Pornography 2 Essay Research Paper In April

Pornography 2 Essay, Research Paper

In April, 1912, the largest and most luxurious vessel ever

built set forth on its maiden voyage. The British liner Titanic

had a double bottomed hull, divided into sixteen watertight

compartments. Because as many as four of these could be

completely flooded without endangering the ship s buoyancy, the

Titanic was considered unsinkable (Winocour 1960: 12). On the

fateful night of April 14, shortly before midnight, the great

liner was steaming through the foggy North Atlantic when it

collided with an enormous iceberg. A 300 foot gash was ripped in

the ship s right side, rupturing five of its watertight

compartments. The Titanic sank into the icy depths, claiming

1,522 lives (Stephens 1987: 51).

A tragic, though often untold story about that night

concerns one man on another ship, less than 20 miles away from

the Titanic. The other vessel was the Californian, and it could

have come to the rescue of the sinking liner, if someone had been

listening. Unfortunately, the radio operator had fallen asleep

on duty. When help finally reached the disaster area it was too

late to save more than a few lives (Wade 1979: 238). The very

greatness of the Titanic had caused her crew and passengers to

feel inordinately confident. Unsinkable was such an assuring

term, but it proved a fatal misjudgment.

Like the Titanic, our great ship of state, America, has

gone adrift and is headed for a potentially fatal collision.

Many feel she, too, is unsinkable; but that assessment is rooted

in feeling, not fact. The truth of the matter is that America

has already run into some icebergs that have damaged her hull

and she is in grave danger.

Each year the industry that produces adult products of one

kind or another chalks up profits in excess of 10 billion

dollars. That is as much as the legitimate movie and record

industries make combined (Wright 1990: 243). Six of the most

profitable newsstand monthlies are now male entertainment

magazines. Over 500,000 children are used as models in the child

pornography industry (U.S. Department of Justice 1986: 654). The

United States Attorney General s publication (1986: 654) on

syndicated child pornography noted that over 2,375 monthly

publications are produced in America on that subject alone.

Pornography is one of the most unselective evil influences

in our society. Gambling and tobacco are restricted to adults.

Alcohol is not to be sold to anyone under legal drinking age.

However, every time you walk past the average convenience store

magazine rack some form of pornography stares out at you. Though

some stores have tried to camouflage the blatant sex magazines by

covering the racks, others have it available at the register.

The aggressive, open marketing of pornographic sex began in

1955. Hugh Hefner, with little money and a center page fold-out

of a nude Marilyn Moroe, developed Playboy magazine into one of

the most amazing financial success stories in journalistic

history. Playboy s successive manipulations and distortions of

the image of women typifies the pornography-conditioning process.

As the most influential and pioneering magazine of its kind, it

laid the ground work for the whole media sexploitation movement

(cited in Morrow and Company 1980: 121). Hefner s magazine has

led the way in communicating pornography through pictures and

carefully planned written articles.

During the 20 years that followed the birth of Playboy, one

hundred competitors followed, crowding other magazines off the

newsstands. Who could have imagined that the competition in

filth would eventually excrete a magazine like Hustler, sold

worldwide and currently boasting a serious challenge to Playboy

circulation records.

The plague of pornography is not limited to the printed page

alone. Can anyone deny that movies are more sexually explicit

than ever? The film industry does not call it pornography, they

call it realism . The movie industries no longer bar perversion

from the screen, opening the door for an even lower level of

decency in the industry. That which has not been barred from the

screen is now no longer barred from the home. Double and triple

X rated films are now available through cable television. They

are being sold in stores on video cassettes and little by little

are filtered into prime-time television. Children left

unattended for even a short period of time could be exposed to

the rawest of pornography, simply by turning the dial in the

wrong direction.

We are drowning our young people in violence, cynicism, and

sadism. It can be observed that the grandchildren of the kids

who used to weep because the little match girl froze to death now

feel cheated if she is not slugged, raped, and thrown into a


Police vice squads report that 77% of the child molesters of

boys and 87% of molesters of girls admitted trying out, or

imitating the sexual behavior modeled by pornography. Among

rapists, 55% said that scenes depicting heterosexual intercourse

were transferred from an outside erotic source (photo, book,

film) to their fantasy life. The same held true for 30% of the

male pedophiles (U.S. Department of Justice 1992: 237).

With explicit magazines, sensual movies and video tapes

readily available, our nation is drowning in a sea of sensuality.

One half of all divorce takes place because of adultery, often

encouraged by pornography (U.S. Bureau of Census 1991).

