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Old 05-21-2005, 06:56 PM   #1
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Should there be more regulation of pornography?

Just wondering what are people's views regarding the regulation of pornography (internet and otherwise).

The growing popularity of the internet has made it more difficult for governments to regulate pornography.

Although virtually all countries have regulations against child porn, and rightly so, the rest of the porn industry seems to be very un-regulated in many countries, according to this essay on Wikipedia:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography

In this unregulated environment, I would have concerns about people being lured into pornography against their will, for example in countries where there the economy is depressed and it is difficult to find a job, or where gangsterism is rife, such as the former Soviet Union.

What are your views and comments on this issue?
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:09 PM   #2
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I think that where there is a demand for these things people will be there to supply it. Having said that the internet does allow for a lot more people to get there hands on such materials.

Regulation of materials is not the way to go about it, procecution of those that break the law and greater coordination between law enforcement agencies is.

I would hate to see everybodies internet usage undergo blanket scrutiny, that would only drive these networks underground and make it very difficult for them to be broken down and the perpetrators arrested.
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:28 PM   #3
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In terms of internet:

I would have no problem with regulation to an extent. I was reading a year or two ago about some legislation that would force porn sites to have a domain like www.(site here) . "sex" or "xxx" ---something that could easily be blocked by parents who don't want their child to accidentally find porn on the net. Forcing porn sites to be under an xxx or sex domain would not be infringing on anybodys rights whatsoever IMO.

Well, all this talk about porn I'm off to some of my favorite sites.
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I think that where there is a demand for these things people will be there to supply it. Having said that the internet does allow for a lot more people to get there hands on such materials.

Regulation of materials is not the way to go about it, procecution of those that break the law and greater coordination between law enforcement agencies is.

I would hate to see everybodies internet usage undergo blanket scrutiny, that would only drive these networks underground and make it very difficult for them to be broken down and the perpetrators arrested.
Ditto this whole post. And personally, as long as everyone involved in porn is consenting and of legal age and all that good stuff, I say leave 'em be. Those adults who wish to check out that stuff can do so, and those adults who don't don't have to, and everyone's fine.

As for keeping children from that stuff, well, as pointed out, there are ways to block those sites, and parents can definitely check out those options and go with whatever seems best. Besides, regulating a child's internet activity is something that the parents should be doing to begin with, not the government.

Angela
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Old 05-21-2005, 08:17 PM   #5
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Where I come from the term pornography means extreme violence, not explicit sexual acts.

I would indeed love it if the internet was somehow set up so that websites containing extreme violence had consistent URLs like the "sex" idea mentioned by ImOuttaControl. Then I can just avoid the sites all together.

As for websites with explicit sexual content I'm not so freaked out by those. Most of the time the people in the pictures are consenting adults, unlike the violence pictures. Again the "sex" URL idea is a good one.

Children need to learn what is applicable to their age bracket to view. I'm not fond of the net nanny system as its a form of censorship rather than teaching children to not go there. I view net nannies as similar to child-proof hot water tap inhibitors. I would rather teach my children not to touch the hot water tap then for them to play with the hot tap at home and then go over a friends house who doesn't have an inhibitor and scold themselves.

Hope that makes sense. I'm trying to say I prefer teaching to banning.
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:25 PM   #6
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I don't know what to think about pornography.

Looking at pictures of human bodies is such a seemingly innocent and natural thing to do. It should never really be an issue if someone has a desire to do such a thing.

Problem is we need to draw the line somewhere.

Pornographic content that involves someone who has been manipulated or forced into participating in it needs to be outlawed. (Eg. rape, "kiddie porn")

I don't know, but maybe society should not put so much of an emphasis on old fashioned and outdated ideas of pornography being such a "bad" and "indecent" thing.

It is after all, merely photos and films of human bodies and a natural and enjoyable form of human interaction.

What we do need to understand is that, with the internet making access a lot easier, porn almost cannot be avoided.

I always have some crap ads and websites opening up that consist of pornographic content. Why is this happening? Why is it alwasy pornographic? (anyone know how to get rid of this?)

I think that what we should do is rather than claiming that a voyeur is "indecent" in observing adult nudity and sex, we should simply accept it and mainstream it, and provide help to those who have developed an addiction to it.

I knew a bloke who developed an addiction to it, and it is very similar to alcoholism or smoking. They need help, because it can severely damage their lives in a world where porn is such a "no no." Their confidence and social life deteriorates.

Perhaps even teaching high school kids (13-14 years old) about porn and what it is, and who it's for.

Some kind of education is necessary, because they will find out about it, become curious by trying to acquire it secretly, and develop a nasty addiction to it.

It's potentially life destroying and is a form of "curiosity killing the cat."

