Censorship Essay Research Paper CensorshipThe freedom to

Censorship Essay, Research Paper


The freedom to read is essential to the democratic way of life (Censorship News 1996).

Today our freedom is under attack. Private groups such as mothers and public authorities

everywhere are working to remove both books and periodicals from sale, to exclude certain

books from public schools, to censor and silence magazines and newspapers, and to limit

controversial books from the general public. The suppression of reading materials is

suppression of creative thoughts. Books are not the only one that is being suppressed by

pressure to the political and social systems. They are also being brought against the educational

system, radios, internet, television and against the Theater arts. However or whenever these

attacks occur, they usually fall at least in one of these categories.




Society and Race

Inappropriate Adolescent Behavior

What is Obscenity? Clearly something hard to discuss. Obscenity is difficult to discuss

honestly. Point being, what makes a thing obscene? is it something too vague to be defined. It’s

an elusive term we use, but cant explain. Different people often see things differently. Some see

obscenity in nude pictures, statues, paintings, etc. While others find less obscenity in those

things. All the same, obscene isn’t the same as wrong or bad . Clearly obscenity is not identical

with evil. It only covers a single segment of it. But what is that segment? A look at the words

obscenity and pornography suggest that it is that it’s a segment that didn’t worry people very

much until recently.

Though censorship was known in the English law quite early, it wasn’t for obscenity but for

heresy and sedition. David Jenkins, “Undue exploitation of sex is what criminal law in Canada

prohibits” ( p21) . That is how criminal law defines obscenity. It doesn’t differentiate between

ordinary obscenity and hard-core pornography. Written by the Law reform, “the first denoting

the ordinary girlie and guy magazines, Literature and so on that deals with rape, bestiality, and so

on People tend far more to hard-core pornography” (Collins p25). Another distinction

unfortunately overlooked by our criminal law is the distinction between isolated instances of

obscenity and the products of vast commercial enterprise.

There has been an increasing trend towards children’s literature that reflects a more realistic

approach of the life both fiction and non-fiction, with subjects that include sex, homosexuality,

divorce, child abuse, drugs, violence, etc. And they are these realistic books that have people

outraged. In school libraries, the most frequent complains come from parents “who don’t have

nothing better to do” about the school’s selections. And in the public libraries, parents were the

ones again the single greatest source of challenges to materials.

The world is filled with obscene things. And it would seem that those parents are just trying

to protect their children from outside world. But does it really help? “These days, the average

elementary school student knows many things” (Collins p27). They are influence by a wide

range of sources, from television , Internet and other forms of media, their environment at home

and school, their personality and their backgrounds. Why they read does not necessarily mean

that they will follow. Literature is a valued source of knowledge for these children, and should

not be held back. So rather than applying full censorship, it should be made an age-related

censorship, even though I don’t believe in censorship but think that there should be a limit for pre

adolescent children. Many of the complaints that were issued were of the immaturity of the

readers. And younger children should be prevented from browsing material intended for an

older age group. “Controversial materials should held in reserve stock, available on request, or

under section for teacher who can decide for themselves whether the material is suitable or not”

(Collins p31).

Our world is not perfect. We are a world filed with violence, sex, racism, etc. Certain

literature like hard-core pornography should be censored to the general public. These types of

explicit sex and literature truly have no meaning. They degrade the human race by increasing

physical, mental and sexual abuse against women, animals, and sometimes against men. The

inhuman treatment should not be shown to prevent other potential people from experimenting

these acts. Ordinary obscenity should be censored closely, but with an objective view. They

may also cause an increase in the violence against women, so they must be reduced and kept out

of reach of the immature readers. “To make a tree grow correctly, you must start caring from

the beginning. You must not block its nutrients, water, nor sunlight, but allow it to move around a

bit” ( Jenkins p29). We have a governing social system that mainly frowns upon the violence

against women and Children. There should indeed be access to most types of literature, but in

varying degrees to freedom, determined not by censorship, but by controlled access. Parents

are trying to protect their children from the harsh realities of life, but are they really helping, or



Dr. Jenkens David : The Censorship Iceberg

The result of challenges :n school and public libraries 1996. p19-34

Comptoms Interactive Encyclopedia copyright @1996

Collens Janet: Suffer the little children

October 1995. p20-33

Censorship News. Spring 1992. n20

Censorship: stopping the book banners. By the book and Periodical

Development council. August 1993.

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia copyright 1993


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