Pornography Essay

1961 words - 8 pages

"Anne, a high school student, is moving with her family into a house across town that used to be owned by a friend of her father's. Her new room had been occupied by a sixteen-year-old boy named Tom whom she had met once at a party. This room is bigger than the one in Anne's old house, and she's anxious to move in her things and make it her own. Anne opens the closet door and climbs on a step stool to reach the top shelf. A box at the back catches her eye, and she pulls it forward, curious. She slides the top off of the box and sees that it is filled with magazines. The top two are for fishing boating enthusiasts. But when she lifts these up, she finds a stack of pornographic magazines. These magazines feature pictures of nude or nearly nude women and men in various sexual poses. But the magazines that really surprise and shock Anne are those that picture women as victims in dangerous or violent situations. These photographs strongly suggest brutality and rape. Anne wonders why Tom would be interested in this type of magazine. Does his reading of these magazines indicate that he has angry or malevolent feelings about women? He had been very polite when she had met him, and seemed to have a good sense of humor. Is Tom going through a phase? Anne wonders if all men look at pornography. Does her father? Her older brother? And why? Are they curious? Anne notices that in many of the pictures, even the nonviolent ones, the men are in dominant poses, suggesting that they have power over the women. But the women have expressions indication that they are enjoying their subservient roles. Do most couples view sex in this way? Anne feels uncomfortable about the way sex is portrayed in these magazines. She wonders if she is being prudish, and if other people, particularly men, feel the same way. Anne wonders. She does not like pornography, but she does not know where she should stand on the issue for others. Does pornography change the behavior of its readers? Does it hurt anyone?" So what DO we know? That after over thirty years of sexual revolution, most people are as confused about sex as ever.One of the biggest problems the courts have addressed is how to define pornography. "Pornography has always had a derogatory connotation. It comes from the Greek word "pornographos," which is used to describe prostitutes and their trade. There can be confusion in a discussion of pornography because often the word in question is used as a general term to cover everything from soft-core "erotica" (writing which seeks to arouse sexually in a nongraphic manner) to sexually graphic, "hard-core" porn. People react different to "pornography" depending on the degree of explicitness of the material. Through research programs funded by the Canadian department of Justice a report showing acceptability and consumption, as well as other factors, of pornography in society have been compiled (1984). Exhibit 33 displays an Index of Acceptability in response to various sexual scenes...

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