Commission on Pornography -- reply to GWSmith

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Kenn Barry

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Sep 11, 1986, 1:19:28 PM9/11/86
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From: m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile):
>> >A. Abuse of Persons Used in Production
>>
>> > Pornography is a medical and public health problem because people,
>> >particularly women and children, are abused in the production of certain
>> >pornographic materials ...
>> >If these were the only adverse health consequences of
>> >pornography the most straightforward remedy would be the regulation of the
>> >pornography industry to assure safe and fair labor practices.
>
>> This answers itself. [Gene Ward Smith]
>
>Yes, if indeed it were the only case. On the other hand, how do you really
>ensure the continued mental health of someone who has sex in front of a
>camera, and can find that film turning up anywhere, any time. Even years
>later, this film could damage a career or a family. And how do you decide
>where to draw the line in the work rules for this material?

1) They are aware at the time that what they are doing is
public, and a permanent record is being made. They've made a free
and informed choice.
2) They are adults, and have the right to make such
decisions for themselves.
3) Mental illness?? Potential later embarrassment is
possible, but what makes you think ex-porn stars are more
vulnerable to mental illness?

As for appropriate work rules, I should think they should
follow the current standards for modeling and film acting, with
slight modifications. No child actors, for example.

>> >B. Injurious Products
>> >[possible dangers of accidents with sex toys]
>
>If only ``a few people'' are reported as being seriously hurt, should the
>materials be controlled, or their sale be discouraged by discouraging porn
>that depicts their use? I think that we *still* have to balance the harm
>and good in each case.

OK, but we already have a way of doing that. It's called
"product liability". If I buy Dr. Feelgood's Super Strawberry Sex
Syrup, and get a painful rash in a very delicate spot, I can sue
the guy, just like I could sue a ladder manufacturer if his
brand-new ladder breaks under my foot.
By the way, I love that word, "discouraging"; sounds
*so* much nicer than suppressing or censoring :-).

>On the other
>hand, consider the mental health implications of presenting material
>which incorporates pain, physical restraint, and elements of slavery and
>degradation as normal sexual material. Damn, we've been having an argument on
>net.singles about just what constitutes rape when one partner isn't sure!

What do you mean by "presenting as normal"? The argument
is about whether it should be presented at all. Frankly, in a
society like ours, which is not even considering the censorship
of films like FRIDAY THE 13TH, part (X), the violence issue seems a
red herring in the porn debate. Unless someone wishes to argue
that cheap slasher films have a redeeming social value not shared
by cheap porn flicks? :-)

>> >F. Fostering Attitudes with Adverse Health Consequences
>>
>> > Pornography is a medical and public health problem because it
>> >increases the probability that members of the exposed population will acquire
>> >attitudes that are detrimental to the physical and mental health of both
>> >those exposed and those around them.
>> >... Analagous response of exposure to nonsexual media violence have
>> >been documented for even longer.
>>
>> Ditto my response to section E. Does this last sentence mean we should
>> ban Rambo?
>
>On this basis, it's probable that we should. But because of the subtle and
>powerful interactions between sex and aggression, it appears that we are
>more capable, in general, of seperating fantasy from desirable or acceptable
>behavior where sex is not involved. (I do not attempt to support this
>statement fully; indirect evidence comes in the ``rape trial'' studies that
>are cited and outlined in the Report)

Correlation != causation. That's why the evidence is
(politely termed) "indirect".
I'm always struck by the implied elitism of the
censorship supporters in these arguments. Censorship implies
censors, people who will read/hear/see *lots* of this stuff, like
the commission did. But they're respectable folks, so they're OK.
And Mark is no doubt sure it won't corrupt *him* if he should
happen to experience it. I'm sure it wouldn't corrupt me, too.
How 'bout the rest of you? Any of you think your morals would be
corrupted by porn? Or is it always other people's morals?

