J. N. SANTAMARIA
ISBN - 85826 - 102-2
A.C.T.S. No 1662 (1974)
A quotation from the Nobel Speech on Literature by Alexander
Solzhenitsyn, entitled "One Word of
Truth". The title comes from a Russian proverb, "one word of
truth outweighs the whole world".
"The spirit of Munich is a dominant one in the 20th century. . . . .
The spirit of Munich is an illness of the willpower of the well-to-do,
it is the usual state of those who have surrendered to the lustful
comfort at any price, have surrendered to materialism as the main aim
of our life on earth."
* * *
These papers were presented at a public meeting held in Melbourne in
October, 1973. The chairman was Dr. J. J. Billings. Because of the
important nature of these topics and the expertise of the speakers, it
has been decided to reproduce these papers in a published form.
J. N. Santamaria
Today there is a loosening of moral restraints over large sectors of
public life with consequent dangers for all of society. Part of the
challenge comes from a distorted view of sex which pornography fosters.
There is in the community a large section which holds to the
traditional view, shared by different cultures all over the world for
centuries, that the basic unit of a stable society is the family, and
that peaceful, integrated families ensure the development of a society
in which all individuals enjoy the greatest freedom possible. Respect
for the family involves respect for sexual activity, and a particular
view of what limitations society should impose upon sexual behaviour or
on the display of material likely to incite sexual passion. Many people
from time to time have strong impulses to behave in a fashion which the
traditional opinion would not approve, and this is the very reason why
individual self-control must be developed, reinforced by laws which
In other words, those who believe that sexual loving is an intimate and
sacred expression of the unity between husband and wife on which the
security of family life is built should enjoy the freedom of living in
a society where this opinion is not blatantly sabotaged and ridiculed.
The promotion of pornography is not really a defence of freedom at all;
it is a gigantic financial enterprise supported by arguments which are
noisy rather than logical. Sex has become the battleground for those
who take a religious or moral view of human life and human activity,
and those who do not.
-Dr. J. J. Billings
* * * * *
The Nature and Effects
J. H. COURT,
Senior Lecturer in Psychology,
Flinders University of S.A.
DR. JOHN COURT is a Clinical
Psychologist who is the Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Flinders
University, South Australia. He is an Honours Graduate of Reading
University in the United Kingdom and from 1956 until 1961 was a teacher
of retarded and delinquent individuals. He was appointed to the
University of Adelaide in 1964 and was a visiting professor in the
University of Pittsburgh in the United States of America in 1970.
I. The Nature of Pornography
To describe the nature of pornography circumvents the need for a
definition per se. Nonetheless, a definition may serve as a starting
point to distinguish pornography from other material often brought into
consideration with it. The Kronhausens
(1967) said that "pornography is characterized by an absence of the
reality constraints that mark erotically realistic works of fiction . .
. One might say that the primary aim is to create a state of increasing
sexual arousal in the reader by portraying sexual relations in which
all standards are violated and in which the only psychological feelings
involved are lust and a mindless sexual joy."
It should be apparent that this definition excludes many things on our
bookstalls which often cause offence. Much literature which can better
be described as erotica is aimed at producing titillation and sexual
arousal in the normal male. Its presence in the community may be
sufficient to cause offence, especially to women, but it is important
to recognize that pornography, especially hard-core pornography, is in
a different category when its nature is considered.
Erotica typically arouses the male sexually to have erotic thoughts and
intentions, and, to a lesser extent. women have also been shown to
respond to such material (Schmidt and
Sigusch, 1970). Pornography with subjects defined as normal can
be distinguished in terms of the reactions people report. Amoroso et al (1972) report that
undergraduate males gave meaning to pornography different from that
given to erotica. Typically, it was found that material rated as
sexually stimulating might also be either 'pleasant' or 'unpleasant'.
Material identified as arousing but unpleasant may be labelled as
pornographic, while erotica may be that which is reported to be
arousing and pleasant.
While making this broad distinction, it will become apparent that one
is speaking of a continuum of which I have described the opposite
poles, but there is a middle grey' area where disagreement over
definition will rage. Dispute over what should be done about
pornography often arises because one group is defending availability of
sexually-explicit material (e.g. nudity), while the other side is
referring to hard-core representations of bestiality, etc.
This distinction found with normal male student populations cannot be
maintained when material is presented to more deviant populations. It
is clear from the vast pornography industry that there are many males
who seek after pornography in an addictive fashion, apparently not
experiencing either the revulsion of many normal subjects or the
satiation ('boredom') reported when normals experience forced-feeding (Reifler et al 1971). Some evidence
for this comes from Nawy's
(1970) study of patrons of pornographic films who demonstrate a high
rate of attendance as well as a high level of promiscuous behaviour.
To understand why there could be different reactions it is necessary to
consider further what is the underlying meaning of pornography. This
has been the subject of considerable psychiatric study in recent years
by Khan and Winnicott, whose views have been brought to wider attention
by Holbrook (1972 a), (and 1972 b). Central to his theme is
the idea that the essential message of pornography is hate, which of
course puts it far removed from the position where sex is seen to be
the vehicle for the expression of love. This element of hate would
explain why well-adjusted people instinctively react against
pornography even when they may not understand why, whereas those with
pent-up hostilities or frustrations may find something to which they
can respond. Some of the elements are contained in the following:
". . . the champions of pornography
make out that what they are trying to remedy are the inhibitions of our
instincts through prudish traditions - they are trying to 'release' us.
They are trying, they claim, to enable us to be more vital and feeling
- to be 'ourselves' more, in the sexual realm. And yet, as Khan (1972) says, what pornography
achieves is the opposite. In it, the images and words 'usurp' the
natural functions of instinct. Instead of natural, loving feelings,
moving towards 'meeting' another human being, we have an intense mental
concoction of often brutal imagery - as in the cinema, where rape, and
other gross acts of sadism are now frequent. The effect of these mental
brutalities is to 'disregard the person and being of the characters'.
We may observe this, even in 'girlie' magazines, in which the
titillating way the girl is discussed and her photographic exploitation
as an object destroy her personal unique qualities. This is the
objection to the use of nudity in advertisements, too. It makes women
into a commodity thing. In all pornography, she is humiliated and
subjected to contempt as a mere sex object. In her image, humanity
itself is degraded, by being deprived of value and subjected to hate,
as the Jew or Negro is degraded in racist propaganda. Guilt and fear
are not dispelled by pornography; on the contrary, it encourages us to
enjoy hate in our attitudes to sex, and to have contempt for other
people, especially women." Holbrook
The defence of pornography often follows the line that a few dirty
pictures won't hurt anyone, and that sort of stuff has always been
around for those who want it. Such a reaction is either naive or
dishonest. The nature of pornography is such that its users are not
content to stay with the 'few dirty pictures' but must always move on
to new material as the effect of familiarity blunts reaction. The
similarity to a physical addiction is not co-incidental. There has been
in recent years a pushing back of boundaries to permit more and more
perverted material to circulate. It is still true in this country that
even most supporters of pornography reject the free dissemination of
pornography representing bestiality, incest and assault of minors. Yet
these bounds will be extended soon enough if we adopt a conciliatory
attitude at a lesser level.
The defence of pornography as being already available to those who seek
it rarely takes account of two further considerations:
the hitherto restricted availability has been a mark of disapproval of
the society at large. Those who sought it out did so recognizing they
were at odds with the cultural norm. To permit free availability at
this point is in effect to give endorsement to pornography by breaking
the taboo associated with it. This is well-recognized by those who
advocate the removal of restrictions: the implications of breaking
taboos deserve serious thought as it is very difficult to reverse
decisions about social customs in this area.
for a small number of people to have illicit access to pornography is
one thing. To permit free circulation of it is quite another. Even
though point-of-sale restrictions may be placed on material so that
minors do not buy it, it is clear that this protection disappears as
soon as the material has been purchased (Court, 1972). Thus the
much-vaunted protection of children becomes no more than a hollow
promise as soon as adults -take their absolute freedom to see and read
what they will.
