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Last of the Rainmacs: Thinking About Pornography in Cyberspace (From Crime and the Internet, P 74-99, 2001, David S. Wall, ed. -- See NCJ-213504)

NCJ Number
Bela Bonita Chatterjee
Date Published
26 pages
This chapter argues that the intersection of cybertechnology with pornography has helped to produce new forms of pornography, which is more significant than the pornography industry finding a new medium for marketing its product, and this has implications for its users and legal discourse.
Traditional political and legal perspectives on pornography have been narrow in attempting to provide a clear definition of what is objectionable about various contents. Analyzing pornography as a cultural manifestation rather than a legal "problem" is a more complex but more realistic understanding of its effects on the viewer. Cybertechnology offers an easily accessible library of every type of sex act and sexual orientation that the pornographic industry can imagine. This enables the surfer to test his/her responses to and preferences for a variety of sexual identities and behaviors. The problem is that this testing of sexual identities and behaviors is in cyberspace and not the real world. In the real world, the law aims to define acceptable sexual behavior while sanctioning even certain types of depictions of sexual behavior that mainstream society deems perverse and damaging to morality. The problem for the law is to decide whether it will become even more narrow and harsh in dealing with the threat of cyberspace's multiple presentations of sexual alternatives and identities, or will it take a fresh look at how the intersection of cyberspace and cyberpornography have shaped how people view and experience their sexual identities. 46 notes and 94 references