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Midterm Assignment Topic ONE; Differences Between Obscenity and Pornography

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Midterm Assignment

This written assignment consists of two essay questions. Students are expected to develop a 2–3-page essay per question (excluding title and reference page). A minimum of 2 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources per question are to be utilized for the assignment. Sources should also be up-to-date (less than 10 years old). Direct quotes are not permitted.

Topic 1: Explain the differences between obscenity and pornography. State the case both for and against the belief that viewing pornography contributes to the commission of sex crimes. Does this apply to child pornography as well?

Topic 2:  Internet sexual predators continue to elude law enforcement in great numbers. What are the similarities and differences between the online sexual predators and in person sexual abusers?

Citations/References: You must use the most up to date edition of APA format for citations and reference listings.

You may submit each answer separately or in one word document: All work is to be submitted as an attachment to the assignment link by 11:59 pm EST Sunday of week 4.


Differences Between Obscenity and Pornography



Institution name:

            The terms pornography and obscenity are often used to describe anything sexual that society can perceive as offensive to set morals. Many people believe that the two terms are similar and can substitute for each other. However, obscenity and pornography exhibit differences despite being used interchangeably often when describing anything sexual in nature.

Obscene refers to something filthy, impure, or foul when exposed to the public (Carroll, 2021). Obscenity is a legal art terminology used to describe certain sexual depictions that are constitutionally protected to qualify for free speech because their tenets lean to more adulterate sexual desires than intellect. The U.S Supreme Court, in a 1973 Miller vs. California case, termed obscenity as materials that entice individuals towards impure sexual desires (Hald, Seaman, & Linz, 2014). The modern community standards classify obscenity as limited materials showing hard-core pornography, including a graphical portrayal of sexual acts or crude exposure of sexual organs. Such materials go against the contemporary community’s standards governing sexual morals but bear no significant literary, political, or scientific values.

Pornography, on the other hand, is defined as sexually produced materials whose primary goal is arousing the audience's erotic feelings (Hald, Seaman, & Linz, 2014). The primary goal of producing a film, writing a book, magazine, or creating a statue is making money but, such materials become pornography if their second purpose is arousing the audience sexually. For instance, medical textbooks and artworks or sculptures such as "The Thinker" bearing nudity are classified as non-pornographic because they are not meant to arouse viewers (Carroll, 2021). The intent for producing material is the main element of determining whether it is pornographic or not. The constitution protects most pornographic materials meant for adult viewers and readers as per the First Amendment. However, the First Amendment does not protect two categories of pornography, namely child pornography and obscenity. In other cases, adults have access to materials classified as obscene to minors making obscenity one of the complex issues of the First Amendment laws in the struggle to define pornography and obscenity from the perspective of adults and children.

Child pornography is a more recent form of pornography involving producing sexually arousing materials using computer simulations displaying children in sexually enticing poses or using children...


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