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Porn and Politics in a Digital Age
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, under Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the federal government went on the offensive against pornography. Then came the Clinton administration, which had different priorities. To what extent did the new political environment permit the explosive growth of the porn industry during the 1990s? And how much was due to technological and cultural forces beyond any administration's control? This is where the politics of porn gets complicated, writes The American Prospect's Nicholas Confessore in a special report for FRONTLINE.
The Eloquence of Pornography
In this examination of pornography's many varieties and aesthetics, writer Laura Kipnis analyzes how porn's attraction is deeply connected to our evolving culture, our values, and our sense of ourselves. In the end, she maintains, pornography offers us a sharp, self-scrutinizing awareness -- which is at the heart of being human.
why people use porn
In this report, Erick Janssen, an associate scientist at the Kinsey Institute, provides an overview of what has been learned in recent decades about who uses pornography. But while there has been plenty of research on the possible negative consequences of porn, says Janssen, much less is known about why people are drawn to it in the first place.
taming the web
It is often heard that attempts to regulate pornography on the Internet are futile because the Internet is too decentralized and because new technologies such as "peer-to-peer" file-swapping software (which is used to share pirated music and movies as well as pornography) are impossible to stop. But as this September 2001 article in Technology Review suggests, the lessons learned from efforts to control copyright in cyberspace may be equally applicable to pornography. The author, Charles C. Mann, looks closely at three widely held beliefs about the nature of the Internet -- that it is too international, too interconnected, and too filled with hackers to be controlled -- and shows that they are largely myths.

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