Most commonly, pornography has been framed and talked about as an issue of first amendment rights and freedom of expression. Any concern has been portrayed as exclusive to religious conservative communities - popularly discussed as merely a “moral” or “religious question.” From this perspective pornography is an issue of limited interest and relevance (more restricted to the domain of old-fashioned prudes).

Increasingly, people are questioning this frame - and underscoring pornography as a scientific, public health, and human rights issue, given especially the toll of production on actors and actresses and the documented connections with human trafficking. From this perspective pornography is an issue of broad interest and relevance across socio-political communities, whether or not they are religious.  Indeed, pornography has long been a concern of some feminists as well, who see both the production and consumption of pornography as exploiting women.

Rather than a polarizing and divisive extreme left or right issue, the latter position sees it as unifying around universal concerns. For instance, the high degree of violence and aggression within mainstream pornography or the growth of child pornography are both aspects of pornography that might arguably unite most human beings in shared concern.



Dialog Tips: 

Ten Ways that Thoughtful, Good-hearted People Disagree about Pornography Disagreement Map prepared by Jacob Hess and the team at Village Square Utah

Conversation Catalysts: 

Fight the New Drug


Erika Decaster, Jacob Hess

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