Obscenity Law in the United States & Great Britain

It was until the enlightenment in the 18thcenturyinBritainwhen
nearly all governments along with powerfulchurcheswithfewexceptions,
censored words and ideas considered by them threatening to theirsupremacy,
meaning, for the most part, that wordsandideaswereconsideredtobe
rebellious or blasphemous (Bartlett, 1991).
While, in the mid-19thcentury,UnitedStatestookitscuefrom
England, and started the official suppression of books and ideaswhichwas
not about politics or religion but had sexualityasitssubjectthatin
turn was a political subject, since the targets were ideasandinformation
thathadthreateneddomineeringattitudesaboutwomen’srole,social
control of sexual behavior and reproduction (Bartlett, 1991).
Obscenity Laws Formation in the United States
Through passage of laws against”obscenity”thisnewstructureof
official governmentcensorshipwasachieved.Thecombinationofthree
social factors producedfirst obscenity laws; that are asfollows(Balkin,

; Victorian-eraofficialmorality:thisparticularfactorhadits
concerns with theattitudesaboutwomen’ssexualnatureorlack

• The second factor was the fear ofcorruptionbydetectivestories,
novels and other famous literature among newly literate workingclass

• Another factor seen by leaders of the middleandupperclasseswas
threaten to the institution of marriage that was facilitating sexfor
pleasureratherthanprocreation.Thus,toinstitutionalizeand
control sexuality, particularly birth control and abortion information
was carried out by means this law (Balkin, 1993).
These factors became partofalargerpoliticalstrugglewhilethe
Victorian era was not all button-down prudery; theoriesofre…

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