FAQ: Pornography

Question: 

Am I watching too much porn? Am I breaking any laws by watching it?

 

Answer: 

The purpose of pornography is to pleasure and excite viewers who can watch sexual content in a way that is non-coercive. If men are educated enough to know that they should not expect their sex life to be a mirror image of pornography and that everything that is shown in pornography is not necessarily true, pornography can be an excellent way of increasing sexual arousal. Pornography becomes problematic if it begins to interfere with your daily life. Are you skipping out on activities you once enjoyed in favor of watching porn? Are you feeling less social? Are you feeling inadequate or disappointed in your sex life? Answering yes to any of these questions may be a warning sign.

 

Also, consider that most pornography targets a male audience. In catering to a male audience, most pornography depicts fantasies that are common for males, but most likely are not what females like or expect out of sex. A lot of men also expect certain things out of females because of what they have seen in pornographies, and sometimes these expectations can make their female partner uncomfortable. The false ideas, about female pleasure that males learn from pornography can lead to stress in the relationship and dissatisfaction in sex life. Pornography can give people unrealistic expectations about sex. Pornography usually does not contain information about anatomy, female pleasure, certain types of male pleasure, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, or successful relationships. It is very important that people take the initiative to learn about human sexuality either at a school or hospital or from an educational book or a website such as ours.

 

As far as legalities go, in the United States it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to view or purchase pornography. This is a straightforward law in our society, but with internet, laws concerning pornographic material need to be augmented to deal with the ease of accessibility that the internet provides.  Pornographic websites often contain a disclaimer that "no one under 18 may enter," however, while this may relinquish any legal responsibilities the website has regarding illegal viewing, it does not stop young people from viewing porn.

 

Whether or not porn is considered "obscene," determines if sexual pictures are appropriate in our society. “Factual” pictures are deemed appropriate, while obscene images are not. However, the issue here lies in the definition of “obscene” and people’s personal opinions on how the word applies to the world of pornography. The most modern view of determining whether or not porn is obscene is based on sexual criteria:

 

1) If the work comes across as clearly offensive to the community as a whole, it may be considered obscene.

2) A work may not be considered obscene if it has any artistic or literary value, maybe even political or scientific value.

3) To be obscene the material as a whole must incite lustful interest in sex.

 

These three guidelines are the ones used by the U.S. Supreme Court when it tries to determine whether or not something is obscene.

 

Lastly, the viewing, distribution, and/or making of child pornography, or "kiddie porn," are illegal. Child pornography is a big problem in the United States because it exploits innocent children who might not understand why they are being photographed or filmed naked. The accessibility of the Internet makes the problem even worse.

 

Overall, pornography is not problematic if it is not interfering with your life,  it is not taken verbatim, and it is not exploiting anyone or breaking any laws.

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