There needs to be massive social reforms in reagards to the status of pornography in this world.
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Old 05-22-2005, 01:31 AM   #7
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I think we'd need a working definition of pornography to discuss this.... For example, some people think a painting of a naked woman is pornographic, whereas I don't think that painting falls under that word.
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Old 05-22-2005, 07:18 AM   #8
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I think we greatly undervalue the dangers of pornography.
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Old 05-22-2005, 07:44 AM   #9
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Why is it dangerous?
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Old 05-22-2005, 09:49 AM   #10
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i think we can objectively say that pornography has negative elements -- ultimately, it reduces people into body parts, and that must be suspect, and i don't think tanyone is oging ot have a fufilling relationship with a porn site or magazine.

however, there seems to be no reason to ban pornography, it can be responsbily enjoyed by adults (and 14 year old boys), and the dangers it presents work on an individual basis, and really present no threat at all to society.

i think it's rightly viewed as kind of a vice, like alcohol, and it is regulated as such -- you have to be a certain age to buy a magazine, most sites require a credit card and one must be 18 (in the US at least) to own a credit card, the industry itself is probably the safest place to have sex because it is a billion-dollar industry and it's tycoons are going to make damn well sure their actors are well taken care of and healthy, and i really can't see the harm so long as one is an adult and maintains a proper understanding of what is going on -- that it is *acting* and that scenes are heavily edited, the bodies are not natural, and no normal person can perform like that (except me ...

is it probably healthier to live without porn? yes, in the way that it's probably healthier to live without alcohol. however, i find that relaxing with a drink or drinking with friends in a pub is a pleasurable activity that relaxes me and helps my mental health -- pornography functions in much the same way, i think.

also, regulating/banning pornography is one of those strange places where the far left and the far right find common ground -- one sees it as "immoral" the other as "degrading" to women, and neither side trusts you, the consumer, to be able to make decisions for yourself. they want to make it for you, because they are either holier-than-thou or more-educated-than-thou.
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Old 05-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #11
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I think the real danger of it occurs when people substitute it for something that is lacking in their lives, for a real sexual or love relationship or whatever. Or when they become addicted to it, or start to view sex through the prism of porn. Of course sex can just be sex, but ideally I think it should be so much more. Also when someone in a committed relationship gets involved w/ it to the point that it has an adverse affect on the relationship. Some people can handle that and are "fine" w/ it, my viewpoint is different. It's not my thing, I don't find it appealing.

I think w/ all the internet porn, it's dangerous for teenagers to be exposed to that as their compass through which they view sex, and expecially if boys start to view women in a certain way. I think it's still a very formative time period. I just read and article a few weeks ago about teenage boys addicted to internet porn, it was scary.
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the other as "degrading" to women
I've never understood that argument. How am I being degraded because some other woman chooses to take her clothes off? She's the one who's potentially going to be degraded, not me, and really, she'd only be degraded if she were forced into it. If she chose to do it, and was enjoying her work...that's not exactly degrading, now, is it? And why is it people only talk about women being degraded through these activities? How come I never hear about men possibly being degraded? What, do people not think that can happen?

Also, I don't agree with the idea of people blaming porn for people's unhealthy views of the opposite sex. Kids learn about how to treat the opposite sex first and foremost from their parents. And if their parents don't set a good example, then they're going to have those views whether they look at porn or not. Besides that, I've talked to guys who look at it, and still treat women with the utmost respect. So if porn is so influential in how people see the opposite sex, how'd they escape that influence?

Angela
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:14 AM   #13
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Dangers of pornography are things like addiction, as people have already discussed; they're also things that don't effect the end user/consumer so much, like the abuse and neglect of actors and actresses, violence against these people, and the way this impacts the justice system and health system like any other act of abuse/violence. Of course, there's legal recourse for these people, who can go to that justice system and say 'look, I consented to be in an adult film, and then they beat the hell out of me against my will' or 'they beat me off screen because I wasn't doing exactly what they wanted', etc. This isn't reason to restrict pornography... this falls into a seperate legal realm altogether. People have the right to safe work. Your boss in your office wouldn't get away with beating the tar out of you if you didn't do something, so why should a pornographer be allowed to get away with the same?

Alleged danger number two, the constant suggestion that pornography leads to rape is, I think, misguided at best and completely flawed and erroneous at worst, and I'm glad noone brought that up because it just isn't a logical conclusion of this - no moreso, anyway, than someone saying 'yeah, well, every hour someone watches porn they aren't out raping someone' as if rape is the logical result of any given person's day. It's a possibility, don't get me wrong, but it is more likely that someone will develop a domination fetish, rather than go completely wacky. You have to be a pretty serious addict, and have pretty serious mental issues, to start ignoring the laws of reality. Porn should be self-evidently surreal; nothing that ever happens in porn happens in real life, the way it happens in real life. On one level, its almost a romantic ideal of sex and sexuality, and on the other hand, its a horrible (sometimes perverse) mockery of that ideal - that, plus a blind monkey could write a porn script.

