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Should We Support Virtual Pornography? Essay

1707 words - 7 pages

In today’s fast developing and modern society the thought of seeing two grown adults having sex is still considered taboo. Most Americans cringe at the thought of seeing pornography and dismiss the act as nothing more than a senseless lewd act. Yet, the Supreme Court held that pornography was to be considered a form of personal expression and should be protected under the first amendment (New York v. Ferber, 1973). The Supreme Court did not choose to extend the same constitutional protection to child pornography, arguing against its explicit and hurtful content. Supreme Court Justices argued that child pornography has no scientific, literary, artistic, or political value; they thought the material that was going to arise from child pornography was going to cause more harm than good if they were to allow it to be protected. As society began to change and computer animation technology advanced a growing question began to be formed: should virtual pornography be constitutionally protected, under the argument that it is a form of personal expression and that it’s content has significant scientific, literary, artistic, or political value? Unlike actual child pornography, which has to include two innocent children partaking in sexual acts, virtual pornography consist of two computer generated children engaging in sexual acts. The same rational and arguments that were used by the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of child pornography cannot be applied to virtual pornography. The pain and lifetime of suffering that child pornography brings to its victims was a big reason behind not extending the first amendment to such work; however, virtual pornography does not have any real life victims involved in its work. The images seen in virtual pornography are created by a computer developer and never include innocent children in the making of the movie or scene. I shall argue that virtual pornography should be protected as a form of personal expression because its content has scientific, literary, artistic, or political value and if it not allowed to be expressed freely some valued speech will be “chilled’ or lost at the fear of being prosecuted.
In order to delve further into the topic it is important to first define the legal meaning of child pornography. Child pornography is legally explained as any minor below the age of eighteen years of age that partakes in sexual activity or erotic behavior with the sole purpose of arousing the viewer’s sexual interest (legaldictionary.com) In New York v. Ferber- 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that child pornography was not entitled to first amendment constitutional protection and they offered five reasons why the government had significant interest to make such works illegal. The Supreme Court reasons to why child pornography should be banned are as followed: 1) the government has a high interest in preventing the sexual exploitation of children 2) there is a casual relationship between the sexual abuse...

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