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Regulating internet pornography as an issue of sex discrimination

Evans, Michelle (2005) Regulating internet pornography as an issue of sex discrimination. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis will critically analyse Australia's censorship laws with a specific focus on the regulation of pornography distributed via the internet, a means of mass production and distribution of pornography.

It will be argued that Australia's current censorship laws are deficient because their focus is morality based. A morality based approach does not take into account what pornography is and does; in particular, the sex equality harms to real women and the inequality within society caused by pornography.

This thesis will argue that the current censorship regime is an ineffective means of regulating internet pornography because it fails to address the complexities of internet regulation and the selling and marketing of sexual inequality online. This thesis will also argue that these censorship laws have had little or no impact in reducing the availability of pornography distributed via the internet.

This thesis argues that a civil rights/equal opportunity approach to pornographic harm, as proposed by the anti-pornography civil rights ordinance drafted by American feminists Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin (the ordinance), should be adopted into Australian law. The ordinance will be examined with a particular focus on how it can be amended and incorporated into Australian equal opportunity legislation in order to more effectively regulate the distribution of pornography via the internet in a manner that addresses the harms to social inequality caused by pornography.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Supervisor(s): Kendall, Christopher
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