As sexually-explicit material is widely defended today, it should be
noted that a gradual "softening-up" approach was adopted in Denmark, so
that people in that country failed to respond appropriately as
increasingly explicit and pathological material was introduced (Clunies-Ross, 1970). This
deliberate policy prepared the way for the public acceptance of sex
shows including not only intercourse live on stage, but group sex and
bestiality (Holbrook, 1972 c).
In this context, pornography was used deliberately to influence
Pornography can also have its influence on behaviour in less carefully
planned ways. The acceptance of perverse behaviour by many well-meaning
people is matched by the acting-out of perversity by disturbed
individuals who become 'a social hazard. We have in recent months had
reports of the 37 boys murdered by a homosexual sadist and the more
recent Boston white woman forced to douse herself with petrol and
destroy herself in a style presented on film in that city shortly
before. A little further back we recall the Manson killings, in which
pornography played a part; and we should note with alarm that a film
has been made of that event. There is a real risk that screening such a
film could have similar harmful consequences to those which have
followed the screening of 'Clockwork
Orange' and 'Dirty Harry'
(Court, 1973 c).
Such instances underline the importance of recognizing the intrinsic
hate and hostility expressed through pornography. (1970) maintains that pornography
does not simply represent perversions, but is itself perverted, leading
as it does away from the meaningful relationship aspects of sex.
Moreover, he would answer those who maintain that pornography deserves
freedom from the law as being in the area of victimless crimes, that
this underlying hostility means there is always a victim involved.
Actors and models are humiliated, viewers are insulted, buyers are
There are two further senses in which one may associate pornography and
perversion. Firstly, the use of pornography may be seen as a form of
sexual deviation in itself, of a voyeuristic type (Stoller, 1970). It serves as a poor
substitute for a healthy sexual encounter based on commitment, so that
far from glorifying sex, it tends to destroy its meaning. Secondly,
'pornography is not an affirmation but a denial of life, and commercial
pornography is a denial of life for the sake of money.' (The Times, 1970). The similarly
anti-sexual nature of much erotica has often been noted in the past
(e.g. Cox, 1965, May, 1969), but in pornography it
goes further. Whereas in erotica the emphasis is removed from person to
technique, from relationship to experience, in pornography a further
detachment from reality occurs. Under the guise of unrestrained
intimacy of a liberating kind, there is in fact a denial of any true
intimacy and a great emphasis on control - this latter becoming most
evident with the sadistic pornography of flagellation. A whole range of
analyses of the nature of pornography has been drawn together in the
edited volume 'The Case Against
Pornography' (Holbrook, 1972 d), as well as in the individual
members' contributions to 'The
Longford Report' (Longford, 1972).
II. The Effects of Pornography
It is highly artificial to separate this effects section from a
discussion of the nature of pornography and, in consequence, some
indications have already appeared above of its effects insofar as they
relate to its nature. Nonetheless, several further issues need to be
raised which bear specifically on the question of effects.
At the simplest level we may look for effects which are good or bad,
or, failing to find either, argue that there are no effects. This
simplicity begs many questions, not least the meaning of good and bad.
It is necessary to go further and specify effects on whom, when and
under what conditions. A thorough evaluation would specify effects on
individuals as well as on society at large. With individuals we should
direct (causal) and indirect effects;
short and long-term effects;
hyper-arousal or blunting.
In society at large we would seek for evidence of:
changes in directly-related social pathology statistics (e.g. sex
changes in indirectly-related social pathology statistics (other crimes
against persons or property);
changes in the incidence of sex-transmitted diseases (V.D.) (S.T.D.);
changes in social attitudes to pornography (including revulsion or
Evidence relating to some or these indicators has been examined
elsewhere (Court, 1971, 1972).
There is accumulating evidence for significant harmful effects against
a background of numerous equivocal studies. The suggestion that there
might also be some good effects is so commonly made that this will be
given special consideration below.
It is important to realize that widespread confusion over the effects
of pornography exists for several reasons. Until only a few years ago
the harmfulness was self-evident on moral grounds but scientifically
unproven. More recently, with pressure to reject moral norms, the onus
of proof has moved to experimental studies, the American Report of 1970 being among
the more important ones. The quality of that evidence was, however,
severely flawed by the expectations of some of those contributing to
the research. That the Commission Chairman was a prominent Civil
Liberties man and was yet prepared to accept suppression of evidence
which conflicted with the general findings reflects badly on the
defence of freedom of speech and information. Many have been persuaded
to reject some of the most compelling evidence in the technical reports
to the Commission on the grounds that it was contained in the
dissenting minority report of Hill
and Link (1970). It must therefore be recognized that the
evidence which these two writers brought to the attention of the
general public with the aid of a Supreme Court action was equally based
on the technical reports within the main body of data. That the main
report deserved criticism has been noted by Eysenck (1972) who says the
"strictures on the authors of the majority report are unfortunately
only too well taken."
The evidence on effects is also difficult to evaluate because of the
technical problems in studying them.
The area has only recently become a subject for study. Methods are not
yet refined and many of the critical experiments one might wish to do
in theory are impossible in practice. Much of what has been done is
largely irrelevant because of the restricted samples studied. It is no
more suitable to draw conclusions about the effects of pornography on a
sexually-disturbed man from presenting some to students under
controlled laboratory conditions than it is to assess the effect of a
glass of spirits on an alcoholic by giving a test-dose to a university
student. Many other methodological and statistical problems still cloud
the picture (Court, 1973 a).
The evidence from studies of individuals and groups which supports the
view that pornography has harmful effects may be summarized as follows:
comparison of sex-deviate groups and others using self-reports
indicated a high desire among deviates to imitate what they see in
erotic material when compared with normals (Goldstein et al, 1970) ;
while many studies with normal subjects fail to demonstrate harm, there
is evidence that a minority even within normal groups do experience an
adverse reaction (Schmidt and Sigusch,
that not only attitudes but also actual behaviour may be affected is
shown by Walker (1970) whose
study of the aggressive sexual offender concluded that "the
experimental group reported more frequently than the control group that
pornography had led them to commit a sexual crime . . . had something
to do with their being in hospital or prison . . . that their sexual
behaviour had been affected by viewing erotic materials;
the view that sex-crimes go down following the legalization of
pornography must be rejected as scientific nonsense. The widely-quoted
Danish figures of Kutschinsky
(1970) and Ben-Veniste (1970)
have been shown to be utterly misleading (e.g. Gummer, 1971, Court, 1972) and can only be used
in evidence by those who refuse to examine the more recent data. I have
reported elsewhere the striking rise in rape statistics that have
occurred since 1969 in Denmark (see Fig. 1), Britain, America, and now
also in Australia (Court, 1973
[Dr Court provided a reference to " Fig. 1", which I have not
reproduced. It is titled: "Fig. 1. RAPE
AND ATTEMPTED RAPE. Ben-Veniste's Danish data extended to include 1971
figures". It shows the number of rapes for each year as follows:
1958 - 52, 1959 - 54, 1960 - 38, 1961 - 48, 1962 - 47, 1963 - 48, 1964
- 37, 1965 - 40, 1966 - 50 (or 68), 1967 - 41, 1968 - 46, 1969 - 27,
which the graph shows as the year "Porno Legalized". The graph shows a
fairly consistent downward leaning plateau with a significant decline
in 1969. BUT, Dr Court shows that the figures for 1971 are 96 rapes!
