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General guide to assist students and faculty in researching pornography.

The Explore RSU Libraries search box on the library website is a great place to start your research. It searches all the library's resources in one place including books/ebooks, journal and news articles, streaming video, and government information. 


You can also search databases individually.  These databases are the most relevant in researching the topic of pornography.

Suggested Keywords

  • Censorship
  • Child pornography
  • Feminist pornography
  • Gay pornography 
  • Human sexuality
  • Internet pornography
  • Obscenity 
  • Pornography and violence
  • Pornography -- Law and legislation
  • Pornography -- Social aspects
  • Sex addiction
  • Sex industry

Books in RSU Libraries are organized by the Library of Congress system that uses letter-number combinations assigned by subject, so that most books about the same subject will be filed together on the shelf. The book collection is located on the 3rd Floor of Stratton Taylor Library.

Pornography is an inter-disciplinary topic that applies to many different fields.  It can be studied from differing perspectives and differing academic disciplines.

Here are the subjects associated with specific call numbers, in case you'd like to browse. However, if you are looking for something specific, searching the library catalog is usually quicker.

BF - Psychology

  • 511 -593 Affection. Feeling. Emotion
  • 692  Psychology of sex. Sexual behavior

HQ - Social Sciences -The Family, Marriage, Women, Sexuality

  • 1-2039 The Family, Marriage, Woman
  • 12-449 Sexual Life
  • 19-30.7 Sexual Behavior and Attitudes, Sexuality
  • 31-64 Sex Instruction and Sexual Ethics
  • 71-72 Sexual Deviations
  • 74 Bisexuality
  • 75-76.8 Homosexuality, Lesbianism
  • 77.7-77.9 Transgenderism
  • 79 Sadism
  • 101- 440.7 Prostitution
  • 447 Masturbation
  • 449 Emasculation, Eunuchs, etc.
  • 450-472  Erotica, Pornography
  • 503-1064 The Family, Marriage, Home
  • 755.7-759.92 Family Size, Birth Control, Abortion
  • 767.8-792.2 Children, Child Development
  • 799.5-799.9 Young Men and Women, Adolescence
  • 799.95-799.97 Adulthood
  • 800-800.4 Single People 
  • 801-801.83 Man-Woman Relationships, Dating
  • 806 Adultery
  • 809-809.3 Family Violence
  • 811-960.7 Divorce
  • 961-967 Free Love
  • 981-996 Polygamy
  • 997 Polyandry
  • 998-999 The State and Marriage
  • 1051-1057 The Church and Marriage
  • 1058-1058.5 Sex Role
  • 1088-1090.7 Men
  • 1101-2030.7 Women, Feminism
  • 2042-2044  Lifestyle

HV - Social Sciences - Social Pathology, Social Services, Criminology

  • 6001-7220.5  Criminology

PN - Literature (General)

  • 1993-1999  Motion Pictures

This is a list of some of the books in the library's collection on the topic of pornography.

Search Strategies

Did you know that when you enter an entire sentence into Google it searches each.. word.. individually? That's why you get millions of results back! Luckily Google does a decent job of returning relevant results from a sentence. Unlike Google, databases can't understand an entire sentence. You will need to break your topic down into the most important ideas, or keywords. Even Google will give you better results if you use relevant keywords!

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, and, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the theme of discrimination in Frankenstein, narrowing your search terms down to discrimination and Frankenstein will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are Frankenstein and discrimination, you might want to try synonyms such as "prejudice" or "intolerance" in place of discrimination. You may even replace discrimination with a related term, such as "inhumanity." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Once you've broken down your research topic into keywords you can start searching more in-depth using filters and other search tools. The boolean operators andor, & not can help you combine keywords to retrieve results directly related to your topic. Boolean operators are like a type of filter and can be used in just about any search bar, including databases and Google! 


Most library databases have built in search tools such as filters.

Here are some useful filters:

  • Peer-Review - Limits your search to scholarly journal articles
  • Publication Date - Limit your search to resources published within a specific time frame
  • Full Text Online - This ensures all results are available to read in full. 
  • Content Type - Limits your search to just one content type such as journal articles or books
  • Subject Terms - These are like official hashtags. Select them to find sources about that subject.

You can also view the Advanced Search for more filters and tools!