Monday, April 04, 2005

Is One Medium Worse Than Another?

Some graphic novels depict sexually explicit scenes in drawings. Some romance novels describe sex scenes in graphic detail. Do you approve or disapprove? Is one medium worse than another?

Check for recommended graphic novels here:

Comic Books for Young Adults
Graphic Novels for Public Libraries
No Flying, No Tights: Reviews of Graphic Novels for Teens
Time Online: A Graphic Literature Bibliography's Comics Scholarship Annotated Bibliographies
ALA Recommended Comic Novels


Anonymous said...

As I have stated earlier, it is very difficult to define what constitutes pornography. Graphic novels can be compared to video pornography while romance novels can be compared to explicit erotica. I don't really know if one is worse than the other. I think that visually explicit material might be more offensive than words, but with either, there can be varying degrees.


fahrenheit451moderator said...

There was an interesting article in Saturday, April 9, 2005 Toronto Star. This applies to child pornography but mentions the difference between visual and written forms of child pornography. This is not the Canadian Criminal code but has been ruled on by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Court defines child porn broadly.


Written child pornography is capable of employing all the subliminal tricks of consumer advertising and isn't restricted to material that explicitly promotes sex with children, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.

"Material that describes sex with children as enjoyable, normal and beneficial, and the children as willing may send the message that sex with children can and should be pursued," said Justice John Laskin, who was also writing on behalf of Justices David Doherty and Robert Armstrong.

"An entirely different business — the advertising industry — uses implicit messages all the time to persuade customers to buy a company's products," he said.

The decision means a new trial for John Beattie, a retired teacher from London, Ont., who was acquitted of one count of possessing child pornography in 2003. Justice Roland Haines of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that 33 sexually graphic stories found in Beattie's house did not meet the definition of child porn in the Criminal Code, which was elaborated on by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Vancouver resident John Robin Sharpe in 2001.

The Criminal Code distinguishes between visual and written forms of child pornography and says written material only meets the definition if it "advocates" or "counsels" sex with children under 18.

Writing in the Sharpe case, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said this means written material must "actively" induce sex crimes with children to be considered pornography.

Sharpe was retried and acquitted of two counts of possessing written child porn.

In Beattie's case, the trial judge found the stories depicting children willingly participating in sex didn't equate to active inducement. But Haines failed to consider the power of the implicit messages that children want sex , Laskin said.