(1970 figures are slightly doubtful and are listed as 55 '?'). Thus the
figure shows a significant sky-rocket!]
The rise from 1970 to 1971 for Australia from 416 cases to 578 (39%)
represents a significant upward departure from an already rising trend.
The drop from 1971-72 to 544 cases (6%) is insufficient to conclude
that any statistically significant improvement is occurring (Fig. 2).
[Again, I have not reproduced Dr Court's Fig. 2. it is titled: "Fig. 2.
CRIMES REPORTED OR BECOMING KNOWN TO
POLICE: RAPE. - Source: YEAR BOOK - AUSTRALIA." It lists the year, the total
female population (To nearest 1,000), and the number of 'Rape and
Attempted Rape". Thus: 1964 - 5,597,000 - 270, 1965 - 5,711,000 - 265,
1966 - 5,815,000 - 255, 1967 - 5,924,000 - 320, 1968 - 6,044,000 - 370,
1969 - 6,157,000 - 380, 1970 - 6,283,000 - 416, 1971 - 6,407,000 - 578,
and for 1972 Dr Court listed 544 rapes.]
There is every reason to remain deeply concerned at the trend of the
last ten years - particularly when we recall that such reports
represent only a small part of the total problem. That these trends are
occurring in different countries but concurrently with the
dissemination of pornography reduces the alternative explanations for
the observed harm and strengthens the case against pornography.
Insofar as the civil liberties argument for free distribution of
pornography rested on the Danish figures, the evidence has now gone so
far the other way that its supporters should be among the leading
exponents of a reversed policy. Indeed, in Britain this does now appear
to be the case among responsible rationalists. At the recent
announcement by the Home Secretary of measures to control pornography,
a woman writer in the "Freethinker"
(17 May, 1973) said that these measures would be welcomed "by liberals
and liberationists, and all those who have some concern for the quality
of life in our country today."
Finally, it is necessary to examine the other main argument of those
who favour the free availability of pornography which says that not
only is it not harmful but it may even be beneficial to some. This
remarkable view derives its support from the catharsis theory of
emotion and supposes that one who has strong pent-up sexual tensions
which might erupt in anti-social behaviour can view sexual material and
achieve a vicarious experience so that they become less likely to act
out against others.
This argument achieved popularity by arguing indirectly from a study
not on pornography but on aggression conducted by Feshbach (1955). The so-called
"Feshbach hypothesis" proposed that the ventilation of aggression
through fantasy would reduce the probability of enacting it against
It may be objected, of course, that it is a big leap from aggression to
sex, even though many will grant that the mechanisms governing
expression and control are effectively comparable. The more major
objection, however, lies in the repeated failure of later workers to
confirm the theory. On the contrary, the accumulated evidence now
convincingly shows that the result of screening aggression in films or
over TV is to produce an increase of such behaviour in the viewer both
in the short and long term (Liebert,
Neale and Davidson, 1972). That the same trend could be
predicted with pornography is readily apparent when one recognizes the
hostile and destructive undertones which characterize pornography.
The other more recent line of argument was that following availability
of pornography in Denmark, there was a striking drop in offences like
voyeurism and exhibitionism (Kutschinsky,
1970). Taken in isolation, such evidence appears to indicate that the
man who was previously a social nuisance has diverted his sexual
energies to the more solitary pursuit of pornography.
It is now possible to dispel that myth by showing that in reality the
modelling effect seen with violence is also apparent with pornography.
The problems have become worse, not better. A police report from
Denmark notes that sex offences are now more often serious than minor
(see Court, 1973 b); they have
found that over the years since 1969 there has been an escalation of
problems (e.g., rape and attempted rape figures rose from 27 in 1969 to
96 in 1971 (Fig. 1). Furthermore, just as there is increasing dismay
that our society is coming to accept violence as normal, so too one
effect of widespread pornography is that its values and meanings
permeate the society. If the message of pornography is one of hate and
hostility, then its acceptance must have destructive consequences. Holbrook (1972 c) says this is so
- "the toleration of perversion can have its own meaning, and can
communicate abroad the implication that psycho-pathological 'solutions'
are socially acceptable." Neville (Longford
1972) similarly notes that the effect of making pornography available
is to destroy the family and encourage promiscuity.
Perhaps the most helpful summary currently available would be the
"It cannot any longer be argued with
any degree of conviction that pornography, or the portrayal of
violence, have no effect on the behaviour of the people who see these
things on the screen, or read about them in books and magazines. . .
Both behaviour and emotional reactions are affected, and the effects
are not transitory. The evidence is admittedly indirect, but that is
not really a valid point of criticism; much scientific evidence in the
"hard" sciences is of this kind, and is readily accepted on much the
same level as direct evidence. . . . What the argument is about is
simply the nature of the society in which we wish to live, and in which
we wish our children to live - neither more nor less." (Eysenck, 1972).
Amoroso, D. M., Brown, M., Pruesse, M., Ware, E. E., and Pilkey, D. W.
(1972). The effects of physiological measurement and presence of others
in ratings of erotic stimuli. Canadian
J. Behaviour, Science, 4, 3, 191-203.
Ben-Veniste, R. (1970). Pornography and Sex Crime. Tech. Reports of the Commission on
Obscenity and Pornography, Vol. 7, 245 261. Washington, D.C.,
U.S. Govt. Printing Office.
Clunies-Ross, B. (1970). The Bulletin,
Court, J. H. (1971) in Shilton, L. (Ed.). No, No, Calcutta. Brolga Books,
Court, J. H. (1972). Changing
Community Standards. Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide.
Court, J. H. (1973 a). Pornography - Personal and Societal Effects.
Geigy Symposium Paper, University of N.S.W.
Court, J. H. (1973 b). The place of censored material in the treatment
of behaviour disturbances. Australian
Psychology 8, 2, 150-161.
Court, J. H. (1973 c). Stand Up and
Be Counted. Adelaide, Lutheran Publishing House.
Cox, H. (1965). The Secular City.
London, SCM Press.
Eysenck, H. J. (1972). Psychology is
about People. Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Feshbach, S. (1955). The drive reducing function of fantasy behaviour. J. Abnormal Soc. Psychology 50, 1,
Goldstein, H. J., Kant, H. S., Judd, L. L., Rice, C. J., and Green, R.
(1970). Exposure to pornography and sexual behaviour in deviant and
normal groups. Tech. Reports of the
Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, Vol. 7, 1-90.
Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office.
Gummer, J. S. (1971). The Permissive
Society. Cassell, London.
Hill, M. A., and Link, W. C. (1970) in Report of the Commission on Obscenity and
Pornography. Bantam Books.
Holbrook, D. (1972a). The Masks of
Hate. London, Pergamon.
Holbrook, D. (1972 b). Pornography and Hate. London, The
Holbrook, D. (1972 c). Sex and
Dehumanization. London, Pitman.
Holbrook, D. (1972 d). The Case
against Pornography. London, Tom Stacey.
Khan, M. (1972). In Holbrook, D. Pornography
Kronhausen, E., and Kronhausen, P. (1967). The psychology of
pornography. In Ellis, A., and Abarbanel, A. (Eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Sexual Behaviour.
New York. Hawthorn Books.
Kutschinsky, B. (1970). Towards an explanation of the decrease in
registered sex crimes in Copenhagen. New
Social Science Monographs, 99-159.
Liebert, R. M., Neale, J. M., and Davidson, E. S. (1972). The Early Window, New York,
Longford, Lord (1972). Pornography:
The Longford Report. London, Coronet Books.
