Pornography and Censorship

By David Copp; Susan Wendell | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
It is conceivable that an "adult" theater can -- if it really insists -- prevent the exposure of its obscene wares to juveniles. An "adult" bookstore, dealing in obscene books, magazines, and pictures, cannot realistically make this claim. The Hill-Link Minority Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography emphasizes evidence (the Abelson National Survey of Youth and Adults) that, although most pornography may be bought by elders, "the heavy users and most highly exposed people to pornography are adolescent females (among women) and adolescent and young adult males (among men)." The Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography401 ( 1970). The legitimate interest in preventing exposure of juveniles to obscene materials cannot be fully served by simply barring juveniles from the immediate physical premises of "adult" book stores, when there is a flourishing "outside business" in these materials.
2.
The Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography390-412 ( 1970). For a discussion of earlier studies indicating "a division of thought [among behavioral scientists] on the correlation between obscenity and socially deleterious behavior", Memoirs v. Massachusetts, supra, 383 U.S., at 451, 86 S.Ct., at 993, and references to expert opinions that obscene material may induce crime and antisocial conduct, see id., at 451-453, 86 S.Ct., at 993-995 ( Clark, J., dissenting). As Mr. Justice Clark emphasized: "While erotic stimulation caused by pornography may be legally insignificant in itself, there are medical experts who believe that such stimulation frequently manifests itself in criminal sexual behavior or other antisocial conduct. For example, Dr. George W. Henry of Cornell University has expressed the opinion that obscenity, with its exaggerated and morbid emphasis on sex, particularly abnormal and perverted practices, and its unrealistic presentation of sexual behavior and attitudes, may induce antisocial conduct by the average person. A number of sociologists think that this material may have adverse effects upon individual mental health, with potentially disruptive consequences for the community.

* * * * *

"Congress and the legislatures of every State have enacted measures to restrict the distribution of erotic and pornographic material, justify these controls by reference to evidence that antisocial behavior may result in part from reading obscenity." Id., at 452-453, 86 S.Ct., at 994-995 (footnotes omitted).

3.
See also Berns, Pornography vs. Democracy: The Case for Censorship, in 22 The Public Interest 3 ( Winter 1971); van den Haag, in Censorship: For & Against 156-157 ( H. Hart ed. 1971).
4.
"It has been well observed that such [lewd and obscene] utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality." Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 485, 77 S.Ct. 1304, 1309, 1 L.Ed.2d 1498 ( 1957), quoting Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 572, 62 S.Ct. 766, 769, 86 L.Ed. 1031 ( 1942) (emphasis added in Roth).
5.
The protection afforded by Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 89 S.Ct. 1243, 22 L.Ed.2d 542 ( 1969), is restricted to a place, the home. In contrast, the constitutionally protected privacy of family, marriage, motherhood, procreation, and child rearing is not just concerned with a particular place, but with a protected intimate relationship. Such protected privacy extends to the doctor's office, the hospital, the hotel room, or as otherwise required to safeguard the right to intimacy involved. . . . Obviously, there is no necessary or legitimate expectation of privacy which would extend to marital intercourse on a street corner or a theater stage.
6.
Cf. J. Mill, On Liberty 13 ( 1955 ed.).

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