Magazine April 6, 2020, Issue


The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Pornography and Free Speech

Madeleine Kearns, in her piece on pornography (February 24), prescribes two approaches to the problem she identifies, one that celebrates constitutional values and one that rejects them. Her first proposal is for pornography’s opponents to engage in a campaign of persuasion against pornography modeled on the public-health response to tobacco use. She seeks in this way to compete in the marketplace of ideas, advancing empirical and moral arguments against the arguments of the pornographers and the “misguided” civil libertarians in favor of free access to pornography. So far, so good.

Her second prescription betrays the first: She would

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A reader responds to Madeleine Kearns’s article, ‘Pornography Is a Public-Health Problem.’


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