The Pros and Cons of the Criminalization of Pornography

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The Pros and Cons of the Criminalization of Pornography Americans were alternatively shocked, alarmed and delighted when Marilyn Monroe appeared on the cover of the first Playboy magazine in 1953. Since that time, the debate over pornography has become increasingly heated, due in large part to critics who argue that the medium debases women and teaches young people the wrong lessons about human sexuality. To gain some fresh insights about these issues, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature to determine whether pornography should be criminalized in the same fashion and for the same reasons that hate speech is criminalized. A summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues are provided in the conclusion. Review and Discussion The issue of pornography has long been the source of controversy for many Western societies, particularly with respect to its implications for gender roles and sexuality (Lofgren-Martenson & Mansson, 2010). For instance, according to Griffith and Adams (2012), "Issues regarding the production and consumption of pornographic materials continue to be an intensely debated social topic" (p. 245). The social context surrounding the debate over whether pornography should be legal or not includes various principles concerning the importance of gender equality and compulsory sex educational courses that place a high priority on unrestricted rights to sexuality for both men and women

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