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What is Pornography?
Pornography can be thought of as all sexually explicit material intended primarily to arouse the reader, viewer, or listener. The United States Supreme Court has said that there are four categories of pornography that can be determined illegal, which include: indecency, material harmful to minors, obscenity, and child pornography.
A) Indecent material includes messages or pictures on telephone, radio, or broadcast TV that are patently offensive descriptions or depictions of sexual or excretory organs or activities. It is often referred to as “sexual nudity” and “dirty words.”
B) Material harmful to minors (HTM ) represents nudity or sex that has prurient appeal for minors, is offensive and unsuitable for minors, and lacks serious value for minors. There are “harmful to minors” laws in every state.
C) Obscenity (“hard-core pornography”) is graphic material that focuses on sex and/or sexual violence. It includes close-ups of graphic sex acts, lewd exhibition of the genitals, and deviant activities such as group sex, bestiality, torture, incest, and excretory functions.
There are federal obscenity laws that criminalize distribution of obscenity on the Internet, but they have not been vigorously enforced.
D) Child pornography is material that visually depicts children under the age of 18 engaged in actual or simulated sexual activity, including lewd exhibition of the genitals.
It is ALWAYS illegal to produce, distribute, or possess child pornography in the United States!
Internet Safety 101® Program Video: 'What is Pornography?'
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