An introduction to the issue of pornography and violence

Page 30 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Youth, Pornography, and the Internet. The National Academies Press.

An introduction to the issue of pornography and violence

Page 30 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Youth, Pornography, and the Internet. The National Academies Press. PART I Prepublication copy- subject to further editorial correction 1 -4 fraction of the public will not particularly care about the nuances of any given definition.

For example, Saab Chatterly's Lover has been considered pornographic in some contexts and good literature in others. Recognizing these ambiguities, the committee chose to use the term "sexually explicit material," which is material textual, visual, or aural that depicts sexual behavior or acts, or that exposes the reproductive organs of the human body.

Sexually explicit material may be used for many purposes education, art, entertainment, science, personal sexual gratification or fantasy, and so on. From common usage, "pornography" might be seen as material that is intended to create sexual arousal or desire, and usually involving sexually explicit material.

An introduction to the issue of pornography and violence

Public concern and controversy in this area arise from the fact that on today's Intemet, it is easy to find graphically depicted acts of heterosexual and homosexual intercourse including penetrationfellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, bestiality, child nomography, sadomasochism, bondage, rape, incest, and so on.

Although some such material is comparable to sexually explicit videos and print media that are easily available in hotels, video rental stores, and newsstands, other sexually explicit material on the Intemet is more extreme than that which is easily available through non-Intemet media.

Under this usage of the term, an individual may believe that clinical discussions of sexual behavior and advertisements for contraceptives or lingerie are "homographic" because some people respond to such material in a sexual manner, even if those materials were not produced with such a result in mind.

A second issue with this definition arises in the likely event that a young child does not become sexually aroused after being exposed to such material. The promise is of Internet-based access to the information age and the concern is over the possibility that harm might befall our children as they use the Internet.

Realizing the promise in all its richness requires that adults put these concerns into perspective and also take responsible steps to address them. The purpose of this report is to help put the risks of Internet use by children into perspective and to provide a balanced assessment of different approaches that can help parents and other responsible adults to deal constructively with the risks that children face on the Internet, using as its primary illustrative example protecting kids from inappropriate sexually explicit material on the Internet.

For example, the report of the Web-based Education Commission, released in Marchasserted that "the Internet is making it possible for more individuals than ever to access knowledge and to learn in new and different ways" Box 1.

Appendix B contains a list of acronyms and a glossary that the reader may wish to consult. Internet Access in U. Public Schools and Classrooms: Government Printing Office, Washington, D. In the classroom, only 3 percent of instructional rooms were wired for Internet access in ; by77 percent of in- structional rooms were connected to the Internet.

In public libraries, Internet access is nearly ubiquitous, with over 95 percent of all library outlets with an Internet connection in and an average of 8. Over half of these outlets have high-speed connec- tivity.

Though these adoption curves substantially trail the overall price reduction curves for computing capa- bility unit capacity halves in price every 18 monthsdata storage unit capacity halves in price every 12 monthsand bandwidth unit capacity halves in price every 9 monthsit is likely that Internet access for homes and schools will be the norm in the future.

For children, the Internet generally eliminates many constraints of time and space encountered in the physical world and, as such, funda- mentally broadens children's access to information and experiences.

For example, the Internet provides convenient access to an almost unlimited and highly diverse if usually unverified library of information resources that can be used for educational purposes. It enables collaborative educa- tion and study, and it provides opportunities for remote engagement with subject matter experts.

It provides information about hobbies and sports. Finally, it allows children to engage with other people on a near- infinite variety of topics and interests.

Through online friendships and pen pals, their circles of acquaintance and diversity of experience can be vastly enlarged across state and national boundaries. At the same time, fueled by press reports and some personal experi- ence, children's easy access to the Internet raises concerns in parents and communities about less productive or safe aspects that may result from their Internet use.

One frequently stated concern relates to the easy Internet availability of "pornography," but public concerns are not con- fined to this area as Section 1.

For example, a study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that parents in the United States are deeply fearful about the Internet's influence on their children while at the same time believing that the Internet has important and positive educational potential.Read chapter 1.

Introduction: The Internet has changed the way we access the world. The National Academies Press. doi: / Some parents are silent about the issue of "Internet pornography" and do not appear to be very active in attempting to keep their children away from these materials or in protecting their children on the.

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