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Sex Is Less Offensive Than Violence: A Call To Update Obscenity Jurisprudence, Rachel Simon Mar 2013

Sex Is Less Offensive Than Violence: A Call To Update Obscenity Jurisprudence, Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon

This article addresses the gender bias presented by the disparate treatment of sex and violence under current obscenity jurisprudence. Under the controlling standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Miller v. California, sexual works may readily be regulated as obscenity, while violent works unequivocally may not. This article posits that this disparate treatment is the product of entrenched stereotypes about the way men and women “should” react to sex and violence, and notes the hypocrisy of failing to apply the same reasoning to assessments of violent versus sexual material.

First, reliance on “community standards” to define what material …