Masthead CMC Magazine / January 1, 1996

SPECIAL ISSUE: Philosophical perspectives of CMC

Sexually Explicit Materials and the Internet

by Douglas Birsch

There are many controversial issues connected to the Internet, but recently a great deal of attention has been given to the question of whether or not to regulate the sexually explicit materials available on the Internet. This article --describes the kinds of sexually explicit material available on the Internet, and identifies two categories of it: obscene material and pornographic material. Next, the essay presents the philosophical position that informs my suggestions about obscenity and the Internet, and then elaborates those specific recommendations. The final sections present a human rights view of pornography and obscenity on the Internet. I then offer some suggestions about the definition of pornography, pornography and the law, and a feminist/human rights view of pornography.

End notes

Douglas Birsch is with the Department of Philosophy at Villanova University.

Copyright © 1996 by Douglas Birsch. All Rights Reserved.

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