The Pornography Debate

Examines the problems of defining pornography and its criteria.

As with most genres, pornography could be interpreted as demeaning or even empowering, as art or trash, as aesthetic or offensive. This paper shows that material that was considered pornographic a few decades years ago is considered acceptable today. These changes illustrate the shifting notions of what material constitutes pornography or obscenity. The paper explores the three general criteria the United States Supreme Court has drafted to determine whether a work or material could be considered pornographic
“Catherine Itzin and other critics of pornography argue that the porn industry harms society in many ways. First, many women and young girls are physically and psychologically harmed in the production of pornographic magazines and films. Other sex workers testified of being raped and beaten by “johns” who were carrying S&M magazines. A recent case in the United Kingdom involved the filming of a young boy who was bound and raped by a group of men. This film is currently selling for 50 pounds (Itzin).”

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