>> instance, one would wish to see why the effect of pornography is so
>> different in Japan and Western Europe. ... also ... a comparison to "Friday
>> the Thirteenth, Part LXVII -- The Story Degenerates". In other countries,
>> they are much more worried about media violence than porn. Does the evidence
>> show they are wrong? Dr. Dietz's comments seem to indicate otherwise.
>
>Recently, one of Sweden's public health officials was quoted as saying
>something very like ``pornography is the theory; rape is the practice''.
>(I will try to get more info on the health official and what he said.)
>
>Are those countries wrong? It would be more accurate to say that in their
>care to not restrict matters sexual, some have missed violent materials.
>In particular, Denmark has been the source of much such material, according to
>the Report. Remember also that the countries of Northern Europe *do* differ.

What about Japan? There is much more rape, sadomasochism
and general violence in Japanese porn than American; yet the
Japanese, though perhaps a rather sexist society, have a much
lower rate of violent crimes against women than the US. I think
that's also true (lower rate of violent crimes against women) of
all or almost all West European nations, yet some of those
countries have much more liberal porn laws than we do.

>Again note that public health considerations often must be balanced against
>individual liberties. Our written Constitution may not be the perfect
>description of the liberties that inividuals have a right to, but it's not
>a bad try, especially for the first of its kind. The fact that it exists and
>is still a source of controversy affecting each of us is a reminder of how
>well its authors and subsequent defenders did -- and still do -- their jobs.
>These questions need to be asked, and the answers need to be found. But the
>answers will not all inevitabely be the same.

I think the 1st Amendment sets a clear standard for
judging books, films, pictures or magazines that are accused of
being harmful: innocent until proven guilty. There is just no
serious evidence of anyone suffering harm from sexually explicit
material. A few rapists have tried to dilute their guilt by
saying "porn made me do it", but that's hardly to be credited.
Confusing things even further is the lumping together of
the effects of vicarious violence and vicarious sex, a confusion
that the pro-censorship lobbies seem to delight in furthering.
There is more public willingness to censor sex than violence, but
the only (limited) evidence of *harm* is against violence, not
sex. So they muddy the issue of sexual frankness with that of
violence. Where is the *evidence*? Why was the commission unable
to back their conclusions with hard data instead of hearsay? Does
anyone have evidence that sexual stimulation via porn (*not*
violence) is harmful? Innocent until proven guilty.

- From the Crow's Nest - Kenn Barry
NASA-Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ELECTRIC AVENUE: {ihnp4,vortex,dual,hao,hplabs}!ames!barry

SEVENER

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Sep 12, 1986, 9:35:02 AM9/12/86
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>
> > The alternative is Plato's Republic, where the Guardians of the public
> > welfare ban certain kinds of music, certain kinds of books, and so forth.
>
> The dividing line, which you are arguing (I think) cannot be drawn, is the
> point at which a photographic or cinematic depiction is designed for *nothing*
> except sexual arousal. Triggering sexual arousal is not communication in any
> sense related to the purposes of the Constitution. Or at least it appears that
> the Supreme Court has held this to be the case.
>
> mat, or to mtx5a!mtx5b!mat)

AH! Now we have gotten to the *crux* of the matter:

sexual arousal

Nothing here about rape, nothing here about violence, nothing here
about unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, nope
just plain sexual arousal.

Let's ban bikinis!! (they arouse *me*!)

Let's ban Rubens, Rembrandt, the Venus de Milo!!

Let's ban *anything* which may lead people to that awful, disgusting
*sinful* pleasure of *SEXUAL AROUSAL*!!

After all if God had wanted us to be sexually aroused......

Amidst all the noise about rape, violence, etc, you have finally stated
the true desire of the Meese Commission and the right-wing fascists
trying to take away our rights to private pleasures. Their desire
to repress sexual arousal.

Which is exactly what I have argued is the point of the Meese Commission
all along.
tim sevener whuxn!orb

m.terribile

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Sep 12, 1986, 5:01:07 PM9/12/86
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> Mark Terribile (mtx5b!mark) writes:
> > The dividing line, which you are arguing (I think) cannot be drawn, is
> > the point at which a photographic or cinematic depiction is designed for
> > *nothing* except sexual arousal. Triggering sexual arousal is not
> > communication in any sense related to the purposes of the Constitution.
> > Or at least it appears that the Supreme Court has held this to be the case.
>
> Strange. Art, as I would define it, is a selective re-creation of
> reality *designed to create an emotional response*.

