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41 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 447 (2018)


Debates about pornography have always included arguments about its “effects.” Now we can gauge the effects of specifically computerized pornography. These novel effects include scientific research showing that digitalized pornography affects the brain and nervous system in harmful ways that no centerfold ever could. Accessing pornography online makes interactive and directive engagement with it possible, so that the consumer is no longer limited to staring at a two-dimensional representation of a stranger in the nude. The action now is more adventurous. The consumer’s involvement is more intimate and directive. What he does lies somewhere between looking at a centerfold and actually having sex. But where in between? How shall this nether-act be described and morally evaluated? For a married man, is masturbating while in conversation with and directing the like act of a web-cam equipped cheerleader adulterous? If it is not, it is at least an act of spousal infidelity. But which act? What exactly should this sort of betrayal be called? How should our culture and our law judge a woman who divorces her spouse for his regular resort to such outlets?



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