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NCJ Number: 213937 
Title: Looking for a New Approach to an Old Problem: The Future of Obscenity and Pornography (From Visions for Change: Crime and Justice in the Twenty-First Century, Third Edition, P 69-85, 2002, Roslyn Muraskin and Albert R. Roberts, eds. -- See NCJ-213935)
Author(s): Jay S. Albanese Ph.D.
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Prentice Hall (Pearson Education)
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Sale Source: Prentice Hall (Pearson Education)
One Lake Street
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter compares the work of two national commissions that have drawn widely different conclusions after examining the nature of and policies toward obscenity and pornography; recent court interpretations of legislative efforts to control pornography are also examined.
Abstract: The mandates of the two commissions were similar. The U.S. Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, reporting in 1970, was established to assess existing law pertinent to these issues; the nature and prevalence of obscene and pornographic materials; its relationship to crime and other antisocial behavior; and how best to regulate its production, distribution, and use. Similar objectives were given the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, which reported in 1986. This chapter examines how these two Commissions differed in their conclusions regarding trends in the pornography industry, the effects of pornography on behavior, appropriate action to be taken by private citizens, legislative and law enforcement remedies, and the role of computers and the Internet in the distribution of pornography. Attention is given to the consumers of pornography and a shift in focus from sex to violence in concern about obscenity. The latter issue was either omitted or superficially addressed by the two commissions. The Commissions also failed to address adequately the causes of the persistent appeal of pornographic material. The author poses two questions for which better answers are needed in determining whether and/or how sexually explicit materials constitute a social problem: Why are consumers of pornography predominately male, and are females increasingly consumers of sexually explicit materials? Does sex education promote less prurient attitudes toward sex, which, in turn, reduces interest in pornography? The author advises that the answers to these questions based on research and experimentation will make future decisions about obscenity and pornography "less a matter of taste and more a matter of fact." 2 tables and 39 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Commission on Obscenity and Pornography; Media violence; Pornography; Pornography as crime factor; Sex offenses; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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