Clean Thoughts and Dirty Minds; The Politics of Porn


  • Kevin B. Smith

    1. Kevin B. Smith is associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research focuses on education, crime, and morality policy.
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Various justiftcations are givenfor regulating sexually explicit material, including that it causes social härm by eroding behavioral norms or violating basic civil rights. Theories ofmorality politics and policy, however, suggest that regulation of sexually explicit material is driven by attempts to redistribute values, i.e., by groups/vho seek to use the coercive power ofthe state to impose their moral codes on others. The analysis here tests for relationships predicted by morality policy theory and generally finds patterns consistent with the argument that policing pornography is driven primarily by attempts at value redistribution.