Charles Keating, in a report on pornography to the U.S.

Senate Judiciary Committee, reports that a recent study by the

Michigan State Police, using a computer to classify over 35,000

sex crimes committed over a 20 year period, found that 43% were

pornography related (U.S. Department of Justice 1986: 655).

Pornography gives a distorted view of human sexuality. It

stresses the erotic without giving so much as a hint of where its

path will lead. A sense of right and wrong is necessary for the

life of a civilization. In its absence society will destroy

itself. History shows that the loosening of moral bonds is the

first stage of disintegration.

Pornography constitutes a direct attack on significant

relationships because it helps create a mind-set which encourages

the treatment of people as sexual objects. Modern pornography is

an education system. It teaches. Its message is: Human beings

are mere animals; the highest value is immediate pleasure; other

people may be used, abused, and then discarded. It teaches that

sex is divorced from love, commitment, morality, and

responsibility. That perversion is to be preferred to normality,

that women are fair game for anyone who cares to exploit them.

No one can accurately calculate the number of divorces,

emotional scars, the bondage and the guilt that pornography has

brought to society. Only a massive effort on the part of

thousands can possibly cure the disease of pornography.

Fortunately, there are groups such as the National Federation for

Decency which help to wage the battle against pornography. There

are cities in America where adult bookstores have been closed

because of the insistence of citizens that the laws be applied.

Millions of citizens could, if they wished, boycott those stores

where pornography is sold. In a perfect world the U.S. Attorney

General s Office would receive a blizzard of mail requesting the

enforcement of the federal law which prohibits obscene materials

from moving in interstate commerce.

For many citizens the movie theater used to be taboo.

Today s generation, by and large, regard it as neutral. A place

that can show good or evil. Gradually it has become more

difficult to draw the line. Movies that are more risqu often

leave people with the knowledge that they could have been better

had some scenes been cut. Offenses are tolerated, often with the

excuse that it is no worse than what you can see on television.

Fueled by the explosive power of sexuality, the invisible

line has been pushed farther and farther down the path of

sensuality. Young people particularly are bound to find ways to

view sexually provocative movies. Many parents wonder why their

children s moral views and behavior seem looser than previous

generations. Now with the video and cable television explosion

everything is up for grabs.

The issue of legislation governing pornography remains a

major debate on the American scene. Shall legislation be further

framed to abolish pornography or does such legislation become

censorship and a violation of civil rights?

Freedom of speech does not give any person the right to walk

onto the floor of Congress and speak their mind. Their liberty

is limited not only as to where they can say it but what he says.

No individual has a right to slander others, nor do our laws

allow him or her the liberty to do so at will. This does not

mean that he or she lacks freedom to speak, if it be done

decently and in order.

Freedom of the press means the liberty to publish, but it

does not mean liberty to publish libelous or inflammatory

statements. Nor has anyone the right to publish another person s

property, to publish stolen or copyrighted materials. No one has

the right to publish materials violating the privacy rights of


Can we give anyone unlimited liberty to do as they please?

Can people rob each other whenever they see fit? Kill at will?

If permitted, soon no one would have liberty. Even liberty

itself is under law. The basic premise of American law calls for

liberty of speech and freedom of press, subject to the necessary

restrictions of law and order. The purpose of current

legislative proposals concerning pornography is not the

destruction of liberty but its furtherance.

Pornography demands a world of moral anarchy, a world in

which anything and everything goes, especially if it is

perverted. It is hostile to law and order itself. Pornography

denies the very concept of law. It believes in a world without

law and is dedicated to creating it. It must destroy liberty in

order to usher in anarchy and a world without law.

Under the cloak and name of liberty, the pornographers are

out to destroy liberty. The defense of our historic American

system of liberty under law requires that we wage war against



Morrow, William and Company. 1980. Interview with Judith

Bat-Ada by Laura Lederer. Pp. 121 in Take Back the Night.

New York: Free Press.

Stephens, Patrick. 1987. Disasters at Sea. Ed. by Milton Watson.

NewYork: Wellingsborough Press.

U.S. Bureau of Census. 1991. Statistical Abstract of the

U.S.. Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Department of Justice. 1986. Attorney General s

Commission on Pornography. Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Department of Justice. 1992. Crime in the U.S.

Uniform Crime Reports. Washington, DC: Author.

Wade, Craig. 1979. The Titanic- End of a Dream. New York: Rawson

and Wade Publishers.

Winocour, Jack. 1960. The Story of the Titanic. New York: Dover


Wright, John. 1990. The Universal Almanac. San Francisco, Ca.:



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