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  1. 1. Regulation of Sexual Material on the Internet ANT 39 Kristin McAteer
  2. 2. Pornography does exist and is usually exposed on television, VHS’, DVD’s, and even on the internet. The problem being that young children sometimes come across these channels on television or stumble across these websites. We need to find a way to make it safe for children to browse the web without coming across these websites. Since most people have high-speed Internet access now, they can download images faster, possibly causing some of the increase in unwanted exposure to sexual material. “ We're surrounded by porn everywhere we go. It's everywhere, in the movies we watch, the magazines we read, the music videos we see”. 13-year-old boy, Toronto, Ontario
  3. 3. <ul><li>In 1984, Domain Name Systems (DNS) were introduced and within the next year many domains were registered. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1993, the World Wide Web goes live, and ever since then we have had these sites filled of pornography. </li></ul><ul><li>The spread of pornography is unavoidably linked to the development of technology. </li></ul>History of Internet Pornography
  4. 4. Sexual Material on the Internet <ul><li>The Internet has played a huge role to the spread of pornography more than any other technology to date. </li></ul><ul><li>Now, a large variety of pornographic chat rooms, photographs, and videos are available for little or no charge to anyone with an Internet connection and a little patience. </li></ul><ul><li>Since the online pornography industry is extremely </li></ul><ul><li>competitive, these adult marketers are always thinking of </li></ul><ul><li>new strategies to make sure their websites are visited. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Strategies for Site Visits <ul><li>'Click-throughs': Every time someone clicks through an adult site to another one, the site's advertising revenues go up. To increase the number of click-throughs, some sites use pop-up windows. </li></ul><ul><li>'Home page hi-jacking': This involves planting a Java script command on computers to change the user's default home page to a porn site. Changing the home page back to its original setting appears to solve the problem until the computer is rebooted, then the offensive site re-appears as the home page. </li></ul><ul><li>Using hidden key words that are picked up by search engines: Porn </li></ul><ul><li>operators bury key words, including brand names of popular toys, in the </li></ul><ul><li>code of their Web sites to attract children. </li></ul><ul><li>Dummy links: Frequently you will be viewing a page you like and you see </li></ul><ul><li>a link at the bottom saying 'Page Two', you click on it, only to be taken </li></ul><ul><li>to a totally different site - frequently a pay site or an index site. </li></ul><ul><li>'Stealth' sites: These are porn sites that steer users their way through </li></ul><ul><li>a variety of techniques, including buying up expired domain names, </li></ul><ul><li>exploiting common misspellings, or using well-known names of </li></ul><ul><li>companies or artists. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>In this predicament, anyone can be affected, no matter your age, gender, race, religion, or whatnot. </li></ul><ul><li>The only people who might not be affected by this sexual material flaunted on the internet are the less fortunate or ones that do not own a computer and/or have access to the internet. </li></ul>Who Is Affected? <ul><li>Kids seem to be the most affected by this problem, </li></ul><ul><li>not only on the internet. Some children stumble </li></ul><ul><li>across certain websites without even knowing it, but </li></ul><ul><li>some kids are given gifts from their parents who </li></ul><ul><li>don’t even realize there is sexual material in these </li></ul><ul><li>things. This portrayal of sexual material is also seen </li></ul><ul><li>in TV shows, movies, and in many video games. Some </li></ul><ul><li>children see these things and think nothing of it, but </li></ul><ul><li>others can be terribly scarred because of this. Kids </li></ul><ul><li>seem to be the most affected by this problem, not </li></ul><ul><li>only on the internet. Some children come across </li></ul><ul><li>certain websites without even knowing it. </li></ul><ul><li>(Cover of the movie “The Little Mermaid”) </li></ul><ul><li>There is a penis depicted in this image </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005, a survey was created by Media Awareness Network for </li></ul><ul><li>students in Grade 7 to 11. Almost one-fifth (19%) of Canadian </li></ul><ul><li>kids say they’ve accidentally stumbled across these adult </li></ul><ul><li>sites. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>This is one of the biggest issues concerning sexual material on the internet. We saw who was affected, but now we need to understand whether or not people are benefited or harmed from this act. </li></ul><ul><li>The internet is the newest form of technology used especially for pornography. Many people, mostly men or teenage boys, search the internet for pornography in order to pleasure themselves. Internet porn is obviously beneficial for these people who seek to pleasure themselves by looking at dirty images online. </li></ul><ul><li>On the flipside, the sexual material that is online can also be harmful. There have been several studies shown that sexual material, although may not be harmful, may be disturbing to children. </li></ul><ul><li>Some children like to surf the web and do not know what they’re clicking half the time. For example, a website introducing a new toy can easily have pop-ups installed so that whoever visits that site will be directed to a porn site. This can happen on any kind of site and these people who produce these porn sites know every which way to scheme people into visiting their site. </li></ul>Sexual Material on the Internet: Beneficial or Harmful?
  8. 8. <ul><li>Although, it is a violation of Federal law for any person to deliberately send or attempt to send obscene material to a child under the age of 16 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet pornography can be offensive and distasteful to many users. The only problem being is that sexual material on the internet is not illegal. </li></ul>Regulation of Sexual Material on the Internet <ul><li>The idea of pornography is to let people enjoy and pleasure themselves by watching others in the act. For example, some men have certain fetishes like Asian women having sex, or like a lot of men, love to see two women going at it. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people do watch pornography on DVD’s or certain channels on cable, but the easiest and most convenient way now-a-days is the internet. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>We looked at the benefits and harms of sexual material on the internet, but now we focus on the regulation of this act. Who benefits from it? Who is harmed by it? If you think about it, regulating sexual material on the internet would just be the flipside of sexual material on the internet in general. </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly the ones who enjoy internet porn the most are the most harmed. Some probably even feel like a part of them is missing. It’s sad how some people can be so addicted to this kind of stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone who was ever against the idea of internet pornography and especially children will benefit from this. </li></ul>The Regulation of Sexual Material on the Internet: Beneficial or Harmful?
