Should There be Laws Regulating the Viewership of Pornography?
Pornography is referred to as any readable or watchable material with no artistic taste to it but only focuses on explaining or showing sexual acts in a way that can raise the level of sexual excitement in the reader or viewer (Cambridge Dictionary). Pornography is a topic that has always remained controversial, and people have always raised their voices against it. Although in the recent past, some voices have spoken out in favor of it as well, still most people think of it as a curse for the morality of the society. Maybe it is because our religious and social norms put an immense amount of pressure on keeping our desires to ourselves and suppress them instead of addressing them. Our society attaches a factor of shame with the concept of nudity and the person who is showing their genitalia, and this shame is even more for females Because of such norms, when a person does something considered vulgar, s/he is faced with much hate and anger. Pornography shall be deregulated and the boundaries around it shall be released.
This essay will address the legalization of pornography. There are Many states recognize pornography as legal, but some conservative states which are against pornography. Even countries in favor of pornography have a general concept in public that watching porn is an act of a perversion. Pornography is still a taboo in the developed states like Europe and North America. They still attach the concept of shame with pornography.
To find a solution, we first need to understand the problem. We need to analyze why scholars and sociologists think porn is not good and why legal practitioners are convinced that porn should be illegal. If we research the societies which consider pornography as a bad practice, they are mostly religious ones. Countries with a Muslim majority have a problem with legalization of pornography because of their religion, Islam finds it immoral and suggests that if porn is allowed it would corrupt the moral values and youth (Rinaldo 256). Similarly, countries in which Christianity is practiced by the majority finds pornography as a threat to the society. Conservative Christians find porn offensive and find sexual intercourse out of wed-lock to be highly immoral and to corrupt for the society. Christianity believes in self-control and dictates more and more suppression of worldly desires to get a great life after death. It proves that the biggest stone in the way of legalization of pornography is the people who are religious. They think they are right and anyone who disagrees with them is bad and immoral (Shapiro, 2013).
Feminism is also strongly against the concept of pornography. Feminism finds porn as a degrading act for women. They think it will stereotype women as a sex object for men to help them satisfy their sexual needs. They are of the view that porn promotes sexual fantasies of men and they will just focus on fulfilling their desires when they are with women (Kaite, 1995). There is another group of people who find pornography offensive because it can promote sexual violence and can increase the rate of rapes being committed (Goode & Ben-Yahuda, 2009).
All these points sound valid, but if we look at the facts and figures, they are all not justified and proven facts but just a theory or opinion. First of all, the link of porn with sexual harassment or sexual violence has never been proven in any society. Some studies suggest it is just a misunderstanding that porn can cause the rate of rapes to become higher (Alison & Wrightsman). About the religious factor, we should not try to change the point of view of religious people about pornography, but at the same time they shouldn’t get the authority to decide for the ones who are non-believers. Everybody has a right to decide what is God and what is bad for them. They should be given a choice to choose whether they are comfortable with pornography or not and if they should be allowed to access it (Goodwin 261).
Moreover about the pornography demeaning the concept of feminism, one can argue on the point that the female actors who decided to work in porn were not forced to do so. She made a choice and should be allowed to practice her freedom of choice.
Pornography ban is an indication of government not giving freedom of choice to the citizens. The rights of people should be kept in mind while making laws. I agree that what is offensive to people, law makers should make laws to control it. But it doesn’t mean that just because something was offensive for one group should be banned straight away without thinking the freedom of the rest of the citizens. If there some problems with the legalization of porn, it can be discussed on logical grounds to find a solution that satisfies both parties.
Porn shouldn’t be banned just because people are having sex. But the content which shows violence and sexual relations with kids or even showing underage sexual life as a fashion statement should be banned. Making laws like these can help build a ground in which both parties compromise on some to get some, and that is what is necessary for a modern society.