Sex in the Net!


By .......... for Mr...........

A social and ethical essay task, designed to provide students with a
broader insight into both the Internet and computer ethics.
Since the beginning of time, men and women have fantasised over naked
bodies. Pornography has always been a part of life and yet it has never been so
readily available as what it is now. Erotic stories, explicit pictures, XXX-
rated films and modern day magazines, are all part of the stimulus material
which is known as "pornography" or as it is legally put, "obscenity." Is it
ethically right for our children to be looking at this erotic material at such
an early age? Do we have a twisted sense of morals if we support pornography? Or
is it just a natural part of life that should be nurtured and encouraged?
These questions and more are springing to peoples lips as we enter the
technological age. The age of the Internet. Never before has pornography been
so readily available. Through mail-order, at secret places around the schoolyard,
or simply down at the local newsagent or video store, pornography can be
purchased in any form or media. I know children, some as young as ten years,
who have an unlimited supply of pornography. They have been exposed to it from
an early age and it has become an addiction like smoking or drinking. Part of
the problem is that censorship laws are not enforced. Some newsagents will sell
a twelve year old, pornography, (legal age of 18) but will not sell them a
packet of cigarettes (legal age of 16 until June 1994). The obvious derivative
from this statement, is that fines and punishments for selling pornography to
underage persons, are not high enough. So why don\'t we raise them? The answer
to this question can be found on the screen of every computer in the world. The
Internet, or as one person put it, "The closest thing to true anarchy that has
ever existed."
How is one to censor the Internet when it is literally impossible? What
is the use of placing fines for copying pornography when it is impossible to
tell the age of the user. How can one even trace the user when there are
twenty-five billion members and it is impossible to follow them all. How can we
delete the pornography when a new batch arrives every day and it is impossible
to stop it.
Another point which makes censorship difficult is the fact that
censorship laws have only recently being required. In England for instance,
censorship laws have, for hundreds of years, concentrated on heretic materials,
where as now, they are finding that the only offence censorship is needed to
prevent, is pornography. The US also want to put strict censorship on all
obscene material, however the first amendment of their constitution states that,
"their shall be no law abridging the freedom of speech or press," and so they
are finding it difficult to "step around," the law.
It is obvious that people are putting an effort in to censor the
pornography, however when it comes to censoring material which goes all over the
world, a balance must be found between the censorship laws of all the countries
that are hooked into the net. Here a problem arises, because Denmark has no
censorship of pornography, so obviously they are going to be somewhat annoyed if
it is banned from the Internet since their laws state that it is perfectly legal.
So an argument occurs. How is the world to censor the Internet without causing
discrepancies between the different countries? Indeed, some people say, "Why
bother?"
So far, you have seen that there would be a great difficulty involved in
censoring the Internet. So the other side of the argument, presented by the
economists and pornography fanatics, is that, why should we censor the Internet
when perhaps it is not needed. There are many people in the world who will tell
you that pornography is a harmless part of life. Artists will tell you that the
naked body is a picture of beauty, grace and style. Authorities in Denmark will
say that pornography is a valued part of their society and psychologists will
tell you that pornography reduces the rate of sexual abuse and rape. Indeed,
the human body is a natural part of life in all of it\'s forms, so why do we
regard the naked body as been obscene. Is it not stated in the bible that
wisdom told us to where clothes? And did it not also state that God did not
want us to