Explicit Communication Paper
Sexually explicit material has been increasingly incorporated into the modern society. This has come because of the conclusion that it improves the economy since it sells at an alarmingly fast rate. Although this is the trend, there is a considerable danger in the society, which is increasingly becoming sexual. The first underestimated danger is the fact that the life of the young people in the society is at stake. This is especially as far as their morality is concerned. In addition to this, psychologically disturbed adults usually end up breaking the law. Because of the negative effects of sexual explicit content to the society, there was a need to protect it from the fatal effects. Therefore, some standards of gauging the obscenity in a given material were put in place by the federal government. The standards sought to protect the morals, values of the society, besides protecting it from becoming oversexed (Brottman 35).
The federal laws and local laws have made illegal the publication, distribution or sale of obscene material. These are the standards set to curb the spread of obscenity thus comprising the morality of the society. The federal laws have also gone to a further step to illegalize the broadcasting material that has obscene scenes, over the radio and television. Truthfully speaking, the illegalization of such is indeed a massive hit to the entire media field. This is because there is remarkably little that can be done to ensure that there is no obscene thing that has been broadcasted. This is not to deny the fact that the media has no control over the spread of obscenity. In fact, it can be categorized as one of the major sources of the spread of obscenity. The media reach millions of people almost at the same time in season. Therefore, once a certain scene that is sexual explicit is broadcasted, remarkably many people perceive it and are affected by it (Wortley and Smallbone 7).
What I meant by saying that sometimes little can be done to ensure that obscenity is totally not broadcasted is due to a number of factors. First, the editing work in the media is exceedingly complex and forms the bulk of the work before something can be aired to the viewers or listeners in the cases of television and radio broadcasting. There are certain periods when many valuable things that are to be aired concurrently. The content of the broadcast may be particularly valuable and essential to the public, for instance the address of the president of the republic in a certain function. In such times, it may be extremely challenging to edit what has been spoken or what happened in the function. The work may be too much since the functions many times end unusually late in the evening (Brottman 35). Therefore, it is almost close to impossible to edit everything in a span of one or two hours before broadcasting. This is because highly skilled labor is required in proper editing of every broadcasted piece of work. This skilled labor is what is what lacks in many of the broadcasting stations. It is tremendously costly to employ many people with exceptional editing skills since all demand high payments for every work done. Since most stations are incapable to pay many editors, they, therefore, prefer to employ a maximum of two editors if the worst come to the worst (Tuman 17).
Logically speaking, the broadcasting stations have a point in employing few editors. If they do not take this direction, they may make substantial losses because each station usually funds their broadcasts. Though the laws are exceedingly stringent and should be obeyed, there should have also an inclusion of government support to the media in the media policies of the government. This would have gone an extra mile in perfectly ensuring that obscenity has been totally curbed.
The other thing that makes singularly little to be done about the content is the fact that no journalist has the power to stop the different speakers from sharing obscene content. They may be exercising their freedom of speech only to spread sexual information. For instance, if the president decides to speak obscenely, it is extremely unfair to victimize the media on such a matter. Instead, the president should bear his own cross on this. This is because the media did not influence the speech. Therefore, in cases like this, I think the federal laws are highly unfair to victimize the media houses. The different speakers should, in cases of this kind, be made to face the law independently and explain why they had to speak they way they did (Wortley and Smallbone 29).
The Miller Test is a three-point test for anything that is obscene that was invented by one Miller V. California. It is used by the United States Supreme Court in the determination of obscene expressions or speeches. It has three steps, which have to be all followed before any material is labeled obscene. If not, other grounds that can prove one guilty of obscenity do not exist (Tuman 10). The three steps are:
Whether one using community standards finds the whole work appealing to the prurient interests
Whether the whole work describes sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive as stipulated by the law of the state
Whether the whole work is found to be deficient of artistic, literary, scientific or political value
Community standards as expressed in the Miller’s tests allude to the moral standards that have been communally accepted as being right. They are the things that one must do in order to be taken as being morally upright by the society. Therefore, one will be considered immoral by the community at large if they are seen to go against the community standards. The community standards are most often set and implemented by the community leaders. It then becomes the duty of every elderly person to ensure that they are implemented especially by young. Therefore, the elderly have no otherwise but to abide by the community standards (Sanderson 51).
I think community standards are an appropriate way of determining obscenity in the society. This is because something becomes obscene when it seems to be sexually suggestive to the viewers or the listeners. That is to say, that it arouses the sexual desire to the targeted audience. Because the audience determines what is obscene, it is proper to gauge obscenity by the standards that are already in place in that community. In fact, it is the easiest and shortest means of finding out obscenity (Brottman 44).
Time, manner and place restrictions, like zoning, are used by the legislators in the regulation of the expression of obscene and erotic material. They have managed to do this by forming and enforcing extremely harsh rules against anyone found expressing themselves obscenely at public hours and in the open public. When one is found in such a situation, the legislators made the laws in such a way as to give the enforcers the power to charge the individual. In a bid to curb obscenity, the federal laws have categorically made it illegal to the broadcasting stations to air any sexually connoting material. They have target one avenue that is the media, which plays an extremely significant role in the spread of obscenity. This is because the media reaches unusually many people at the same time as hit was earlier seen (Sanderson 57).
Brottman, Mikita. Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and The Psychopathology of Humor.
Hillsdale. Analytic Press, 2004. Print
Sanderson, Christiane. The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect
Children from Child Sexual Abuse. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2004. Print
Tuman, Joseph. " Miller v. California ." Free Speech on Trial: Communication Perspectives on
Landmark Supreme Court Decisions (2003): 187–202.
Wortley, Richard and Smallbone Stephen. Situational Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.
Criminal Justice Press, 2006. Print