Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Children and Pornography: An Interest Analysis in System Perspective


William Green

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1985


The sexual exploitation of children is an object of public concern. State and federal governments have enacted child obscenity and pornography statutes to protect children from abuse in the production of pornography and from harm in the sale of obscene materials. These enactments have raised free speech, due process, and privacy questions. This article will examine how these issues have been judicially resolved. In general, it will argue that the crucial factor in judicial resolution is the weight 'courts have given to free speech interests. In this regard, it will argue that courts have more easily resolved child pornography production issues by defining them as conduct unprotected by the first amendment. At the same time, this article will argue that courts have had greater problems in resolving obscenity and child pornography distribution issues, because of the greater importance they have attached to the free speech interests of children, parents, and other adults.