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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156382 Find in a Library
Title: Discrepancies Between the Legal Code and Community Standards for Sex and Violence: An Empirical Challenge to Traditional Assumptions in Obscenity Law
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:29  Issue:1  Dated:(1995)  Pages:127-168
Author(s): D Linz; E Donnerstein; B J Shafer; K C Land; P L McCall; A C Graesser
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 42
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Community standards for sexually explicit and violent depictions were measured using a representative sample of Western Tennessee residents.
Abstract: Respondents were randomly contacted by telephone and interviewed based on four components: (1) selection of an adult respondent in the household who was 18 years old or over; (2) assessment of demographic characteristics; (3) subject recruitment to possibly view a movie and fill out a questionnaire about it; and (4) subject recruitment to possibly view sexually explicit films. Respondents believed sexually explicit films did not appeal to a self-reported shameful, morbid, or unhealthy interest in sex and were not patently offensive. Community members indicated they would be substantially less accepting of sexually explicit materials if they contained rape and bondage, and they showed virtually no acceptance of materials including child actors under 18 years of age. Despite acceptance of sexually explicit films, most community members did not approve of violent "slasher" films. Respondents, however, believed most others in the community tolerated violent films. Findings are discussed in light of an obscenity standard that takes into account conventional morality and community opinion and discrepancies between obscenity and community standards. Appendixes provide additional information on study procedures. 61 references, 17 footnotes, and 7 tables
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Child victims; Juvenile victims; Pornography; Tennessee; Violence
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