Just one of many definitions. An artist once told me that art had to do with
seeing things in ways that others didn't, and juxtaposing them in ways that
others wouldn't. I guess that leaves out Rembrandt and much of Michelangelo
and DaVinci ...

> Films designed for *nothing* except the triggering of horror, piety, hatred,
> fear, compassion, laughter - any emotion other than sexual arousal - are
> constitutionally protected speech. I hold with the late Justice Black
> that the Constitution does not endorse such an exception,

And with William O. Douglas. But not with the other eight Old Men on that
bench.

> and I loathe any interference by the state with something as personal as the
> emotions, including sexual arousal, engendered by whatever art one
> freely decides to experience. And my intuition is that a society which
> regards sexual arousal as less desirable than horror or fear, and
> forbids works which evoke the former while protecting those which evoke
> the latter two, is *sick*.

What about a society that holds these things as so personal and private
that the community has the right to say that people shall not gratuitously
manipulate the feelings and physical reactions of others?

There is a judgement embedded in this to the effect that most of the works
in question do not constitute Art; that we can tell the difference between
those that do and those that don't, with a small range that *might*; and that
those that do or might are protected. And that the mere manipulation of these
personal and private feelings does not of itself constitute Art.

Is this where your disagreement lies?
--

from Mole End Mark Terribile
(scrape .. dig ) mtx5b!mat
(Please mail to mtx5b!mat, NOT mtx5a!
mat, or to mtx5a!mtx5b!mat)
(mtx5b!mole-end!mat will also reach me)
,.. .,, ,,, ..,***_*.

Robert L Krawitz

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Sep 13, 1986, 3:11:46 PM9/13/86
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In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:
>
>And (PED aside) you and I and the AG's Commission agree this far. (Would you
>like chapter and verse ...?). But the Commission is claiming that there is
>evidence that certain types of materials, generally cinematic
>depictions, which are designed to have certain sexually arousing effects,
>may be causing harm.

How does something with "sexually arousing effects" necessarily "cause harm"?
>
>The Supreme Court of this nation, in the *Miller* case, held that when such
>materials do not have any other value for *communication*, they need not be
>given the full protection of the First Amendment.
>
Unfortunate. Who's to decide what "communication" is? For five
points, explain how "communication" makes something valid, whereas
sexual arousal doesn't.

>> The alternative is Plato's Republic, where the Guardians of the public
>> welfare ban certain kinds of music, certain kinds of books, and so forth.
>

>The dividing line, which you are arguing (I think) cannot be drawn, is the
>point at which a photographic or cinematic depiction is designed for *nothing*
>except sexual arousal. Triggering sexual arousal is not communication in any
>sense related to the purposes of the Constitution. Or at least it appears
>that the Supreme Court has held this to be the case.

Well, just so it's clear, I'll argue that this line cannot be drawn.
Why is sexual arousal such a bad thing, Mark? Besides, the
Constitution doesn't state or imply anywhere that I can see that free
speech is limited to "communication."
>
>> I think experience has shown us that the open society is to be preferred.
>> Hence I am lead to the conclusion that pornography should be regarded as
>> innocent until proven guilty -- and where "guilty" must mean shown to
>> be a definite and extreme social liability. The sort of arguments Dr.
>> Dietz gave do not suffice, in my opinion.
>
>Ok. At least we are talking about issues and principles. Let me ask you
>then about specifics.

OK. Since it's clear that banning pornography in a general sense is
ridiculous, let's take some more extreme circumstances and see if we
can't generalize from them.
>
>Given the allegations made about peepshows, *if* the allegations that *some*
>of these places are littered with semen, urine, and occasionally feces are
>correct, and *if* they are so designed as to allow anonymous sexual contact,
>would you support specific public health laws to address this situation by
>requiring that the booths be closed to each other and that the occupants be
>visible from the outside? (Or pick another remedy of choice ...)

