Over the past decade, the Internet has become an essential part of everyday life. It has provided a common ground for people to interact all over the world. Whether it is through information exchange or a simple chat, the Internet has changed the way society operates. Trade, information, and also a wide variety of entertainment have all become accessible features with the click of a button. There is however one form of entertainment that has overtaken almost every other service that the Internet provides. Pornography on the Internet has become one of the most controversial subjects in the history of technology. Pornography is simply an art form; a depiction of erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement. The question is should pornography sites on the web be banned in order to protect minors from indecent material. There are both positive and negative aspects to allowing pornography on the Internet.
Probably the greatest thing that Pornography on the web has accomplished is promoting free enterprise. “Porno sites” have turned this art form into a goldmine through the use of technology. Sites such as “Private Gold” or “Cybererotica” simply vend memberships to the public for the privilege of viewing their material. Pornography sites were some of the first ones to launch such impressive business strategies on the Internet such as banners and Online Purchases. In a way, pornography launched a computer revolution. Now it seems buying, selling, and providing services over the Internet has become a worldwide bonanza. Only a few realize that Pornography sites were providing similar services in the early 1990s, thus being a great deal responsible for the Internet’s booming success. Ever since the beginning of Adult magazines and films, the field of pornography has constantly received opposition from religious groups and concerned parents that it’s too vulgar and inappropriate for anyone’s viewing especially minors.
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However, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution illustrates the importance of freedom of the press (expression), otherwise meaning no censorship. It was however agreed that such material is not suitable for minors, therefore, declaring the minimum age 18 for purchasing adult material. The Constitution protects adult magazines and such; therefore that same material should be accessible electronically. Whether printed on paper or displayed through the web, pornography cannot be banned lawfully without violating the Constitution. It promotes freedom of expression, speech, and the press. Pornography on the Internet has also positively affected the adult population. Since Computers are now in almost every home across America almost all adults have access to the web. Pornography now being accessed ten times easier than before has educated men and women on their own sexuality at a rapid pace. It seems as though everyday people are becoming more open about their sexuality, as opposed to fifteen years ago when sexuality was never discussed openly.
It seems as though pornography being easily accessed electronically has resulted in the adult population being more sexually-oriented and much more nonchalant about topics that would seem inappropriate some years ago. All of these positive aspects of pornography on the Internet are however only one side of the argument. Many protestors have complained about Pornography on the Internet being so easily accessible and corrupting minors at a young age, organizations such as Victims of Pornography fight to keep Pornography out of the life of Christians. This is the main reason why adult sites on the net are constantly persecuted. Regardless of the age requirements that these sites post, minors still access pornography on the net. This is the biggest problem with pornography being accessible on the Internet. Ninety percent of all hits on the University of Texas computers are pornography sites, most of these are students that most recently turned 18 meaning there is a high probability that adult sites were being accessed long before their 18th birthday.
Minors however aren’t being held responsible for their actions, the sites that display X-Rated material are said to be ruining America’s youth. Pornography is also said to produce rapists in that it gives people an overactive imagination. Overaggressive sexual tensions produce the majority of sexual crimes that take place, therefore it is said that pornography has no positive place in society. Another problem with adult sites on the Internet is that they have become outrageously uncontrollable. They seem to be attempting to monopolize the Internet in a way that is unacceptable; for example, if one wants to view the America Online Website and mistypes the URL and types the screen will shoot right to a porn site. Trying to pull in more customers by taking advantage of a typo is a crafty business strategy, however many minors have probably viewed that page inadvertently and that is when adult sites begin to cross the line.
It seems that keyword searches are affected too, a simple online search at Yahoo! or AltaVista search engines can yield adult site links all over the screen just because a word is taken out of context. In this debate however the positive seems to outweigh the negative, which shows that Pornography on the Internet should not be banned. Adult sites opened the door for electronic commerce, are protected by the Constitution, and have contributed to the open nature of men and women’s sexuality in the 1990s. It is true that it does provide less than appropriate viewing for minors but that issue is constantly becoming more and more nonexistent due to anti-adult site software, which aids in protecting youth from X-rated material.
Programs such as NetNanny are designed for parental use in shielding their children from material they are not mature enough to handle. The issue of pornography contributing to sex crimes is no doubt the most disturbing of all, however, this issue is no different than the issue of violence on television because in today’s society there will always be negative influences. The manner in which those influences are being dealt with is however the only real threat because an idea can only go so far but the negative actions behind that idea are the crimes that have become the fear of sex crime victims everywhere. Taking all of this into account the conclusion is made that online pornography has had a positive affect on society as a whole and therefore should not be banned.
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