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Pornography: A Closer Look Essay

Pornography is the depiction of lewd and erotic acts with the intent to arouse the sexual interest of the audience. For some time, the term often referred to women wearing seductive clothes posing for magazines; however, Pornography now refers to a rapidly growing multibillion industry catering to both male and female viewers. It is not limited to graphic or visual depiction, but rather the definition extends to all forms of communication including written and audio materials. Among the most popular forms are adult magazines, motion pictures, and cyber porn. Viewing these materials may affect its audience both psychologically and socially.

According to Psychologist Edward Donnerstein from the University of Wisconsin, among the most common and earliest effect of viewing these media is the increased conscious lustful thoughts of the viewer. Furthermore, with prolonged exposure to pornography, the less the person’s inhibitions are, the more his behavior might begin to change. For instance, men exposed with this indecency are more likely to exhibit aggressiveness towards the opposite gender. Studies have shown that porn-watching married men are more likely to physically abuse their wives compared to those who do not watch pornographic materials.

In other studies, the correlation between pornography and rape is hard to dismiss. States with a higher distribution rate in terms of pornographic sources has an elevated number of sexual crimes (including rape) compared to states with lower pornography distribution. Another negative effect is the excessive dependency on pornography also known as pornography addiction. Although this type of addiction is hard to diagnose, it is often characterized by an obsession in reading, viewing, and thinking of pornographic materials.

According to Mary Anine Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Therapy, the internet provided the medium that helped establish the addiction that is pornography. The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and has role models for these behaviors. To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it — it’s a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind.

(http://www. wired. com/science/discoveries/news/2004/11/65772). These addicts regularly spend extended periods of time searching the internet for new or increasingly hardcore pornography affecting his normal lifestyle (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Pornography_addiction). It is important to note that not all pornographic materials are illegal. According to the First Amendment, adults may own, view, read and distribute pornography as long as these materials are not obscene or does not involve children.

Obscene pornography which deals with morally unhealthy and disgusting portrayals of these sexual acts is illegal. These acts usually involve depictions of rape, violent and degrading acts of lasciviousness. It is often referred to as “hardcore porn”. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether a particular pornographic material is within the moral standards of the community or not. Compared to obscene pornography, child pornography is easy to determine. Child or “Kiddy porn” is generally any form of pornographic material that shows a minor engaging in any sexual explicit act.

Buying, selling, looking at child pornography (with the intent to be sexual aroused) is a punishable Federal crime. Predictably, because of the availability and accessibility of pornographic materials via the net, control of distribution of these illegal contents becomes an issue for world leaders. Feminine and anti-pornography groups have raised the pressure of formulating stricter international laws against these cyber criminals citing that even children may be able to view lewd cyber porn because of current lax implemented policies.

These censorship movements have been attempting to eliminate pornography for decades. However, the simple truth that since pornography is available in a variety of medium, freely and easily distributable over the internet, total eradication or even just control is a difficult task. For some pornographic materials are morally disgusting, tactless, artless forms of media, for others they are a source of pleasure and entertainment. Moral or not, pornography has become more prevalent in our society despite social and censorship movements.

And this industry will continue to expand unless stricter laws are formulated and harsher punishments are implemented. References AllAboutLifeChallenges. org. (2010). Effects of Porn Addiction. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www. allaboutlifechallenges. org/effects-of-porn-addiction-faq. htm Answers Corporation. (2010). Obscenity and Pornography. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www. answers. com/topic/obscenity-and-pornography eNotes. com, Inc. (2010). Internet Pornography Is a Serious Problem.

Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www. enotes. com/pornography-article Hughes, Donna Rice. (2001). Type of Pornography. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://www. protectkids. com/dangers/porndefinitions. htm Wikipedia. (2010, July 15). Legal Status of Internet Pornography. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Internet_pornography Wikipedia. (2010, July 20). Child Pornography. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Child_pornography#cite_note-Akdeniz11-2


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