The Effects of Pornography Within Society
The Effects of Pornography Within Society
The history of pornography has been dated back to prehistoric times. The actual word is derived from the Greek language. The date of when the word pornographia was first used in Greek is not known but a related word “pornographos” meaning “someone writing of harlots” was used in a writing called Deipnosophists of Athenaeus. In the French language the word "Pornographie" was in used during the 1800s. The word did not enter the English language as the familiar word until 1857 or as a French import in New Orleans in 1842. (Orsini, 2007) It is believed that the people of ancient societies felt it was not worthy to preserve pornography because it was customary in their society. Even though the early history of pornography is unclear there is artwork from many ancient civilizations like ancient Greece, Ancient India, and Rome where erotic pictures often appeared in religious context. (Goodson) In ancient Greece the idea of pornography was very different from ours. Even though the Greeks had artwork such as paintings and pictures that depicted nudity, they were more tolerant and have different views on what was considered to be immoral and obscene. There were prostitutes that were used where the women were used and raped against their will and the men who raped them would become their husband. This was all considered to be ok under the Goddess Aphrodite. There were also religious ceremonies where a woman and her partner would perform sex in public to help the crops grow. (Kluth, 2009) In ancient India nudity in art was acceptable in southern India. In Ajanta, India there are sculptures and pictures that depict this type of art. Historical evidence showed that most countries that are in tropical climates have people who do not wear clothes other than for fashion. The need to cover the upper halve of the body was unnecessary, only in certain parts of ancient India was the upper halve of the body dressed with precious stones or gold while the women would wear expensive silks and sarees (Goodson)
In Ancient Roman society the role of pornography in society was portrayed in the form of art and in writings such as poetry. Some of the poetry that depicted pornography was in Odes to Priapus showed descriptions of intimate sexual relationships and Catullus and Ovid who wrote about a cruel and demanding mistress. Roman pornography was different from the Greeks because there was no sentimental value and reasoning behind the porn that was depicted. Roman pornography was considered to be more towards animalistic portrayals and being purely sexual. The sexual drive for the Romans were very strong and one of their mottos was to divide and conquer in the bedroom as well as in the battlefield. (Scarpino, 2012) The different forms of pornography are in writings, images, sculptures like art. In 18th-century Europe, pornography became a way for protest for people against royalty and other aristocrats. During the 20th century, restrictions on pornography were more relaxed throughout much of Europe and North America, though regulations remained strict in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In our modern culture viewing pornography in private may be considered to be offensive but there are still laws that restricts the viewing of certain types of pornography such as child porn (Jenkins, 2014). Depending on the culture pornography is viewed in different ways. For instance people may look at pornographic images as a religious aspect while in another culture pornography may be considered to be more erotic. Some may feel that it is completely absurd. The different parts of the world have different ways that pornography is incorporated into their societies. The perspective against pornography brings up an important issue that includes violence against women, men, and children. They also cite issues of...
Cited: (December, 1995): pp. 258-283.
Pappas, S. (2012, March 23). Is Porn Bad For You? Santorum Brings Up Tricky
Porn Addiction Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2014, from
Tedx Talks. (2012, May 16). The Great Porn Experiment: Gary Wilson at
Please join StudyMode to read the full document