pornography ethics

Topics: Pornography, Morality, Sexual arousal Pages: 5 (2966 words) Published: October 27, 2014

SOC: 120
OCTOBER 14th, 2014
Over the period of many years, the consumption of pornography has massively expanded, causing it to have presently created itself a position in culture. The controversial issue of pornography acceptance in society is somewhat based on personal opinion. This text presents an argument that is neutral, not for or against the use of pornography. This paper will include the exploration of pornography in terms of the ethics and perspectives behind it. It is easiest to analyze the industry as a whole, through the two most important view points; the actors, and the viewers. Exploring both sides of the equation, will allow the ethics and morals of it all to show their place. The argument of this paper is to view pornography for what it really is; a form of expression. The issue of pornography acceptance in society is somewhat based on personal opinion. A large number of Americans enjoy porn and form part of the billion dollar market, whereas others find pornography distasteful and avoid it. Webster’s Dictionary defined pornography as merely “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement (2014).” Yet there is still the everlasting question which is “does pornography serve a real purpose, and if so what purpose it that?” Amongst those who enjoy pornography, primarily men, enjoy so in many different categories of porn ranging from tradition porn to misc. fetishes. From those with a personal distaste for pornography, comes the heavy outcry from feminist movements and other critics who favor censorship and claim that pornography is the epitome of society’s moral deterioration, thus ruining relationships and lives, exploiting women, and worsening perversions. Others might argue that those indications are extreme and exaggerated. Surely, anything that is done in excess can potentially form an addiction, this includes drugs, smoking, eating, as well as exercising. Aside from cultural exchange of sexual norms, probably the best and most important part of pornography is its role as a form of expression. Pornography expresses human sexuality and represents a side of the human mind that Freud believed influences our daily lives and that society otherwise ignores and declares obscene in normal settings. That, of course, is sexual desire. Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality can have biological, physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects. It is these aspects that show one’s personal morals and ethics, which make up their decisions and behavior. One perspective of theory that can be significantly applied to this topic is the use of “virtue ethics”. In this instance, we will use the actor’s perspective. Although the viewer’s play part in the role of pornography, in terms of Virtue Ethics, it’s better to analyze the morals behind those that choose to exploit themselves. This view implies tolerance towards others' approaches to sexual ethics, while accepting that we are responsible for our character and the choices we make. Virtue Ethics also urges us to rediscover balance in human sexuality and in our sexual relationships. According to Mossler “Virtue ethics emphasizes the moral character, the virtue of the agent in evaluating its morality. Thus, instead of looking at the results of the act (as in utilitarianism) or the necessary rules that constitute morality (as in deontology), virtue ethics turns its attention to the person carrying out the act, and whether that act demonstrates, adds to, or subtracts from the virtue of that person” (2013). The beauty of virtue is it is inside you. It is how you live your life, the choices you make that make you happy and feel whole. For example,...

References: Mosser, K. (2013). Ethics and social responsibility (2nd Ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Altman, Andrew. The Right to Get Turned On: Pornography, Autonomy, and Equality. Ethics in Practice. Editor: LaFollette, Hugh. Third Edition. Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA. 2007
Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty; Chapter One. Accessed: 12/11/2012
EBERSTADT, MARY. Policy Review. Apr/May2009, Issue 154, p3-18. 16p. “Is Pornography the new tobacco?”
Mike LaBossiere (June 2012) Talking Philosophy “The Ethics of Porn” retrieved from
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY, (2014). 42(5), 823-834 Society for Personality Research retrieved from
Francis J. Beckwith (April 2009) CRI: “Philosophical Problems with Moral Relativism” retrieved from
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