This chapter seeks to answer the threshold question of whether sexually explicit material should be regarded as speech. If the principle of freedom of speech covers hardcore pornography, then the legislature must produce compelling reasons to justify its proscription; put another way, courts must subject obscenity laws to strict scrutiny to ensure that free speech rights are not infringed. If, on the other hand, hardcore pornography is not speech, the legislature has greater freedom to ban it, although it may decide that is not, all things considered, a sensible course to take. The chapter looks at pornography and its relationship with morality; specific harms that may be caused by pornography, focusing on sexual crimes, harm to children, and harm to women; the ‘offensiveness’ principle of pornography; and how the law should treat pornography for which artistic, literary, or other merit or value is claimed.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.