Maryland Coalition Against Pornography Upholding community standards since 1986
Together We Care
Get the FAQ's Straight...
What's wrong with looking at pornography?
Pornography objectifies and degrades women, portraying them as playthings, toys, or pieces of meat. It glorifies the rape myth...when a woman says "no" what she really means is "yes". It affects the attitudes of those who view it, resulting in a callousness toward and disrespect for women. This often translates into damaged relationships between men and women and can even lead to criminal activity such as rape. Studies show that 87% of convicted rapists admit to regular use of pornography, and 56% use it in the commission of their crimes (Dr. William Marshall).
Pornography often legitimizes sex with children (incestuous relationships, child pornography, pseudo child pornography). 87% of molesters of girls and 77% of molesters of boys admit to pornography use. The material is used to lower the inhibitions of the child victim and as a teaching tool for the child to imitate (Dr. William Marshall).
Pornography is harmful to children who are exposed to it in magazines, on television, videos, movies, the telephone, and on the Internet. Many are becoming desensitized to pain and act out scenes by sexually abusing (and sometimes murdering) other children.
Pornography is addictive. Not everyone who views it will become addicted, but this has become a major problem in our nation. Pornography is the gateway drug of sexual addiction, which leads to wrecked relationships, marriages, and families. The addict himself (or herself) is a victim of pornography. For further information on addiction to pornography, please see "Help for Addicts".
Isn't pornography protected by the First Amendment?
Soft-core pornography ...magazines such as "Playboy" and "Penthouse" and most R-rated movies and videos, are protected by the First Amendment.
Obscenity ...hard-core degrading pornography, which may include rape scenes, sado-masochism, bestiality, violence against both men and women, bondage, mutilation, etc., is not protected speech and , therefore, ILLEGAL.
Child pornography ...depicting naked or scantily-clad children posed in a lewd or lascivious manner or engaged in sexual activity with an adult, and an animal, or another child, is ILLEGAL and carries heavy penalties.
Material that is harmful to minors ...includes all of the above. Most states have laws designed to protect children from access or exposure to pornography, especially in commercial establishments.
How big is the pornography industry?
Commercial pornography is an $8-10 billion a year business, 80% controlled by organized crime. It includes sexually-oriented businesses ("adult" book stores, nude dancing, and live shows, dial-a-porn, X-rated movies and videos, cable TV, radio, and the Internet. In 1997, 600 million "adult" videos were rented or sold in the U.S. There are approximately 40,000 video outlets in the U.S., 80% of which rent and sell X-rated films. There are 15-20,000 "adult book stores...more than the number of McDonald's Restaurants. 300-500 new porn sites are added daily on internet.
How does pornography affect my community?
Where you have "adult" bookstores, other sexually-oriented businesses, and hard-core porn in neighborhood video stores, prostitution, rape, and child molestation rates increase. Property values decline. Sexual activity that takes place in peep show booths (found in most "adult" book stores) increases the risk of sexually transmitted disease, including AIDS. Children are likely to find pornographic materials and be damaged psychologically from viewing it. This can lead to addiction and other tragic consequences. The largest consumer group of pornographic materials is adolescent boys between 12 and 17 years of age (Attorney General's Commission on Pornography).
PORNOGRAPHY IS NOT HARMLESS ENTERTAINMENT. IT IS A PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH PROBLEM.
Are children really in danger of encountering pornography on the Internet?
YES! In addition to indecent material, illegal material such as obscenity and child pornography is easily available, either intentionally or unintentionally. Congress has passed laws designed to protect children from exposure to on-line porn and from predators, but, so far, these attempts have been struck down by the courts. The burden is upon parents to monitor their children's on-line activities or to install filtering that will block porn sites. There are several good products available and even "clean" Internet Service Providers. For more information, contact Enough is Enough. Libraries and school computers are also, in most areas, unfiltered. If this is true in your community, you may contact Enough is Enough.