No. If people like anonymous sexual contact, it's better that they do
it in these places than out on the street. At least other people
habituating these places feel the same way.

Now for a change of subject:
>
>Given the claim by law enforcement officials, child welfare agencies, and
>others that pedophiles photograph children in sexual performances and traffic
>in these photographs, and given the fact that large collections of these
>photographs are sometimes seized when alleged pedophiles are arrested, would
>you support closing the loopholes in evidence requirements under existing
>statutes regarding interstate distribution of such materials?

What loopholes? You don't mean the Exclusionary Cause, do you?
>
>Would you allow a person who is not old enough to purchase alcoholic beverages
>to act in films whose sole purpose was sexual arousal of the viewer, or could
>the same (or similar) requirements of age be acceptable or appropriate?

Child pornography is quite a different issue. Here I think I would
accept restrictions.
>
>In case you are wondering, the questions *are* specifically loaded.

Now the truth comes out :-)
While not
>all peepshows are like the ones described, at least *some* are. Given the
>increasing concern about sexually transmitted diseases, the existance of even
>a few such places would seem to call for no less regulation than, say, the
>restaurant industry.

I'm getting confused. Are we talking about peepshows with cubicals
strewn with human excretions, or about kiddie porn?
>
>Under the current requirements of evidence under the relevant statutes, all
>the carrier of kiddie porn has to do when carrying it across state lines is
>make a couple of other stops on each side of the line, and the ability to make
>the evidence stand up in court is gone. The reason is a peculiarity of
>wording in the statute; other interstate commerce statutes do not suffer
>from this loophole.

I don't understand. Please explain the law.
--
Robert^Z

Steve Blore Howard

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Sep 13, 1986, 3:47:05 PM9/13/86
to
In article <15...@mtx5a.UUCP> m...@mtx5a.UUCP (m.terribile) writes:
>
>> The alternative is Plato's Republic, where the Guardians of the public
>> welfare ban certain kinds of music, certain kinds of books, and so forth.
>
>The dividing line, which you are arguing (I think) cannot be drawn, is the
>point at which a photographic or cinematic depiction is designed for *nothing*
>except sexual arousal. Triggering sexual arousal is not communication in any
>sense related to the purposes of the Constitution. Or at least it appears that
>the Supreme Court has held this to be the case.

And therein lies a fundamental weakness of any anti-pornography campaign--
trying to come up with a way to ban "Deep Throat" but keep "Last Tango in
Paris." Banning a movie based on the intention of its makers seems unenforc-
able in the extreme. "Deep Throat" wasn't designed solely for sexual arousal.
If it had been "designed for *nothing* except sexual arousal" there wouldn't
have been anything in the film which could not cause sexual arousal. For
example, the scene where Linda Lovelace visits her doctor ("How would you
like it if your balls were in your ears?") is intended for comic relief, to
make the audience laugh, not to sexually arouse them. The Playboy Forum
often contains questions about cars and stereos. This information is not
intended solely for sexual arousal, and so Playboy cannot be banned on this
premise either.

--

"I can walk like an ape, I can talk like an ape, I can do what
the monkey can do"

Steve "Blore" Howard, a Fun Guy from Yuggoth
{hplabs, seismo}!hao!udenva!showard
or {boulder, cires, ucbvax!nbires, cisden}!udenva!showard

e.c.leeper

unread,
Sep 14, 1986, 6:49:32 PM9/14/86
to ecl

> And with William O. Douglas. But not with the other eight Old Men on that
> bench.
^^^

Oh, my God, Sandra Day O'Connor retired and I never heard about it! :-)

Evelyn C. Leeper
(201) 957-2070
UUCP: ihnp4!mtgzy!ecl
ARPA: mtgzy!e...@topaz.rutgers.edu
BITNET: mtgzy.uucp!e...@harvard.edu
The future exists first in the imagination, then in the will, then in reality.

m.terribile

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Sep 17, 1986, 5:01:17 AM9/17/86
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Hi,
I'm going to reply to the latest flurry of articles, and I'm just
going to hit the high points quickly. The netnews traffic on this group
must be in the megabyte range by now.

