Sex and Society: Pornography 1

We’ve been discussing sex and society in general terms.  Society needs order, but it also needs children to continue more than one generation.  In Western civilization everyone wants liberty and the right to determine their own destiny.  At the same time, women want equality and empowerment over their biological fates.  As a result, individuals have fewer babies, society passes laws that discourages sexual freedoms, and conflicts result.

Most traditional societies have solved this problem using a special set of rules that we call “culture.”  Part of a traditional culture is to frown upon, or place an outright ban upon, pornography.

What is pornography?  Justice Potter Stewart summed it up best when he used the well-known phrase, “I’ll know it when I see it” back in 1964.  This is the best definition because pornography is a form of entertainment whose purpose includes sexual excitement.  If you get excited, you’ve got porn.

This also means it’s impossible for a society to create a definition that satisfies everyone.  In our “free” society, a young lady writes that creating porn films satisfies her need for self-expression.  However, she is surprised when she’s attacked by her Duke classmates.

She claims a right to create a pornographic film.  At the same time, she has forgotten that she also exists within a society that sets its own expectations upon her.  By breaking those social expectations, she encounters resistance.

Does she have the “right” to be a pornographic actor, as a legal adult but under the age of 20?  Does age matter?

Are we even sure that what she is receiving from others constitutes vindictive behavior?

I’ll know it when I see it.

 

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