WHAT IS PORNOGRAPHY?
“Pornography is the eroticism of others.” This brief definition gives far from subjective into play when trying to define pornography.
Webster’s defines it for his part as the “representation (writings, drawings, paintings, photos) obscene matter to be communicated to the public” and points out that the etymology of the word refers to pornography prostitution.
That included pornography in the myths of the twentieth century, “porn means products of the X industry photos, videos and cassettes of adult men and women who carry actually – and do not simulate – erotic acts. ”
Definitions according to the censorship and the law
Any attempt to porno1 definition of pornography is forced to go through the issue of censorship, which varies according to time and political regimes. In this perspective, is considered pornographic any representation of sexual acts prohibited by law. One remembers that struck prohibited some now considered the greatest literary classics.
This prohibition may go beyond sexual acts and include lovers acts and acts of violence. Things get complicated in that some of these representations are subject to an absolute ban. This is the case of representations that depict sexual acts or violent acts involving children. In France, consumption of these documents is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
Other representations that depict adult heterosexual or homosexual sexual contact with animals, sadomasochistic relationships or acts involving the use of droppings are only prohibited to minors. Dissemination to youth falls under Article L. 227-24 of the new Penal Code.
The issue of sex education
Some consider sex education as a form of pornography, while the illustrations of sex manuals are supposed not to provoke the excitement of those who watch them, and that, in countries where sex education for adolescents is developed, sexual relations are less precocious.
Eroticism and pornography
porno2 The description and the public disclosure of explicit sexual acts can be considered either as erotic, that is to say that stimulate sexual love or obscene, that is to say dirty, degrading and shameful, from the point of view of which it is placed. These qualifiers can be applied to all representations of sexual acts or specific to several categories of them. There is indeed a paradox to be regarded as “degrading” and “shameful” acts committed by the majority of the population in private. So communication, the passage of these acts from private to public and their staging, making them “pornographic.” The representation of illicit sex only makes them even more pornographic.
Pornography is the subject of many scientific and ideological debate, mainly about its effects on those who consume it. It opposes two main theories.
First, the theory of “catharsis”, that is to say, when pornography is used to feed the fantasies and stimulating autoerotic activity of its consumers. In this perspective, the influence of pornography is exerted on the individual and collective imagination, and is supposed to have no adverse impact on actual sexual activity.
What is pornography?
On the other hand, the theory of “learning”, that pornography has an influence on the sexual acts of people. This theory seeks to demonstrate that the dissemination of pornography affects sexual crimes, including rape. American feminists were the most ardent promoters of this theory by considering that pornography contributes to the spread of a degrading image of the woman and it stimulates sexual violence against women.
Pornography thus has a history that tracks the social and cultural attitudes toward sexuality. It allows to discern the state of mentalities and social norms that regulate sexual activity of populations. It constitutes a true barometer of sexual climate of a society.