Does Pornography Matter?

Does Pornography Matter?

Does Pornography Matter?

Does Pornography Matter?

Excerpt

The question whether pornography matters is a very easy question to ask but it is not quite so easy to answer, as the distinguished contributors to this book make plain. I do not propose to attempt an answer myself, except to say that the law seems to have no doubt about it. In all civilized countries pornography is looked upon as an evil thing in the State which ought to be suppressed and punished. This unanimity is very impressive, and if pornography can be defined, as it frequently is, as 'dirt for dirt's sake', then the unanimity is understandable and accords with the view of most sensible people. But one is left with the feeling that the question raised in this book -- Does Pornography Matter? -- has never received the close and scientific analysis bestowed on other topics, and a book like the present publication may very well stimulate further skilled and patient examination. That pornography is an evil thing which ought to be stamped out was clearly the view of the English judges who first made the publication of pornographic matter a misdemeanour at common law; and it has been an equally firm assumption that the reading of pornographic matter tends to corrupt and deprave, though such a contention is naturally difficult of strict proof in the manner that facts are proved in courts of law. There is clearly room for extensive scientific research on the subject of pornography and its effects, but how that is to be done is not very easy to say. An investigation, for example, on the scale undertaken by . . .

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