Should Pornography be Illegal?
In the present world, pornography had already become an integral part of people’s lives because images that contain at least a slight part of pornography can be found almost everywhere: in movies, songs, advertisements, etc. Many people say that pornography must always be illegal because it is the main cause of moral degradation in modern society. Also, there is a widespread opinion that watching pornography may lead to being addicted to it and that it may turn the person’s behavior into violent and result in murders, rapes, and other kinds of sexual abuse. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that the pornography issue being legal or illegal is very controversial as it implies both positive and negative sides, however, the most fair decision would be to allow pornography to be legalized though making it with few official severe restrictions.
The Legal State of Pornography
For the last few decades, pornography became more and more widespread in many countries (D’Orlando 51), and if compare the attitude and behavior of people who lived, for example, 50 years ago with the attitude to moral values of people from modern society, one would see a significant difference in their life philosophy. In the past, people were more concerned about being a good person in the eyes of society and even if they did something immoral it was hidden from public view. Today, many people do not hide their sexual side of life from others, and some people try to gain success through it.
The legal state of pornography has few sides to be observed. On one hand, from the ethical perspective, people have the right to do, produce, and consume everything they want if it does not bring damage to other people or property. Therefore, people have the right to watch pornography if they want to do it. On the other hand, the full legal status of pornography implies negative consequences to the present and future society. Technological progress had created the Internet, and this invention had already become the main container for all kinds of pornography that opens it to every person, even to people who do not want to look at it (in the form of advertisements). Pornography does not have any serious impact on adults who are healthy both mentally and physically, and for this group of people, it can be considered as just one form of entertainment. On the other hand, today, such groups of viewers as adolescents and people with mental issues also have access to pornographic images and videos (especially on TV and the Internet). The abovementioned groups do not have the capability of proper filtering and processing of received information. Therefore, pornography has a significant impact on them and even may bring mental shifts or damage that may result in all kinds of sexual offenses, murders, or problems with sexual partners and violent behavior in the future (for adolescents) (Romano et al.1).
Negative Aspects of Pornography
|1. Objectification and Exploitation
|Pornography often depicts women and men as objects to be used for sexual gratification, rather than as human beings with emotions, thoughts, and feelings. This can lead to the normalization of objectification and exploitation, which can be harmful to individuals and society as a whole.
|2. Addiction and Compulsion
|Watching pornography can lead to addiction and compulsion, which can have negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health. Pornography addiction can lead to isolation, withdrawal from friends and family, and can cause difficulty in forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Additionally, compulsive pornography use can lead to decreased productivity, difficulty focusing, and problems with self-esteem.
|3. Unhealthy Sexual Expectations
|Pornography can create unrealistic and unhealthy sexual expectations. It can lead to the belief that certain sexual behaviors are expected or required, leading to dissatisfaction and even harm in real-life sexual relationships. This can also lead to the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes and stigmas surrounding gender, race, and sexuality.
|4. Desensitization to Violence and Harm
|Some pornography depicts violence and harm as normal and acceptable, which can lead to desensitization to these behaviors. This can lead to the perpetuation of violence and harm in real-life situations and can have negative effects on an individual’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
|5. Contribution to Human Trafficking and Exploitation
|The production and consumption of pornography can contribute to human trafficking and exploitation. Many individuals are forced into the pornography industry against their will and are subjected to abuse and exploitation. By consuming pornography, individuals may unknowingly contribute to this harmful industry and perpetuate the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.
From this perspective, it should be pointed out that pornography can have legal status, but it obviously should imply few severe and official restrictions. For example, everything that implies pornographic images must be closed for people who have mental health issues or liability to them, and children under the age of 21. Making pornography illegal may not solve the problem because it would still be on the Internet and, at the moment, it is impossible to delete it completely. Also, by making pornography illegal, every person who takes part in its production automatically becomes a criminal and, using the law, must be imprisoned. In such cases, people imprisoned due to creating pornography will stand in one row with burglars, murderers, and rapists in the eyes of the law, however, making such criminal actions at least slightly equal is not fair. Moreover, with the overcrowded condition of prisons today, this issue will hurt the economy since it will require more financing with money taken from the wallets of taxpayers. In addition to the abovementioned problems that may appear together with making the status of pornography illegal, various protests will take place as well. By making it officially illegal, pornographic material will never be completely deleted from the Internet, and what is more, since it would be illegal anyway, it may transform into a more violent performance (as a form of protest) because there will be fewer legal restricting factors.
How to Solve the Problem of Pornography
The best way to solve the problem of pornography in modern society is to make its status legal but also set a few rules that may lead to severe consequences like imprisonment if not followed, which will help to filter the visual information from the media sources (Horvath et al. 31). For example, these rules can dictate that items, which include pornography, cannot be opened on the television and the Internet to all kinds of audience. Also, they cannot be broadcasted until midnight and can be broadcasted only on pay-per-view channels with high prices to eliminate children from watching them. Taking into account all mentioned above, it should be stated that making the status of pornography illegal may not solve all moral problems of modern society but can even create more problems and issues to deal with. The legal status of pornography gives the chance to the government at least to control what can be shown to the audience and what cannot be shown. However, the legal status must be followed by the rules more strict than they are today, for example, today, a lot of videos and pictures are censored with a simple covering of obscene naked parts of the human body with black squares and are opened to all audiences, but it would be wiser not to show it at all.