May, R. (1969). Love and Will.
New York, W. W. Norton and Co.
Nawy, H. (1970). The San Francisco erotic marketplace. Tech. Reports of the Commission on
Obscenity and Pornography, Vol. 4, 155-224. Washington, D.C.,
U.S. Govt. Printing Office.
Neville, R., quoted in Longford, Lord (1972). Pornography: The Longford Report.
London, Coronet Books.
Reifler, C. B., Howard, J., Lipton, M. A., Liptzin, M. B., and Widman,
D. E. (1971 ). Pornography; an experimental study of effects. American J. Psychiatry, 128, 5,
Schmidt, G., and Sigusch, V. (1970). Sex differences in response to
psycho-sexual stimulation by films and slides. J. Sex. Research, 6, 4, 268-283.
Stoller, R. (1970). Pornography and Perversion. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 22, 490.
(Reprinted in Holbrook, D. (Ed.), (1972). The Case against Pornography. Tom
The Times. Editorial. Sept. 3,
1970. (Quoting the UNESCO Conference on Culture, 1970).
Walker, C. E. (1970). Erotic stimuli and the aggressive sexual
offender. Tech. Reports of the
Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, Vol. 7, 91-148,
Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Printing Office.
* * *
The Faces of Pornography
By Very Rev. F. M.
Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne
DEAN CHAMBERLIN is the Dean of St.
Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne. He is Episcopal Vicar for
Communications and the Mass Media, and lectures widely on these
subjects. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Mannix in 1946 and his
special study has been the cinema, about which he has written
Definitions and descriptions of "pornography" and of the related term
There are people who describe pornography as "anything which a culture
defines to be pornographic", that is, anything which violates that
society's accepted norms of sexual expression.
Others try to discover objective, universal ingredients in material
which make it pornographic, like fantasy situations with heavy emphasis
on sexual details and an absence of anti-erotic elements, etc.
What is obscene under the law may be one thing - "material which has a
tendency to deprave and corrupt" to paraphrase the British Obscene Publications Act of 1959.
What is obscene by definition can be another - "repulsive, filthy,
loathsome, indecent, lewd" according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary.
And what is considered obscene by the individual can be something again
- "anything I would be embarrassed to show my wife and children."
(Reference 1. Nightingale Earl: On Smut and Pornography, National Decency Reporter, Vol.
VIII, No. 3-4. March - April, 1971. Los Angeles, Calif.)
Gebhard and others have defined pornography as "material deliberately
designed to produce strong sexual arousal, rather than titillation, and
which usually achieves its primary goal." (2. Gebhard, P. H., Gagnon,
J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., and Christenson, C. V.: Sex Offenders - an Analysis of Types.
Harper and Row, New York. 1965. p. 669.)
D. H. Lawrence wrote that "pornography is the attempt to insult sex, to
do dirt on it." (3. Lawrence, D. H. (1929): Pornography and Obscenity in Beal,
A. Selected Literary Criticism.
Heinemann, London. 1967.)
A working definition was given by Mr. Don Chipp when, as Minister for
Customs and Excise in the previous Liberal-Country Party Government
which lost office in 1972, he declared "pornography consists of verbal
or pictorial publications devoted overwhelmingly to the explicit
depiction of sexual activities in gross detail, with neither acceptable
supporting purpose or theme, nor redeeming features of literary or
artistic merit". (4. Shilton, Lance R. (ed.): No, No, Calcutta, Brolga Books,
Adelaide. 1971. Quoted by Court, J. H.:
A Psychologist's Assessment. p. 36.)
By nature pornography concerns itself with human sexuality. By
association we speak of the pornography of violence and the pornography
of tastelessness as part of the moral pollution which afflicts Western
society in our day.
In this paper I can do no more than outline briefly some of the facets
of this world-wide problem with special application to the situation in
Australia, and I do this under the general title of "The Faces of
Many people in this country are unaware of the nature and extent of the
sex-oriented material - both printed and pictorial - on public sale.
They will have seen "girlie" and "nudie" magazines and sex manuals on
display at street corners, in newsagencies and at some local milk bars
On examination, some of this material is quite explicitly pornographic.
And there are outlets where hard-core pornography is available. The
term "hard-core pornography" is used generally to describe photographic
depictions of actual sexual intercourse or of sexual perversions.
Obviously illegal material sold from under-the-counter is referred to
as hard-core pornography by some.
The situation continues to deteriorate and the new 'R' (or restricted)
certificate legislation in Victoria covering publications, limiting
their sale to over 18-year-olds, has many loop-holes and weaknesses.
The State Advisory Board on Publications has power only to make
recommendations to the Chief Secretary on material submitted to it by
There are only two choices open to the Board - to declare a publication
suitable for general sale or to give it an 'R' certificate restricting
its display and sale. Under this scheme hard-core pornography would
receive an 'R' certificate; the Board has no other choice.
All publications are not brought under notice and some publishers,
distributors and retailers will choose to by-pass the Board and take
their chances with prosecution for selling obscene goods, under section
166 of the Act.
The 'R' legislation safeguards the retailer so long as he observes the
restrictions under which 'R' publications can be offered for sale,
namely no member of his staff under 18 years of age may have access to
these publications; they must not be available for perusal by customers
under 18; and they may not be displayed in shop windows or in doorways,
nor may there be any notices or advertisements drawing attention to
them in the shop.
Even now, hard-core material - in books, magazines, films, slides, etc.
- can be obtained through the mails by answering advertisements in
papers and magazines on open sale in this city.
And live shows and blue movies are bringing a handsome return to their
promoters in and around Melbourne. Massage. parlours cause growing
Three months ago, the Commonwealth Film Censor, Mr. R. J. Prowse, flew
a kite for the Attorney-General when he proposed the introduction of a
new system of film rating, under which films now banned for public
exhibition in Australia would be admitted for private screenings. The
Film Censorship Board would cease to exercise its censorship powers and
become a classification body.
This would open the way to a proliferation of all forms of screen
pornography and of the worst kind. There would be no ban, no censorship
of films involving sex or violence, and experience in Britain shows
clearly that private screenings are in fact public screenings open to
adults on payment of a club membership fee along with an admission
Of pornography, D. H. Lawrence declared: "Even I would censor genuine
pornography, rigorously... . You can recognize it by the insult it
offers, invariably, to sex and to the human spirit. Pornography is the
attempt to insult sex, to do dirt on it . . . The insult to a vital
human relationship! Ugly and cheap they make the human nudity, ugly and
degraded they make the sexual act, trivial and cheap and nasty." (5. Lawrence, D. H.: op. cit.)
Here is the real face of pornography:
- it debases the dignity of man
- it degrades the human person, especially the woman
- it insults sex and the human spirit
- it corrupts real love
- it misrepresents human sexuality
- it makes men and women seem to be no more than sex-ridden machines
- it has no place for tenderness and compassion
- it offers only the brutality and immaturity of the animal relationship
- it divorces sex from a genuine human relationship
- it rejects the institution of marriage
- it attacks the basis of our society, the family
- it distorts our values
- it promotes the wrong goals
- it coarsens our manners and behaviour
- it destroys individuals and ultimately society itself.
Peregrine Worsthorne, deputy editor of the London "Sunday Telegraph", rightly
"The subject of pornography is
manifestly inappropriate for treatment by a Royal Commission or even by
some sort of official academic body. It raises moral, social and
political questions that cannot be answered by the taking of evidence,
or by scientific analysis." (6. Worsthorne, Peregrine: Porn and the
Liberals - Thoughts after Longford. Encounter,
May, 1973. London. p. 88.)
