Pornography in the 20th Century Essay

Pornography in the 20th Century Essay

Length: 2231 words (6.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Laura Kipnis has described pornography as “an archive of data about...our history as a culture”. Therefore if, she described it as such, what can it tell us about the sexual history of the 20th century? Examining the history of the forms of archive from pornographic playing cards to blu-ray discs and the internet, this shows the ever changing form of how as a society we view pornography. From the forms of archive come the social implications of pornography. This will be examined through the 1986 Meese Commission in the United States of America into the pornographic industry. Finally, this exposition will also examine the differing views of Gay and Straight pornography and the changes that have taken over the 20th century. Overall, the 20th century was a fundamental shift in sexual attitudes towards pornography.
In order to examine the sexual history of the 20th century, it is crucial to understand the context of what Kipnis meant in her quote about pornography. Her idea is no matter what your opinion about pornography; it entices and interests the viewer. It is intriguing to think about it from a cultural standpoint in her view and even from a personal view because society in general, tends to think about the data itself, but not about the people who are against pornography being drawn in as such as someone who thinks as of pornography as a positive. This point will be discussed in the Meese Commission. In her opinion, Kipnis states that there are no boundaries between private and public pornography because they are constantly shifting and therefore it is too difficult to tell where they are. Because of the idea of public versus private domain is a common theme throughout pornography and will be examined further, especially ...


... middle of paper ...


...cs of Fantasy in America, New York, 1996.

Oosterhuis, H., ‘Richard Von Krafft-Ebing’s “Step-Children of Nature”: Psychiatry and the Making of Homosexual Identity’, in K. M. Phillips and B. Reay, eds, Sexualities in History: A Reader, New York, 2002

Sigel, L., ‘Filth in the Wrong People’s Hands: Postcards and the Expansion of Pornography in Britain and the Atlantic World, 1880–1914’, Journal of Social History, 33, 4, 2000

Stewart, S., ‘The Marquis de Meese’, Critical Inquiry, 15, 1988–9

Vance, C.S., ‘Negotiating Sex and Gender in the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography’, in K.M. Phillips and B. Reay, eds, Sexualities in History: A Reader, New York, 2002, pp.359–74.

Waugh, T., ‘Men’s Pornography: Gay Vs. Straight’, in C.K. Creekmur and A. Doty, eds, Out In Culture, Durham NC, 1995, pp.307–27.
Williams, L., ed., Porn Studies, Durham NC, 2004.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Brief Overview of Porn and the 20th Century Essay example

- Porn and technology: Pornography has, more than any other type of media, been on the bleeding edge of technology. Pushing new mediums to their limit, usually in the last way they were ever intended to be used (Gross, 2010). We start off the 20th Century with the Half-tone printing process being only two decades old. This was the first process that allowed images to be inexpensively reproduced. Magazines were the leading pornographic medium, and they were only available by mail. Then, with the advent of film, the Stag films were first produced in Germany and Latin America....   [tags: pornography, technology, sex]

Term Papers
1986 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about What Should Be Done About Internet Pornography?

- Is it an abridgment of freedom to restrict access to internet pornography. How would such an abridgment work. Pornography: What it is. For purposes of discussion I will be using the term in 3 different contexts: 1, referring to the collection of visual depictions of erotic activity, usually but not always involving full contact sex; 2, as well as the production and transmittal of same; 3, the industry in general, its depiction, portrayal, and distribution. At every step I hope to make clear in context which I'm referring to....   [tags: Internet Pornography]

Free Essays
1526 words (4.4 pages)

Sex, Pornography, and Lolita Essay

- Sex is an integral part of society, it permeates the life of every person. In many cases it defines how we act and feel. However, when sex becomes the topic of conversation the conversation becomes uncomfortable and is considered taboo. In this case what taboo means is that the topic, sex, is not up for discussion for fear of social backlash. During the twentieth century, this backlash was often ostracization and shaming. These punishments are not befitting of a topic like sex, sex deserves to be discussed openly and in full view of society as both a medium of expression and an acceptable topic of conversation....   [tags: Pornography Essays]

Term Papers
2250 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Overview of the Issue of Pornography

- A life in erotic cinematic film also known as skinematography can become a rewarding career and punishing career. An example in pornography could be a camera and two people having sex it can sometimes be over a dozen people having sex. However people in today’s time keep in the shadows and say that pornography is something they hold equal to a painting of some of the greats, on the other side of the scale non-viewers of erotic films will say they are obscene trash and often view the common spectators as dirty minded fiends....   [tags: Sexual Expression, Art, Free Speech]

Term Papers
1826 words (5.2 pages)

Restricting the Production, Distribution, and Sale of Pornography in Canada

- Many women have been mistreated at one point or another in their lives.  This form of abuse assumes many forms and is not always visible to the naked eye.  One of these such hardships that women of the 20th century have had to face is the struggle for equality.  In Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords women full equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of the law.1  But yet, this society openly contributions to the production, sale, and distribution of pornography which implies that women are second class citizens.    Destroying these stereotypes which portray women as slaves, objects, toys, and mindless, sex-driven beings must be accomplished in order for...   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]

Term Papers
2975 words (8.5 pages)

Essay on The Movements of the 20th Century Culture

- How many of us can recall the most important events that occurred in the 20th century. A century that was full of many innovations; most importantly, these events made a tremendous impact in our lives as of today. The 20th century contributed an abundance of improvements to our culture. In addition, the progressions of the advancement helped society lives to better, such as the industrialization, the remarkable inventions that made our lives easier. Nevertheless, the 20th century presented a copious amount of remarkable artists that introduced us to many arts that were modernism and postmodernism; such as Pablo Picasso his work of art were considered a modern art, and Marcel Duchamp involved...   [tags: Cultural History]

Term Papers
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Benefits of Internet Pornography

- Since it is associated with graphic and sexually explicit content, pornography is quickly dismissed from society. Many people view it as obscene and find it unfortunate that such content exists. However, pornography is a medium of expression that has existed for thousands of years and contrary to the conservative views that many people have, it has allowed its audiences and participants to benefit economically, technologically and socially. Pornographic and erotic works have closely been related to technological development of the modern age....   [tags: Internet Pornography Essays]

Term Papers
1832 words (5.2 pages)

American Literature of the Twentieth Century Essay

- The country as it was in the early part of the twentieth century was shaped toward regenerating and recovering from World War I, the Great Depression, and a lot of other socially-crippling disruptions that were forever altering the United States in a lot of different ways. Some of the changes were good, and others were not so good. The spirit of loyalty and patriotism were alive and thriving in the air and in everyone's hearts, and the literature of that time greatly reflects the influence that this surge of patriotism brought upon the American peoples....   [tags: 20th century twentieth literature]

Term Papers
1371 words (3.9 pages)

The Government Should NOT Censor Pornography Essay

- Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.(Wallace: 3) A statement from a document that a group of individuals put together to ensure their own ideas and beliefs would never change. The group of people was the forefathers of the United States of America and that document: The United States Constitution....   [tags: Pornography Essays]

Term Papers
2111 words (6 pages)

The Pornography Debate Essay

- The Pornography Debate Pornography has been the topic of discussion in the court systems for years. Many would like to see legislation against it and software to filter it. The problem is it's not that easy and making laws against it would pose a problem against the first amendment. There have many issues brought up on the grounds that it is demoralizing to women and is filth for the eyes of children. But, is pornography really that harmful. There are many reasons why the government is having trouble putting restrictions on pornography....   [tags: Pornography]

Term Papers
823 words (2.4 pages)