Like Beli, I don't really consider explicit sexual content to be pornography... sure, its hokey and unrealistic, but isn't that the point? Sure, there's no 'love' element to porn, but you're either marketing this stuff to single people, or you're marketing it to people who are married and 'love' someone else (I say that guardedly, as some couples are okay with watching porn together, some are okay with it in general, and for others its a strict no-no). Sex really does have to have a violent content to get under my skin, and even that, the context of the 'violence' must be considered... Is the violence social/psychological, like the reduction of men and women to mere sex objects to be played with, dominated, and discarded? Sure there is, but that's no different from any other media institution which uses sex sells advertising; I mean, at least pornography doesn't try to cover it up, they do it explicitly almost to the point of hyperbole. No young woman, anywhere, ever, looks up with doe eyes at 3 fat fifty year old men and says 'ohhhh, fuck my ass' while someone grabs her throat. If reality is right here, pornography is off in la-la land somewhere around the moon. Pornography does not have real-world implications in the sense that it is realistic and should be emulated - no moreso than magic wizards casting fireballs in a fantasy novel. That's what this is, anyway, pornographers sell their audience a fantasy. The real-world implications come from the fact that people lack the ability to seperate fantasy from reality and -will- try to emulate it anyway, or will come to believe that this is 'how sex is'. I'm not sure that this is the responsibility of the pornography so much as the education system breeding people not to gain independant analytical thinking skills. Like, where is BDSM okay, and where is it 'violent'? Obviously you can't get to the point of snuff films and whatnot without drawing that line, but I'm not sure you can really draw the line before people start truly being 'hurt', as you can never really fully comprehend from the context of an edited film just what exactly was going on in the room at the time. Some people like BDSM, and some of them will watch BDSM films when not engaging in BDSM. This doesn't by necessity make BDSM 'wrong' or dangerous. The same people who think video game violence is real, or that you can dodge bullets like in movies, are the same people who pose a threat to the rest of us when exposed to 'violent' pornography.

So for me, censoring that sort of thing is completely arbitrary... sure, the line has to be drawn when people die (as in snuff films) but up to that point people can consent to participate in as much violence as they like... What about boxing? Hockey? Wrestling? Ultimate Fighting Challenges? Why not sex? I'm not even sure that violence is a proper qualifier, nor the way that it effects the audience. Not because the possibility is there that someone might get hurt against their will - this is a possibility of any situation, anywhere, at any time, and not a reason to start prohibiting things. It shouldn't be restricted simply on the basis that you'd be restricting something free of ill intent or harm. Without the harm component, you'd basically be saying you can censor anything you find distasteful and don't personally enjoy, even if you let some things go because you know others enjoy them; it'd still have that arbitrary bit in there that's hard to work out. I'm more on the side of continuing to make pornography available strictly to legal adults, continue to prosecute pornographers who break the law; with the addition that actors/actresses should be educated of their legal rights and responsibilities, and that the end consumer should be informed of the potential for pornography to disrupt family life and to form perception altering psychological addictions and so on.

I've always been a fan of 'try educating people about the harms something can cause, and how to use something responsibly' than outlawing it. Pornography isn't going to go away, so we have to learn to deal with it; and as nice as it would be if we could just close our eyes and will away our problems, that's really not going to happen. Restrictions do, I think, just exacerbate the problem rather than mitigating it in cases like this. You push people underground, you alienate them, and you make it unsafe for people to participate in making/procuring/consuming as people will worry about 'going to jail' or 'getting a fine' before they worry about their own well-being in the event that problems arise; this should never -ever- happen. An open forum for discussion on the issue is far more useful than making it taboo and trying to use social pressure to make people conform - this may have worked 200 years ago, but given the luxury available to the individual in the privacy of his/her home in this day and age, I don't think that there's really any way to regulate private actions and social pressure just isn't up to snuff for the job.


But anyway... sorry that's so long :\ I just didn't want to be too brief and make unclear points... if I can clarify anything, let me know.
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Why is it dangerous?
Many religious people find sexuality a sin.



especially people who say "we are all sinners."

it is an easy target, easy to identify

there are far greater sins that are condoned, seldom mentioned or even encouraged by people who worry about sexuality.
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:44 AM   #15
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Does everything have to be referenced in terms of religion w/ you deep?

I don't think sexuality is a sin, and yes I do think we are ALL sinners

I didn't think this thread had anything to do w/ religion, oh well
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