Dr. John Court has analysed in some detail the oft-repeated claim that
statistics from Denmark show a decline in sex crimes following the
removal of restrictions on pornography.
These figures do not stand up to critical examination. (7. Shilton, L. (ed.): op. cit. pp.
Court, J. H.: Changing Community
Standards. Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide. 1972. pp. 16-18.
Court. J. H.: Pornography - Personal
and Societal Effects. 1973 (unpublished [but data given in Paper
I of this pamphlet. See also his analysis in the first article of this
On the contrary, Vice Kommisar Nielsen of the Danish State Police said
in London (1972):
"Violent sex crimes have increased in
Denmark since the abolition of sex laws. They rose from 2461 in 1970 to
2702 in 1971 - the last year for which figures are available. In 1965
there were 12 cases of rape and 28 cases of attempted rape. By 1971
these figures had risen to 32 and 64 respectively. "(8. Court, J. H.: Pornography - Personal and Societal
Effects. 1973. (unpublished [but see Paper I of this pamphlet] ).
Scotland Yard figures show a 50% increase in reported rape in the first
half of 1972 compared with the same period in 1971.
But crime statistics are the wrong
test. They ignore completely the hidden and statistically
unrecorded effects of pornography. To quote Professor James Chu of Yale
"The issue is not to what degree
pornography is linked to sex crimes; the issue is that pornography
promotes a selfish and indulgent mentality which attacks the very
stability and strength of society, inhibiting development of maturity
and strength of character in the young - and adults - with devastating
short and long range social consequences. (9. Chu, James: quoted in National Decency Reporter. Vol. IX,
No. 7-9, July - Sept., 1972. Los Angeles, Calif.)
And Dr. Max Levin, psychologist and neurologist in practice in New York
"A test of pornography that focuses on
the rate of crime is the WRONG test.
"There is overt or outwardly manifested behaviour and implicit or
internal behaviour. A man's overt behaviour may be impeccable in that
he never commits a crime, he never assaults anyone, yet his internal
behaviour may be destructive in that he assaults himself with his
distorted notions of sex, and his disturbed sex fantasies, and, in the
process he victimizes those whose lives are intertwined with his, most
of all his wife and children.
"It is probably no exaggeration to say that sexual and marital
maladjustment causes a sum total of human suffering greater than cancer
and heart disease. The number of people who commit rape is small,
whereas the number of those who suffer from sex problems is enormous.
This, then, is the real test of pornography: does it disturb and
pervert the feelings and attitudes that people have in the realm of
sex? Does it foster an unhealthy conception of the role that sex plays
in life?" (10. Levin, Max: Current
Medical Digest, Nov., 1966.)
Without questioning the sincerity of those who defend pornography on
the grounds of artistic freedom and the right of the individual to
choose for himself what he reads, sees or hears, pornography is big
business, aptly described as "dirt for money's sake".
The pornographers are not in the least
interested in the philosophical arguments. They are in business for the
The value of the pornography industry in the U.S.A. was set at $600
million in a recent issue of 'Newsweek'.
(11. Porn: The Vice Goes on Ice. Newsweek,
July 23, 1972. p. 46.)
Others declare that, with its many ramifications there, it is now a
multi-billion dollar business, which because of its high profitability,
has attracted the attention of organized crime. (12. Lindner, Craig:
Organized Crime - Has it infiltrated the pornography industry? National Decency Reporter. Vol. X.
No. 1-2, Jan. - March, 1973. Los Angeles.)
Of the pornography trade in Britain the Longford Report says: ". .
informed guesses, on the conservative side, suggest that so-called
hard-core pornography represents at least a £10 million a year
turn-over, and soft pornography many times that amount - 'several
hundred million pounds' according to Raymond Palmer in the 'Observer'. In addition, there is
an enormous import trade of direct mail order buying from continental
sources." (13. Pornography - The
Longford Report. Coronet Books, London, 1972. p. 34.)
Jean-Paul Lauret (in "The Danish Sex
Fairs") states that pornography in Denmark is a $60 million a
year industry, making it third only to agriculture and furniture-making
among the industries of that country.
It is impossible to establish figures for Australia, but pornography is
certainly a multi-million dollar industry.
The 72 tons of material seized in Melbourne twelve months ago had an
estimated commercial value of close to a half million dollars.
Some individuals and groups see pornography as a revolutionary weapon
to be used for the overthrow of society.
"The Little Red Schoolbook" in
its original Danish version was subsidized by Maoist funds. It was
written by Communist authors expounding a Marxist philosophy and
clearly identifying its affiliations through its title. Although
cleverly dressed up to look like a commentary on education and related
issues, one of its authors, on becoming a Christian, made clear it had
nothing to do with education, but was a calculated exercise in anarchy.
(14. Court, J. H.: Stand Up and Be
Counted. Lutheran Publishing House. S.A. May, 1973. pp. 13, 14.)
Dr. Siegfried Ernst of the Ulm Council, Germany, has stated:
"The proponents of the sexual
revolution see very clearly that the way to social and political
anarchy is through moral and sexual anarchy. It is high time that we
all see that behind the propaganda of sexual revolution is an
ideological plan to destroy our youth and the moral and spiritual
foundation of our cultural and national life. The repeal of laws
against the perversions of pornography, abortion and the like, pave the
way to destruction of society as we know it." (15. National Decency Reporter. Vol. IX.
No. 5-6. May - June, 1972.)
And a Communist reaction to sex shows is contained in the following
statement from "Cinema Documents",
a publication produced under the supervision of the Italian Communist
"As a tactical policy, our aim is to
defend an enterprise that is pornographic and entirely free from the
restrictions of ordinary moral rules. They (directors and actors) are
in effect like ants working voluntarily and without pay for us as they
eat away the very roots of bourgeois society. Why should we stop them
from their work? Why should we place obstacles in their path?" (16.
Whitehouse, Mary: Who Does She Think
She Is? New English Library, London. 1971. Quoted on pp. 127,
The promotion of an anti-censorship, pro-pornography line, has resulted
in an illiberal, intolerant, repressive and even bigoted censorship of
Judaeo-Christian values and standards, what David Holbrook calls
Speaking of the British situation he says:
"The (sexual) pseudo-revolution,
pornography and all, has driven the meaning out of sex, and one of the
worst aspects of the whole fake revolt has been the heavy censorship in
the press of genuine dissent and disagreement, while the
pseudo-revolutionaries and the new millionaires of exploited sexuality
have dominated the scene." (17. Holbrook, David: 'Counter-Censorship', The Tablet. 8 Sept., 1973. London,
Further, he says: "A new and powerful censorship is closing round us -
smiling and dressed as 'liberation' though it may be" and he quotes in
support American psychotherapist, Natalie Shainess, who in a report to
the U.S. postal authorities (1970) declared:
"Those who recommend abandonment of
censorship over-look the fact that there will still be censorship, but
this time provided by the sellers of sexual wares, and unopposed by
other forces . . . The kind of censorship they will provide will
eliminate anything sensitive, good, loving, interpersonal, or even
healthily lusty from the scene." (18. Holbrook,
David: op. cit.)
Peregrine Worsthorne devotes a long article in a recent issue of "Encounter" (see Reference 6: May
1973) to an examination of the public, and in particular, the media
reaction to the Longford Committee and its subsequent report. He
"The watchdogs of freedom do not bark
when liberal certitudes are ruthlessly protected from the ravages of
truth-telling because they are trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to react
only to certain stimuli - i.e., the customary threats to intellectual
freedom, which are assumed to come only from Right-wing reactionaries.
