In this case, therefore, the definitions of pornography, obscenity, and erotica will vary, depending on the nature of a group and moral inclinations of an individual, as culture plays an important role in defining what is decent, moral, and acceptable (146). Nonetheless, this essay bases on different perspectives to address the elements of pornography, erotica, and obscenity, with reference to the 1957 Supreme Court decision on obscenity.
Lauer and Lauer note that, “One person’s pornography is another person’s literature” (147). Therefore, this is one of the main reasons, why the elements of pornography, erotica, and obscenity continue to evoke heated debate and disagreements. Like most social scientists, Lauer and Lauer define pornography as “literature, art, or films that are sexually arousing” (147). They also describe erotica as materials that arouse sexual feelings, but are not demeaning in nature, as opposed to pornography, which entails violent acts, including rape (Lauer and Lauer 147). On the other hand, Lauer and Lauer (148) consider obscenity to be a legal term, which is used to define pornography. They define this as “those materials that are offensive by generally accepted standards of decency” (148). The Supreme Court in 1957 made an important decision, which could act as a guideline in determining obscene material. However, Lauer and Lauer argue that this court ruling does not offer a perfect solution to the issue, as it raises more questions. Nonetheless, despite this law on obscenity, erotica, pornography, and obscenity remain prevalent today, and appear in different media, including magazines, internet, books, and videos, among others. Different evidence points to the fact that due to the easy accessibility of pornographic material, a large percentage of Americans are consumers of pornography, with the percentage of males being the highest (Lauer and Lauer 148).
As seen, it is quite challenging to