>After reading all this material on pornography I've finally decided to
>visit one place and found something interesting. After ignoring the mags
>which I'm pretty sure are photographically retouched (I think, hope),
>I noticed that a fair number of the magazines were of women trussing
>up men for sexual access, beating, and other acts. The number of mags
>with women degrading men almost equaled the ones of men degrading women.
>My question is: I've heard about the ones on men degrading women, but I
>haven't heard anything about the ones on women degrading men. Any reason?

Your statement would seem to be contradicted in part by another poster:

>> What people who are against sexist erotica/porn/whatever should be doing, is
>>producing and distributing non-sexist erotica that can take the place of the
>>sexist stuff.
>
>I have seen a good number of magazines start out that way ... but they have
>all seemed to be unable to stay that way. They end up resorting to decidedly
>male-geared articles, ... stories, cover headlines and all female photography.
>... Is is ... that women aren't vocal enough about it? Or, is it only the men
>that make this type of venture financially feasible?

I suspect the latter. But anyhow, we've got an apparent contradiction. It
should be noted that some men *like* to fantasize (or play out) being
dominated. I'm curious: what ratio of male to female *customers* did you
observe?

>... I find it >very interesting (though not at all surprising) that many of
>the people who so actively support the conclusions and techniques of the Meese
i>report completely reject similar conclusions drawn by even better qualified
>investigators/investigations, regarding violence and its portrayal.
>
> Yes, these folks will argue that Rambo-ish films, and niceties such as
> "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" will not encourage violent behaviour. They
> reject out of hand the evidence presented by several investigations.
> They claim that to censor violence is an infringement of personal
> freedoms. YET, they wish to censor "pornography" based on much more
> flimsy evidence, and somehow come to the conclusion that "pornography"
> and its alleged concomitant social impact is in some way more devastating
> than violence, and tis impact.

I think that you will not find the Commissioners among ``these folks''. You
will not find me among them (although I *do* believe that linking sex and
violence is likely to result in a greater ``indoctrination'' than violence
alone -- my opinion, and *not* what we are really discussing here.) The
greatest concern (outside of child pornography) of the Commission was material
which mingled violence, coercion, and pain with sex and with apparent sexual
gratification and pleasure expressed by the victim of the violence or coercion.

But there is reason for concern when, with the aid of photgraphy and electronic
video, we are breaking down social taboos that exist in all cultures that we
know of. (See the excerpt from Commissioner Ritter's statement that I posted
a while ago.)

I would also like to point out that Edwin Meese, whatever you may think of
him, did not sit on the Commission. If you wish to follow the practice of
referring to the Commission by its chair member ... no, I *won't* tell you the
name of the Commissioner just yet. Research for the interested reader ...
Otherwise, please call it The Attorney General's Commission.

The reason for the interest in making some pornographic materials illegal
is the fact that it is possible. Because of the special nature of human
sexuality, the courts have held that certain materials may be found legally
obscene and may be restricted or banned from public distribution and display.

>>But the Commission is claiming that there is evidence that certain types of
>>materials, generally cinematic depictions, which are designed to have certain
>>sexually arousing effects, may be causing harm.
>
>How does something with "sexually arousing effects" necessarily "cause harm"?

*NOT* what was said. Certain materials, generally cinematic depictions, one
characteristic of which materials is that they are intended to arouse (but
*not* necessarily including all materials intended to arouse) may be causing
harm, and the means of that harm may include the arousal which they produce.

> As has already been pointed out, to keep a free society free, we must all
>tolerate things we don't like. The only way to regulate personal behavior is
>with a totalitarian government, be it fascist, communist or whatever. I assume
>most of us don't want a totalitarian state running our lives, so we have to
>tolerate pornography. The issue of damage done by pornography is only relevant
>when considering programs to help it's victims (if any) or to improve sex
>eduction or free birth control, or any number of other social programs.

This is drum-beating.