"The result is a society in which a whole range of views that are
currently unpopular and heretical do not get a fair and proper hearing,
since as soon as they begin to appear on the horizon a barrage of moral
abuse and intellectual mockery falls upon them which makes rational
debate virtually impossible . . .
"This happened, in my submission, to the Longford Report. Right from
the moment that the study group was set up it received the kind of
treatment from the media which was certain to minimize its influence
while boosting its sales. It was anathematized by the liberal
Establishment as being a product of the forces of darkness which the
faithful should eschew if they valued their immortal souls. It was put,
so to speak, on an invisible Index, denied the official imprimatur of
progressive approval. Not that this treatment affected public
curiosity. But putting books on the Index never does. What it does do,
however, is to stifle rational debate.
"The case against the spread of pornography is one that deserves the
most serious attention. Only wilful and blind dogmatism would insist
that some form of censorship cannot be respectably considered in this
context without those who do so being burnt at the stake of public
ridicule. What deeply worries me is that the reigning liberal
establishment is so armoured with self-righteousness, so confident in
its certitudes, so fanatical about its faith, so proud of its
prejudices, that it simply cannot conceive that it might be wrong."
What is the likely future face of pornography in this country?
Australia was visited recently by Mrs. Mary Whitehouse, Hon. General
Secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners' Association in
Britain. She declared that, as yet, the level of moral pollution in
Australia was not as high as in Britain, the U.S.A. or in parts of
But who is to say that we are not moving in the same general direction?
Since Mr. Chipp introduced his more liberal censorship policies in late
1971 - even with fairly stringent anti-obscenity laws in most States -
pornography has become a multi-million dollar industry. The
pornographers have moved in.
We have been treated to an increasing measure of pornography on our
cinema screens - sometimes paraded as art or social comment, but mostly
presented for what it is.
I have already outlined my fears for the 'R' legislation in Victoria
The proposal to introduce a no-certificate category into our film
censorship regulations is in line with the Federal Government's stated
policy of allowing adults to see, read and hear what they choose and
would mean that screen pornography of the worst kind would be readily
If present trends continue unchecked there is no reason to suppose that
the situation in Australia within a few years will be any different
from what it is in the United States, or Britain, or Denmark.
Two major decisions of recent times - in the United States and Britain
- give hope that an attempt is being made to halt the galloping onrush
of moral pollution in these countries.
On June 21 last  the United States Supreme Court reversed its
previous position regarding the legal permissiveness of obscenity by
that local, rather than national, standards may be used to determine
whether material is obscene and thus outside constitutional protection;
that juries and lower courts no longer must hold that material is
"utterly without redeeming social importance" before it is declared
obscene. Rather, they may determine whether a work "taken as a whole
lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."
And on October 4 last,  the British Home Secretary (Mr. Robert
Carr) announced that the Government would press for legislation to
crack down on Britain's thriving pornography industry. The proposed
legislation would strengthen existing obscenity laws, would seek to
stop books and magazines with pornographic covers being sold at street
news-stands and would outlaw pornographic posters, displays outside
cinemas, theatres and strip clubs, and mail circulars advertising
obscene literature. This proposal lapsed with the subsequent change of
One wonders whether we have sufficient maturity, sufficient good sense,
sufficient concern for our future to learn from the experience of
The future face of pornography here depends on you and me and thirteen
million other Australians.
Regrettably there appears to be a large measure of ignorance of the
problem, combined with a monumental apathy.
And it is as true today as it ever
was that "all that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men
1. Nightingale Earl: On Smut and Pornography, National Decency Reporter. Vol.
VIII, No. 3-4. March - April, 1971. Los Angeles, Calif.
2. Gebhard, P. H., Gagnon, J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., and Christenson, C.
V.: Sex Offenders - an Analysis of
Types. Harper and Row, New York. 1965. p. 669.
3. Lawrence, D. H. (1929): Pornography
and Obscenity in Beal, A. Selected
Literary Criticism. Heinemann, London. 1967.
4. Shilton, Lance R. (ed.): No, No,
Calcutta, Brolga Books, Adelaide. 1971. Quoted by Court, J. H.:
A Psychologist's Assessment. p. 36.
5. Lawrence, D. H.: op. cit.
6. Worsthorne, Peregrine: Porn and the Liberals - Thoughts after
Longford. Encounter, May,
1973. London. p. 88.
7. Shilton, L. (ed.): op. cit. pp. 39-41.
Court, J. H.: Changing Community
Standards. Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide. 1972. pp. 16-18.
Court. J. H.: Pornography - Personal
and Societal Effects. 1973 (unpublished [but data given in Paper
I of this pamphlet] ).
8. Court, J. H.: Pornography -
Personal and Societal Effects. 1973. (unpublished [but see Paper
I of this pamphlet] ).
9. Chu, James: quoted in National
Decency Reporter. Vol. IX, No. 7-9, July - Sept., 1972. Los
10. Levin, Max: Current Medical
Digest, Nov., 1966.
11. Porn: The Vice Goes on Ice. Newsweek,
July 23, 1972. p. 46.
12. Lindner, Craig: Organized Crime - Has it infiltrated the
pornography industry? National
Decency Reporter. Vol. X. No. 1-2, Jan. - March, 1973. Los
13. Pornography - The Longford Report.
Coronet Books, London, 1972. p. 34.
14. Court, J. H.: Stand Up and Be
Counted. Lutheran Publishing House. S.A. May, 1973. pp. 13, 14.
15. National Decency Reporter.
Vol. IX. No. 5-6. May - June, 1972,
16. Whitehouse, Mary: Who Does She
Think She Is? New English Library, London. 1971. Quoted on pp.
17. Holbrook, David: 'Counter-Censorship', The Tablet. 8 Sept., 1973. London,
18. Holbrook, David: op. cit.
Pollution is a major world problem in modern society - moral pollution
above all else.
In this paper it has not been possible to do more than make passing
comment on some selected aspects of pornography.
It is a subject on which we need to be informed and about which we
should be concerned.
I draw attention to sources referred to in the body of my paper.
Dr. John Court, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Flinders University,
South Australia, has made a supremely competent and worthwhile
contribution to the censorship-pornography-community standards debate,
borne of his professional skills and his Christian commitment.
His analysis of trends in modern society is clear, informed, closely
reasoned and persuasive. Add to the above references -
Court, J. H.: In defence of
Censorship - A Christian View. Adelaide, 1971.
As Chairman of the South Australian branch of the Australian Festival
of Light, he is associated with the branch magazine, Light - a useful and
attractively-produced record of news, events, talks, sermons, reviews,
etc. (Box 1717, G.P.O., Adelaide, 5001). [Use your search engine to
research 'Festival of Light'.]
He is also currently editor of Community
Standards News, the national magazine of the Community Standards
Organization. This 4-8 pages printed newsletter carries news and
information about the fight for community standards here, with passing
reference to what is happening elsewhere. (P.O. Box 308, Moorabbin,
Vic., 3189). [Use your search engine to research 'Community Standards
Organization' or Organisation.]
National Decency Reporter is
the bi-monthly newsletter of Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc., and
is dedicated to "decency in the mass media". It reports the
anti-pornography fight in the U.S.A. and reprints articles and speeches
from various sources.
Clor, Harry M.: Obscenity and Public
Morality - Censorship in a Liberal Society, University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1969 - An examination of the nature of
obscenity against the background of Supreme Court decisions in the
U.S.A. Clor demonstrates that a systematic and reasoned argument can be
made for legal control of obscenity -one which does not rest ultimately
upon religious or non-rational considerations.
Drakeford, John W., and Hamm, Jack; Pornography
- the Sexual Mirage. Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee, 1973 -The
authors use actual examples from magazines, films, books, etc., to
examine the pornography situation in the U.S.A. Popular presentation
calling for action by responsible citizens.