  10. 10. <ul><li>There is a debate in progress about pornography, children, and the Internet. In the public eye, the debate concerns how much and in what forms, if any, governmental, commercial, and even private regulation should be imposed on sexual materials available over the Internet to protect children from exposure. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many legislations that help support this argument, such as the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), and the 2000 Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). </li></ul><ul><li>The problem of the debate being that on one side you have concerned people, including parents, that are just looking out for the best interest of the children. On the other hand, the creators of these websites technically have freedom of speech </li></ul>Current Status
  11. 11. <ul><li>Almost every single country undergoes things differently, such as, religion, politics, economics, etc. Countries have different cultural standards and legislation regarding sexual material, and content that is banned in one jurisdiction may be easily accessible on servers in another. </li></ul><ul><li>Most countries in the world have laws on what is considered decent and what is not. For example, in the United Kingdom, photos of an erect penis are considered obscene and not allowed. Similar laws do exist worldwide and maybe in some cultures internet pornography could be considered illegal. </li></ul><ul><li>Images of models aged 16-18 are illegal in many countries, most of the United States for example. Whereas in the United Kingsdom the law states it is an offence to take or distribute indecent photographs of children under the age of 16. </li></ul>How Does This Affect the Sexuality in Different Cultures
  12. 12. <ul><li>There have been two significant studies done on teenagers in Australia and in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>These findings show us the certain percentages of children that are exposed to internet pornography, accidentally or not. </li></ul>The Facts on Youth Exposure
  13. 13. <ul><li>Australia has gone further with federal legislation than the U.S., so when surveying 16 to 17 year old kids, these were their results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accidental exposure to pornography on the Internet ranks at 84% of boys and 60% of girls. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>88% of boys and 83% of girls &quot;believe that looking at sex sites on the Internet is widespread&quot; among boys of their peer group (7% of girls believe the practice is widespread among 16- to 17-year-old girls). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>38% of boys said they have searched the Internet for sex sites, 4% say they use the Internet for this purpose on a weekly basis, and 22% access sex sites &quot;at least every two or three months.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 2% of girls said they have deliberately sought out sex sites. </li></ul></ul>Study One: Australia
  14. 14. <ul><li>The United States study asked children, both boys and girls, from the ages of 10 to 17 about their experiences with sexual material on the Internet: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25% had one or more unwanted exposures to sexual pictures while online in the past year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>73%% of those exposures happened while searching or surfing the Internet and 27% while opening e-mail or clicking on links in e-mails or instant messages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>67% happened while using the Internet at home; 15% at school; 3% in libraries; and the rest at other homes, such as friends', and elsewhere. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the images were just of nudity, 32% showed a sex act, and 7% involved violence as well as sex and nudity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web searches, with search engines or typing in an address like, were the most common route to exposures (47%). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 26% of the surfing incidents, the kids surveyed were &quot;mousetrapped&quot; into another sex site while trying to get out of the one they were in. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>39% of the exposure incidents were reported to parents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young people are more likely to have unwanted exposure if they use the Internet a great deal, use it in other households, spend time in online chats, use the Internet for e-mail, talk to someone they have only met online, play jokes on or harass people online, or are troubled or reported depression or physical or sexual abuse. </li></ul></ul>Study Two: United States of America
  15. 15. <ul><li>The only possible way to make sure children do not come across these sites is to either not allow them on the computer or setup some program where they cannot access the internet or only certain sites fit for them. But if everything were this easy, we wouldn’t have any issues. </li></ul><ul><li>While no technology can completely remove the possibility of unwanted exposure to sexual material, child-friendly search engines greatly reduce the odds of such exposure. These search engines are designed to allow children and students to access websites they can use to play, learn and conduct research for school while excluding sites whose content may be inappropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>There are certain sites that try to help causes such as children accessing sexual material on the internet. One of these sites is the Internet Watch Foundation and can be found at this link: </li></ul>How Can We Fix This Problem?
  16. 16. <ul><li>BBC, 2001. Internet Pornography. Legal Note [online] April 4, 2001. Available from: [cited 7 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Chan, R., et al., 2005. Pornography and Technology. Online Pornography: More Than Just Dirty Pictures [online] March 1, 2005. Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 6 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Collier, A., 2003. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Online Kids' Exposure to Pornography: Separate Studies in Two Different Countries [online] March 3, 2003. Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 7 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Cooper, R., 2000. Unwanted Exposure to Sexual Material. North Carolina Department of Justice [online] 2000. Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 6 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Jardin, X., 2006. A Brief History of Porn. Boing Boing [online] March 28, 2006. Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 7 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Media Awareness Network. 2004. Pornography. Be Web Aware [online] 2004. Available from: </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 6 April 2008]. </li></ul><ul><li>Mitchell, K., 2003. Sexual Material on the Internet. The Exposure of Youth to Unwanted Sexual Material on the Internet [online] March 2003. Available from: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>[cited 5 April 2008]. </li></ul>Works Cited