C. Conclusions And Recommendations

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
2

In sum, then, we have found, within the admittedly severe limitations of the evidence, the following propositions to be generally true of commercial pornography's use of performers: (1) that they are normally young, previously abused, and financially strapped; (2) that on the job they find exploitative economic arrangements, extremely poor working conditions, serious health hazards, strong temptations to drug use, and little chance of career advancement; and (3) that in their personal lives they will often suffer substantial injuries to relationships, reputation, and self-image. We acknowledge that exceptions exist to all these findings, and we concede, as well, that extremely thorough investigation might prove one or more of them untrue. Unhappily the power to conduct such an investigation is not in our hands. And the industry itself, which of course knows the full truth of the matter, has shown little interest in sharing that knowledge with us. We are, therefore, left with the unattractive but firm obligation to make recommendations in this area based on what we in our limited way have been able to uncover.

The approach we propose in this area is a cautious but urgent one. Caution we believe to be required from the incomplete character of the evidence currently available. Urgency, however, arises from the extremely serious nature of the harms apparently being inflicted on many young and vulnerable people. Both of these interests will be best served, we believe, if federal and state governments initiate thorough investigations-by agencies or committees possessed of substantial resources and full subpoena powers-of the use of "models." Those investigations should, in our view, proceed from three related, but distinct perspectives: pornographic modeling as (1) a subset of prostitution; (2) a form of sex discrimination; and (3) an invasion of performers' personal rights. Briefly we will consider the parameters of each of these perspectives and possible concrete courses of action available under each.