Holbrook, David (ed.): The Case
Against Pornography - Stacey, London, 1972 - A collection of 27
essays by psychotherapists, social and moral philosophers,
psychiatrists, economists, novelists, journalists and educationalists.
Mishan, E. J.: Making the World Safe for Pornography. Encounter, March, 1972, pp. 9-30 -
A rejection of some of the arguments advanced for the spread of
Report of the Commission on Obscenity
and Pornography. Bantam Books, New York, 1970 - The full report
of the U.S. Presidential Commission, whose recommendations were
rejected by the U.S. Senate by 60 votes to 5.
* * *
Human Sexuality and Sex Education
DR. FRANK AYD
DR. FRANK AYD is a distinguished
Psychiatrist from the United States of America. He is a Fellow of the
American Psychiatric Association and is famous especially for his
contributions to biological psychiatry, which means the study of the
causation and medical treatment of mental disorder. In 1970 he received
the Taylor Manor Hospital Psychiatric Award which is provided "as a
tribute to the genius of scientists dedicated to easing emotional and
psychiatric suffering and to restoring mental health".
An unprecedented interest in and demand for sex education in schools
has blossomed in this second half of the twentieth century. Speakers at
meetings of parents, educators, civic organizations, clergymen,
physicians and other professional groups acknowledge that, ideally, sex
education should be shared by the home, school and church. But, they
charge, too often parents and church representatives cannot or will not
assume this responsibility sensibly or effectively. Articles
promulgating this attitude abound in newspapers and magazines. Many
radio and television shows also are advocating sex education in school.
In the United States, the clamour for sex education has persuaded more
and more well-intentioned individuals and organizations to pressure
Departments of Education and School Boards to provide sex education
from kindergarten through high school. In some states, legislation has
been introduced to make sex education mandatory. In a few states such
legislation has been enacted. Even the Federal Government has become
involved. In 1967, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
supplied $1.5 million to support the "new" sex education programmes in
13 school districts. How much Federal money has been granted since I do
not know, but it is reasonable to assume that more, not less, has been
allotted for sex education. In fact, the President's Committee on
Population and Family Planning appointed by President Johnson in 1968
recommended that Federal assistance for local sex education programmes
including instruction on population and family life, be expanded
rapidly to several million dollars annually.
Since sex education in school is now topical in Australia, there are
questions that Americans have posed which you also should ask about
this highly controversial subject. These are: Who is behind the
burgeoning demand for sex education in school? What are their motives
and objectives? These pertinent questions demand forthright answers for
everyone interested in the welfare of the nation and especially for
parents who are vitally concerned about the character formation of
their children and the value systems they adopt and live by.
There are at least five groups who want sex education in school. These
children from age 10 or 11 who have valid questions for which they seek
honest, helpful answers;
parents who want the school to complement and reinforce the sex
education they give by word and example at home;
parents and others who are alarmed by the rising rate of illegitimate
pregnancies and venereal diseases in young people;
individuals and groups who wish to convince children through education
of the need for and the methods of family planning in order to limit
population growth and raise what they call "the quality of life"; and
commercial organizations who see sex education programmes as a
lucrative market for their products.
Each of these groups has different ideas of the need for, the purposes
of, and what should be taught in sex education courses in school. This,
not surprisingly, has led to controversy; the basis for which demands
exposition. In an effort to do this, let me say that groups 1 and 2
have the right concerns for wholesome reasons that conflict with the
reasons of groups 3, 4 and 5. This can be illustrated by a discussion
of the reasons of groups 3, 4 and 5, because the motives for sex
instruction influence what will be taught; especially what attitudes
about human sexuality will be taught, and by whom and to whom they will
The Motives of Group 3
'Parents and others who are alarmed
by the rising rate of illegitimate pregnancies and venereal diseases in
A coalition of permissive morality and commercial fostering of the
prurient inclinations of youth has caused many of them to reject
traditional codes of chastity and to refuse to bank for a time the
lusty fires ignited in them. This has produced a widespread indulgence
in sexual activities and a teenage
copulation explosion. In the past decade there has been not only
an increasing incidence of sexual intercourse among juveniles but a
drop in the age of first experience, so that pre-teen intercourse is
not rare. Furthermore, many girls and boys are having repeated carnal
experiences, often with a succession of partners.
The harvest of this spreading youthful promiscuity is a sharp rise in
illegitimate pregnancies, abortions and venereal diseases. To this
chronicle must be added the incalculable psychological harm which is an
inevitable consequence of adolescent promiscuity.
Aware of these facts, there are concerned parents, physicians and
others who sincerely believe that sex instruction in school is
essential if venereal diseases, illegitimate pregnancies, and abortions
in our youth are to be reduced. They believe that sex education courses
should discourage premarital sexual relations. Yet, many of them also
argue that since some juveniles will have intercourse, they should be
given birth control advice and contraceptives with instruction about
their proper use. Contraceptives, they contend, should be furnished by
the school, or teachers should direct pupils to appropriate medical
sources for them. The objective is to prevent teenage pregnancies. But,
even if they are educated to have a contraceptive awareness, teenagers
cannot be expected to use contraceptives intelligently or consistently,
because their emotional immaturity and impulsiveness preclude this.
Hence, a percentage of juvenile illegitimate pregnancies are bound to
occur. Consequently, some sex education supporters insist that young
girls should be conditioned by their sex education in school to prefer
abortion to an unwanted child, especially an illegitimate one.
If these statements seem incredible, I can cite many speeches and
articles by American proponents of sex education in school to
substantiate them. For example, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, President of
the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., and Vice-President
of the Association for the Study of Abortion, is a staunch advocate of
sex education in school. In the March, 1969, issue of the journal Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality,
Dr. Guttmacher has an article entitled "How Can We Best Combat
Illegitimacy?" He suggests that this can be done by the introduction of
sex education in school, and by making contraceptives more readily
available to the unmarried.
What does Dr. Guttmacher believe sex education should include? This is
his answer: "I see three main components of sex education: anatomy and
physiology of reproduction, male-female relationships, and the process
of coitus - its performance, regulation and consequences. Ideally, sex
education should be so well integrated into other areas of instruction
- history, economics, social studies, literature, science - that it
need not be isolated into a separate pedagogic unit . . . I believe
that in co-educational schools sex education should always be taught in
co- educational groups . . . Anatomy and physiology of reproduction, I
feel, should be introduced at the fourth or fifth grade level, when the
children are 10 or 11 years old. I have taught it by dissecting a
pregnant animal, placing spermatozoa under the microscope, washing eggs
from the tubes for microscopic viewing, and showing a series of
preserved human embryos . . . Male-female relationships - dating,
petting, courtship, marriage, the family, illegitimacy, child-parent
interactions - should be the main content of sex education during the
seventh or eighth grade . . In the second year of high school the facts
of life should be taught frankly, yet sensitively. The teaching should
include the emotional and procreative roles of coitus, marriage, its
companionship and responsibilities, contraception, abortion, venereal
disease, and the world population dilemma. [sic]"
Many cogent reasons can be given to expose the superficially plausible
assumptions of the Group 3 advocates of sex education in school.
Suffice it to say that, aside from convincing teenagers that abortion
is the solution for unwanted pregnancies, there is no reason to presume
that sex instruction in school or the provision of contraceptives for
teenagers will have any significant impact on the venereal disease rate
or the incidence of illegitimate pregnancies in this age group. It may
influence the abortion rate, that is increase it, as the data from
those nations which have liberal abortion laws indicate.
