Should Page 3 Nudes be Banned? (2012), by Sean Gabb

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Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio Leeds on the 5th November 2012.

The question was whether newspapers should be banned from showing pictures of naked women for the tittilation of their readers - ie, "Page Three Girls" in The Sun.

Sean argues these points:

  • That, if some women want to take their clothes off to show their bodies to men, and men want to look at their bodies, this is a matter of association between consenting adults. No one else has the right to step in and prevent this kind of association.
  • That anyone who claims such association is "demeaning to women" is claiming a moral authority over the entire female sex - an authority obviously rejected by nude models, and perhaps by most women.
  • That, after sixty years of often obsessive research, there is no proven link between consuming erotica and crimes of sexual violence.
  • That there is a much better-established link between reading The Koran and blowing yourself up in a coffee bar, or between reading the works of Karl Marx and becoming a mass-murderer. Does this mean anyone has the right to ban these works?
  • That those who argue that "porn leads to rape" are arguing in the wrong direction. No doubt men who commit crimes of sexual violence also consume erotica. This does not prove that the later causes the former. We might as easil6y say that, because most rapists wear trousers, wearing trousers cause rape, or that buying carving knives cause knife crime.

In general, Sean says that there should be no controls on the production or distribution of any sexual imagery that is created by and for consenting adults.