Whatever label you attatch to our society, we are a nation that abides by a
written Constitution whose exact interpretation is established by a Supreme
Court. That Court has held that there are certain conditions under which
the right to Freedom of Speech, as specified in the First Amendment, is
*not* absolute. One that we probably would all agree with is the case stated
by Justice Holmes: ``The right to freedom of speech does not include the right
to yell `FIRE!' in a crowded theater.''

That Court, the ``Nine Old Men'' (which term even includes Justice O'Conner),
has also held that where material is sexually graphic, designed to appeal to
the prurient interests, does appeal to the prurient interests, and cannot
seriously be defended as having literary, educational, etc., value, the
community may restrict the production and public dissemination of such
material. It has also held that mere possesion is not and cannot be an
offense except where the material depicts children or where there is a clear
intent to distribute.

If we are talking about the United States of America (to which not all of our
readers and authors belong, I realize ...) we must recognize the laws of the
country as political reality.

If you wish to change this, the procedures for amending the Constitution are
spelled out in that written Constitution. You are free to pursue them. This
is your right, and none will abridge it. (When are you calling the
Constitutional Convention?)

Someone recently asked how we may ban ``Deep Throat'' while permitting ``Last
Tango in Paris''. Please note also the my use of the phrase ``cannot seriously
be defended as having literary, educational, etc.'' interests. Under the
current standard, the Court has drawn a line right where you felt it could
not be drawn. Because of the requirement that the work be considered as a
whole, (except where child pornography is concerned) an obscene work cannot
be justified by a few quotes from Voltaire or a simplistic moral; a legitimate
work cannot be condemned by a few torid love scenes, or even a few paraphelic
depictions.

>Well, just so it's clear, I'll argue that this line cannot be drawn. Why is
>sexual arousal such a bad thing, Mark? Besides, the Constitution doesn't
>state or imply anywhere that I can see that free speech is limited to
>"communication."

Once again, the Constitution is what the Court determines it to be. That
Court has held that works lacking any serious {...} merit, intended to arouse,
arousing, and depicting certain things which may be spelled out in laws
(all but the first criterion considering local standards) are not related to
the purposes of the First Amendment, which include allowing political dissent
and intellectual freedom. In one form or another, this decision has been with
us for almost as long as the Constitution itself.

The Court has not considered the question (to my knowledge) or whether sexual
arousal is itself either a good or a bad thing. I think that we could agree
that there are circumstances where it may be either. (See the statement by
agent CYNTHIA in another posting)

[ ``Is it valid to brng a rape on film into this issue?'' ]

>>Yes. In examining *any* activity, it is relevant to bring up an example,
>>particularly one as extreme and heinous as a rape on film, sold and viewed
>>by millions of people (making them accessories). [ It is also vital to ask
if the event is representative or unique or somewhere in between ... ]
>
>"MILLIONS"? That is an interesting figure. I would like you to site a document
>that confirms such magnitude. A market study or # of copies made would be

Testimony of William Kelly (FBI, organized crime unit -- I've got Volume I here
but not Volume II so I don't have the full reference). Also testimony of
Linda Marchiano (nee Lovelace). Mrs. Marchiano alleges that during the filming
she was held prisoner by means including imprisonment and threat of death and
bodily harm. She claims that she did not wish to take part in the filming, and
was force to, and that the makers of the film, by forcing her to commit these
acts, raped her. The film is estimated to have cleared $50 000 000 .00 in
*profits*, which surely translate into tens of millions of viewings.

This is the most lurid and widely known incident described in the testimony
quoted in the Final Report.

>Also, I suggest you check distribution and quantity of copies printed for most
>"hard core" porn magazines and compare them to the figures for major "soft
>porn" rags -- I assure you the proportions are not in favour of "hard core"
>material. And far fewer people read them. Extrapolation of effects on a small
>segment of population on the population as a whole is not valid in this case.

Are you arguing that ``hard core'' material should not be a factor in making
law? Then you are saying that the material you are most likely to write the
laws to cover is excluding from consideration in making them! Only a small
portion of the population are career criminals. Does this mean that we should
not consider them when making laws?