For many years in countries such as Denmark and Sweden, teenagers have
had sex education from kindergarten on, and easy access to birth
control information and contraceptives. Official government reports
from these countries disclose that, although children have sex
education and contraceptives to use, their illegitimacy rate has
increased significantly. At the same time, there has been a rise in
venereal diseases to almost epidemic proportions in this age group.
Official United States Government data show clearly that, even though
American youngsters know about contraceptives and have little or no
difficulty obtaining them, teenage venereal diseases and illegitimate
pregnancies are increasing at a disturbing rate. These indisputable
facts from Europe and the United States speak for themselves.
[We, of the internet age, know, only too well, how true this is!]
The Motives of Group 4
'Individuals and groups who wish to
convince children through education
of the need for and the methods of family planning in order to limit
population growth and raise what they call "the quality of life". . '
Many of the advocates of sex education are alarmed about the world's
population growth. They tell us that if the population growth rate is
not soon reduced to zero, the human race will destroy itself by an
epidemic of unrestrained breeding. They point to the poverty, hunger,
and human misery in this world. They warn that; if the quantity of
people is not limited, the world's food supply will be insufficient to
meet the demands for it. Consequently,
they predict that sometime between
1975 and 1985, because of vast famines, hundreds of millions of people are
going to starve to death, unless plague, thermo-nuclear war, or
something else kills them first. These alleged imminent famines, they
claim, can be avoided only by
a drastic and immediate reduction of the
[Note how inaccurate the doom-sayers were in 1973!]
Many experts on population agree that the oral contraceptive, the
intra-uterine devices, and all other methods of family planning are not
the solution to the population crisis. Population control, they rightly
insist, is primarily a matter of human attitudes [and especially our
attitudes to sharing the ABUNDANCE of the world's resources provided by
a Provident God. 'Take care of the world's people and the population
will take care of itself !']. People, they argue, must be convinced
they should not have more than two children. At present, many are not
so convinced. [with good reason!] They are using contraceptives to
space children until they have the number they desire, which for many
Americans is three or four.
Those who ardently want a rapid reduction in population are clamouring
for two things. First, no laws restricting abortion or a law
guaranteeing the right of any woman to have an abortion whenever she
wishes. Second, state or national legislation requiring sex education
in schools which includes discussion of the need of regulating the
birth rate and the techniques of birth control. Liberal abortion laws
are needed, they say, because only abortion will quickly lower the
birth rate as it did in Japan and some Iron Curtain countries, and we
cannot wait for education to motivate young people to eventually limit
family size through contraception. [Thus they advocate the death of
innocent babies as the best (or final) solution to the 'population
problem' !] Hence, as many of us know, but may
not realize why, there are active campaigns going on to make people
"abortion-minded" and ultimately to create a universal "contraceptive
mentality" in our youth. These objectives, it is truly believed, can be
achieved by sex education in school.
I feel obliged to warn you not to be deceived by the rationalizations
being used by some sex education supporters to persuade educators and
the public that there should be sex education from kindergarten to high
school. They consider the current birth rate as an epidemic [sic!]
be curtailed. This position has been expressed by Dr. Mary S.
Calderone, past-president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Inc., and presently Executive Director of SIECUS (Sex Information and
Education Council of the United States). Dr. Calderone said at the 1967
meeting of the American Public Health Association: "We have yet to beat
our public health drums for birth control in the way we beat them for
polio vaccine; we are still unable to put babies in the class of
dangerous epidemics, even though this is the exact truth." If one
accepts this premise, and Dr. Calderone does, it is only logical that
she would champion sex education with instruction in birth control
methods to curb an epidemic of babies. [sic!]
[Note; All this was said way back in 1973! And, it is enough to make
What the proponents of sex education want is exemplified by this
statement of Professor Paul Ehrlich in his book, The Population Bomb. "By 'sex
education' I do not mean courses focusing on hygiene or presenting a
simple-minded 'birds and bees' approach to human sexuality. The
reproductive function of sex must be shown as just one of its
functions, and one that must be carefully regulated in relation to the
needs of the individual and society. Much emphasis must be placed on
sex as an interpersonal relationship, as an important and extremely
pleasurable aspect of being human, as mankind's major and most enduring
recreation, as a fountainhead of his humour, as a phenomenon that
affects every aspect of his being."
Professor Ehrlich wants instruction in birth control methods mandatory
in all public schools. He argues: "If we take proper steps in
education, legislation, and research, we should be able in a generation
to have a population thoroughly enjoying its sexual activity, while
raising smaller numbers of physically and mentally healthier children."
To attain this goal, Professor Ehrlich and other proponents of sex
education insist that children must be indoctrinated thoroughly not
only in how to avoid the transmission of life but also to desire no
more than two offspring.
Clearly the members of this group of advocates of sex education in
school are primarily interested in utilizing these programmes to have
youngsters adopt their value systems and their means to achieve zero
population growth. They want to use sex education courses to effect
attitudes and behaviour changes so that their social policies are
implemented. This raises the vitally important question, "Should a
pluralistic, democratic society permit the use of schools to expose
children to and to persuade children to accept the value systems and
social policies of any one segment of society?" To do so would be an
infringement on the rights of those who hold contrary views and a
denial of the rights of parents to determine the value systems their
children are to be taught.
The Motives of Group 5
'Commercial organizations who see sex
education programmes as a
lucrative market for their products.'
Another group of strong proponents of sex education in school is
composed of various commercial organizations. They see a multimillion
dollar market and high profits from training programmes for teachers,
from text-books for teachers, pupils and libraries, from pamphlets and
reprints of articles on recommended reading lists, from charts, slides,
models, records, questionnaires for teachers and students, and from
films. Manufacturers of contraceptives and purveyors of pornographic
material also favour sex education in school. They expect that such sex
instruction will increase the sale of their products, and, of course,
fatten their incomes. Their prime interest is making money, even if
this should have catastrophic consequences for the individual and for
Sex education in school is a delicate and complex task. It requires
highly qualified, well trained, mature teachers with special competence
in this area. These are in short supply. Furthermore, serious
consideration must be given to the content and method of sex education
courses for each age group, whether there should be group instruction,
and the size of the group; and last but not least we must ask if any
value systems are to be taught and if so, which. There is no doubt that
responsible parents want wholesome sex education for their children.
There is no doubt that children want and can profit from sex education,
but it is imperative to ask what kind they want and require. Some
teachers unintentionally have been guilty of stupid and harmful sex
instructions. What they have done, for example, by using four-letter
words and other crude expressions about human sexuality proves their
unfitness. They do not realize that you do not have to act like a
little boy to help him become a man. They utterly fail to comprehend
that example is not only the best way to give good sex education, but
that it is the only way.
I hope that what I have expressed will not be misinterpreted as a
condemnation of all sex educators or as a lack of sympathy for and
understanding of their earnest and genuine motives to contribute
constructively and positively to the total maturation of their pupils.
On the other hand, there is ample justification for concern about the
type of sex instruction to which some children are being or may be
exposed. The mere fact that a programme has been sanctioned by
education officials, doctors, clergymen, and other civic and business
leaders, does not make it good - or immune to critical scrutiny. These
people endorse sex education because they honestly believe it is a good
idea, but in some instances they apparently are not fully aware of
exactly what they approve.
Finally, I must stress that I am not opposed to formal sex education
in. public and private schools. I insist, however, that the facile
assumption that the subject matter being taught is what responsible
parents want their children to learn is not necessarily consonant with
the facts. Physicians and parents who are interested in the welfare of
children should investigate what sex instruction is being or will be
given in school. They should ask to see the literature being used and
the films being shown, question the qualifications of sex educators,
and demand to know what the true objectives of the courses are.
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