II. Pornography And Morality [2]

Part: 
One
Chapter: 
3

Acting as a whole, the Commission attempted to provide a reasoned analysis of the permissible and desirable relationships between government and the regulation of sexually explicit materials, including the rights of citizens to take private action. As a governmental body, we studiously avoided making judgments on behalf of the government about the morality of particular sexual acts between consenting adults or their depiction in pornography. This avoidance, however, should not be mistaken for the absence of moral sentiment among the Commissioners.

I, for one, have no hesitation in condemning nearly every specimen of pornography that we have examined in the course of our deliberations as tasteless, offensive, lewd, and indecent. According to my values, these materials are themselves immoral, and to the extent that they encourage immoral behavior they exert a corrupting influence on the family and on the moral fabric of society.

Pornography is both causal and symptomatic of immorality and corruption. A world in which pornography were neither desired nor produced would be a better world, but it is not within the power of government or even of a majority of citizens to create such a world. Pornography is but one of the many causes of immorality and but one of its manifestations. Nonetheless, a great deal of contemporary pornography constitutes an offense against human dignity and decency that should be shunned by the citizens, not because the evils of the world will thereby be eliminated, but because conscience demands it.

Notes

  1. Chairman Hudson, Commissioners Dobson, Lazar, Garcia and Cusack concur in this section.