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This paper argues that Australia's approach to regulating pornography, namely censorship, fails to specifically address the sex-based harms caused by the production and distribution of pornography. Instead, Australia has adopted a morality based approach to regulation, which seeks to censor sexual materials that are 'morally offensive'. Such an approach does nothing to tackle gender inequalities through which women are sexually targeted, degraded and socially disempowered; the end result of the production, sale and use of pornographic materials.

This paper argues that a preferable approach is that first formulated by American feminists, Professor Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. Their sex equality approach to regulation, formulated as a civil rights ordinance, allows persons harmed by pornography to sue for these harms on the basis that pornography is an issue of sex discrimination.


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The Southern Cross University Law Review may be accessed from the National Library of Australia here

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