>>Given the allegations made about peepshows, *if* the allegations that *some*
>>of these places are littered with semen, urine, and occasionally feces are
>>correct, and *if* they are so designed as to allow anonymous sexual contact,
>>would you support specific public health laws to address this situation by
>>requiring that the booths be closed to each other and that the occupants be
>>visible from the outside? (Or pick another remedy of choice ...)
>
>No. If people like anonymous sexual contact, it's better that they do
>it in these places than out on the street. At least other people
>habituating these places feel the same way.

In a society in which relatively free sexual contact is assumed, is it
acceptable for a person to take excess risks of carrying diseases which,
if left untreated, can kill, and diseases which cannot be treated, one of
which can be fatal to a child born of a woman with the disease and the
other of whch is (so far) invariably fatal?

I think not. If we are to assume that sexual contact unrestricted by such
institutions as monagamy is the rule, we must insist on minimizing the risk
that an ordinary encounter within the society will be fatal or even severely
harmful. This may require that truly blind and anonymous sexual contact be
prohibited in public places, and it may reasonably require that decent
standards of sanitation be adhered to in public places. To argue a blanket
condemnation of such requirements is to strike down all public health laws.

>>Given the claim by law enforcement officials, child welfare agencies, and
>>others that pedophiles photograph children in sexual performances and traffic
>>in these photographs, and given the fact that large collections of these
>>photographs are sometimes seized when alleged pedophiles are arrested, would
>>you support closing the loopholes in evidence requirements under existing
>>statutes regarding interstate distribution of such materials?
>
>What loopholes? You don't mean the Exclusionary Cause, do you?
>

No. Once again, where legally obscene material is transported across state
lines, the wording of the statutes is such if the private (non-common-carrier)
vehicles crossing the lines stop several times on each side of the line, it
becomes impossible to make the evidence stand up in court because the statutes
require testimony or evidence that the material actually crossed the state
lines. The making of several stops on each side of the line can make this
impossible to prove. Similar statutes covering firearms and other materials
require only proof that the transport ``effects'' interstate commerce; in
other words, it is sufficient to show that facilities used in interstate
commerce were used in the transport of the material.

Further, when an individual is arrested, and photographs seized, under
legitimate warrants, if those photographs show the individual arrested
engaged in sex acts with a minor (come on, a pediatrician or a forensic
specialist can demonstrate that a kid is 12 years old and not 18) and the
photographs, under scrutiny by experts in photography, cannot be shown to
be a fake or a forgery, is there evidence enough to convict the person of
child abuse or sexual child abuse? Currently, unless the child can be
located, and the child and his parents agree to testify, and that testimony
can stand the often abusive attack of a defense attorney, no conviction can
be had.

> Another very important difficulty with this kind of study is
>that it fails to distinguish cause and effect. Given that two factors,
>A and B are correlated there are ate least three possible *classes* of
>reasons. ...
>The Meese Commission jumps straight from A and B are correlated to A
>causes B! There are in fact at least two perfectly good models for C
>causes both A and B. ...
>Second, since porn is technically illegal everywhere in the US it

Which study are you talking about? Once again, Edwin Meese did not take part
in the Commission and his name should not be attatched to it. As far as
pornography being technically illegal everywhere in the US, this is simply
not true. California now uses the *Roth* standard, under which there is
almost nothing that may be prosecuted. (A very few such things have been
found.) Community standards in Lower Manhattan are such that even if the
full *Miller* standard were adopted, most cinematic and photographic
depictions of sex could not be prosecuted under that standard.

Agreed that mental health problems come about without pornographic material,
if pornographic material becomes an addiction that feeds the illness and
sustains it, is it not within the purview of a community to refuse to
legitimize that dependency?

Someone else asked (where's that article) how those who act in pornographic
films could be said to be subject to adverse mental health consequences years
later. Let me offer a scenario, which while a bit extreme, is not improbable.
In fact, I would be surprised if it has not happened dozens of times.

