WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?: An Exploration into Media Violence, Pornography and Censorship by Victor B. -- Ed. Cline

WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?: An Exploration into Media Violence, Pornography and Censorship

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An anthology of twenty-two essays on censorship written by social scientists, psychiatrists, publishers, civil libertarians and lawyers. Given a commitment to ""free and open discussion,"" what limitations on the First Amendment are permissible without ratifying Miss Grundyesque prudery? Most of these pieces concern themselves with establishing the harmful insinuations and psychological effects of violence and pornography. TV brutality offers anti-social models to children. People are dehumanized in pornography, reduced to genitalia, and the reader may be seduced into surrendering his own humanity (one writer suggests that civilization itself is at stake when ""desublimation"" occurs). Many contributors debunk the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography -- and laud the Commission on Violence. This is not an unintelligent collection: arguments against sexual censorship are fairly presented; ""aggression"" studies of children are questioned; the correlation between social science findings and individual behavior is deprecated; alternatives to direct censorship are offered. Cline finally concludes that ""limited, rational control somewhere between total license and repressive censorship is called for."" The basic problems here consist in weighing freedom and autonomy against ""possible"" deleterious consequences and in the propriety of government restrictions on (to use one contributor's words) ""stimulation or gratification of appetites"" and psychological modeling. While no one would insist that free speech is an absolute, one does not fred Cline's position adequately demonstrated. Nevertheless, a provocative study.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1974
Publisher: Brigham Young Univ. Press