Pornography Term Paper

Pages: 3 (987 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


Instead of making determinations based on legal precedent, the author fears that censors would simply make decisions geared towards avoiding controversy (Douglas).

Critics of censorship also challenge the notion that laws provide judges with clear-cut guidelines to determine and regulate pornographic material. The landmark case of Roth v. United States, for example, is the first Supreme Court ruling regarding the relationship between pornography and the First Amendment. In this ruling, Justice William Brennan ruled that any law regulating pornography contained a fatal flaw. The vagueness of the definitions meant that censorship laws could be misapplied to unprotected speech. Brennan felt that the threat of prosecution under these restrictions would have a "chilling" effect on all protected speech (cited in "Pornography should not be censored).


In the end, as with most genres, pornography could be interpreted as demeaning or even empowering, as art or trash, as aesthetic or offensive. It remains difficult to create a criteria defining pornography that is broad enough to include all works that cater only to the "prurient" interests and still specific enough to exclude works such as classical nude paintings by Michelangelo or books like DH Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.

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Until a satisfactory compromise is reached, however, the only clear guideline is the Constitution, whose First Amendment protects the freedom of expression. This is why court cases against pornography have continued to be dismissed in the judicial system. Furthermore, "regulating" pornography has a subtle effect of discouraging creativity and innovation. In this way, censorship and the regulation of free speech create more potential social harm than good.

Works Cited

TOPIC: Term Paper on Pornography it Is Often Said Assignment

Douglas, Jeffrey J. "Government Should Not Censor Pornography." Free Speech. Scott Barbour, Ed. Current Controversies Series. Greenhaven Press, 2000. Reproduced in Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group. 2004.

Itzin, Catherine. "The Government Should Legislate Against Pornography." Civil Liberties. Tamara L. Roleff, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 1999. Reproduced in Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group. 2004.

Pornography Should Not Be Censored." Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints Digests Reproduced in Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group. 2004.

Wein, Betty. "Obscenity Laws Do Not Threaten Free Speech." Pornography. Carol Wekesser, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 1997. Reproduced in Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group. 2004.



Thesis -- Restrictions on pornography are unconstitutional

Definition -- pornography

Anti-pornography arguments porn harms female actors physically and psychologically sex workers are exposed to harm cities are enacting anti-porn ordinances based on civil rights statutes

Restricting pornography is unconstitutional government regulations into which material to read violates free choice

Roth v. United States that prosecution would have "chilling" effect on free speck

Conclusion - Free speech should be protected no guidelines defining "pornography"

In the absence of such guidelines, the only clear guide is the Constitution, whose First Amendment protects all forms of expression [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Pornography" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Pornography.  (2004, October 19).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Pornography."  19 October 2004.  Web.  20 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Pornography."  October 19, 2004.  Accessed September 20, 2021.