Sarah is a student at a local college, receiving some support from her
family and some from a part-time job. She and her parents quarrel;
they provide no money for several months, during which the pressure of
her studies keeps her away from school. She needs to eat and to pay
rent and purchase an occasional notebook, so she makes three hundred
and fifty bucks one weekend doing a couple of stag films.

Sarah graduates, goes onto business school gets a nice degree and a
good job. One day, one of her male colleages sees one of those old
films and gets a couple of the other guys in the office together. Now
they all see them. They start spreading the word, and pretty soon
Sarah has lost their respect as a colleague and has lost most of
promotability.

I won't bore you by continung the story for another couple of rounds;
but what about they day that Sarah's children see her mother in these films?

The pressure on Sarah, while not resulting in what we would call mental illness
certainly is going to result in ongoing and deep anxieties that we would not
call healthy ...

Finally, back to Dr. Dietz's *personal* statement, for a moment:

>> Interesting what people choose to pick on. Note the behavior described:
>>
>> indiscriminant sexual activity without contraception or prophylaxis
>>
>
> Please show me this language in your inclusion, Mr. Terrible...I can't seem
> to find it?

The relevant paragraph:
= Pornography is a medical and public health problem because
=it encourages patterns of social behavior which have adverse health
=consequences. The person who follows the patterns of social behavior
=promoted by pornography is a person for whom love, affection, marriage,
=procreation, and responsibility are absolutely irrelevant to sexual
=conduct. We do not need research to tell us that such persons on the
=average contribute more than other persons to rates of illegitimacy,
=teenage pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted diseases.

It is true that this particular paragraph does not use the words `prophylaxis',
or `contraception'. The use of the terms ``procreation and responsibility''
seemed to me adaquate to indicate that these were included in the Doctor's
statement. Do they appear not to be included when you read the text? (Please
have the courtesy to spell my name correctly, BTW.)

m.terribile

unread,
Sep 20, 1986, 12:06:16 AM9/20/86
to
> > The dividing line, which you are arguing (I think) cannot be drawn, is the
> > point at which a photographic or cinematic depiction is designed for *nothing*
> > except sexual arousal. Triggering sexual arousal is not communication in any
> > sense related to the purposes of the Constitution. Or at least it appears that
> > the Supreme Court has held this to be the case.
>
> AH! Now we have gotten to the *crux* of the matter:
> sexual arousal
>
> Nothing here about rape, nothing here about violence, nothing here
> about unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, nope
> just plain sexual arousal.
> ...

> Let's ban *anything* which may lead people to that awful, disgusting
> *sinful* pleasure of *SEXUAL AROUSAL*!!
>...
> Amidst all the noise about rape, violence, etc, you have finally stated
> the true desire of the Meese Commission and the right-wing fascists
> trying to take away our rights to private pleasures. Their desire

Or, rather, the question of whether turning sexual arousal into a commodity
to be traded at the price the market will bear, and provided with all the
moral integrity of Big Business, is causing harm, doing good, or being
indifferent.

How much is it worth to you to have a camera in your bedroom so we can film
what you do and publish it? Ten thousand, hundred thousand? How about a
million?

Oops, you're about to be undersold by a couple of starving kids in the ghetto
who'll do it for a hundred-and-fifty.

``Orgasms are up two in heavy trading on reports of a major new
marketing campaign ...''

(Oh, let me be silly once in a while! Trying to answer all of the silly ways
you encapsulate *your* agendas is getting to me!)

Sexual arousal is a means by which people may be manipulated. A woman
known as CYNTHIA got intelligence information that turned WWII out of
very loyal officers of Vichy France:

I discovered how easy it was to make highly trained,
professionally close-mouted patriots give away secrets
in bed, and I swore to close my ears to everything of
value on our side. The greatest joy is a man and woman
together. Making love allows a discharge of all those
private innermost thoughts that have accumulated. In this
sudden flood, everything is released. Everything. I just
never dared to learn our own secrets ...

CYNTHIA, later Elizabeth Amy
Thorpe (real name still secret)
quoted in
``A Man Called INTREPID''.

Hardly the stuff we want traded on the Mercantile Exchange ...

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