergent relationship between feminist media studies/cultural studies and the field of Evolutionary Psychology (EP). EP scholars increasingly conduct research on media and popular culture. At the same time, media/ted texts are increasingly marked by EP discourses. I take as my focus commercial women's online magazines produced in the UK and in Spain and accessed globally. Specifically, I explore a recurrent thread in their discussion forums: women expressing confusion, concern, disappointment, hurt and/or self-doubt, and asking for advice on discovering that their male partners consume various pornographies. A feminist poststructuralist discursive analysis is developed to explore both peer-to-peer and editorial advice on such ‘porn trouble’. I show how pseudo-scientific discourses give support to a narrative of male immutability and female adaptation in heterosexual relationships, and examine how these constructions are informed by EP accounts of sexual difference. The article offers empirical insights into the penetration of EP logics and narratives into popular culture transnationally. Advancing the notion of ‘postfeminist biologism’, my analysis contributes to feminist interrogations of EP's ongoing popularity in the face of sound, longstanding and widespread criticism of it as scientifically flawed and culturally pernicious.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australian Feminist Studies on 2 Mar 2016, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QP Physiology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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