Protectionism Or Free Trade As A Ways Of Reversing Trade Deficit Essay Example For College

Abstract

Free trade or protectionism has always been a controversial debate not only within countries but in the global trading arena. The issue was brought back to the forefront with the onset of the global economic recession that has plagued almost every country. Countries were looking at ways of reversing their trade deficits and protectionism seemed like the only solution People were and still are losing jobs especially in the manufacturing sectors with most of the blame being piled on the shipping of jobs overseas or the flooding of respective markets by cheap imports from overseas. When the global economy does recover, the issue will still be there with some countries feeling their economic future is more secure if high tariffs are introduced to restrict imports. (Bhagwati, 1989, 47)

Job Losses

This is common rhetoric especially in the US manufacturing industry millions of jobs are being lost because much cheaper products like electronics are flooding its market from Japan and China. The average US manufacturer cannot push its production costs further down to compete with the imports. What angers them, even more, is the fact that Japan imposes high tariffs and restricts the number of US products through quotas entering the Japanese market.

It might appear like Japanese products have easy access to the American market but the fact is they do pay high tariffs to the US government and this revenue is used to spur various development activities. The main source of contention is whether this revenue generated from high tariffs is worth making millions of American workers jobless. In the case of Japan, the quota imposed on imports has resulted in astronomical prices on some commodities like rice due to lack of competition from imports.

The high prices hurt the Japanese consumer but the farmers are guaranteed job security. Both of these arguments do provide legitimate reasons but the question remains which one will be more productive to a region’s economic development in the long run. In this study, we will focus mainly on the trade between the US and Japan which has been beneficial to both countries over the years but has kicked of a debate on protectionism from the US traders who feel the current status quo is favoring the Japanese. (George, 1998, 216)

Protectionism or Free Trade

Some analysts have argued that the current trade deficit in the US, though manageable, still poses a threat to the country’s financial stability. The American people consume more than they produce and this has led to the flooding of imports into the US market. Its export market is also gigantic and still thriving but it still lags behind the volume of trade generated by imports. This imbalance can be seen in the auto industry where various firms like General Motors are in deep financial trouble yet the US consumes 25% of the world’s crude oil. This shows the auto industry in the US is quite profitable but this revenue is split between the home industries and the various foreign firms like Toyota and Nissan that are from Japan.

Raising tariffs would certainly increase the price of a foreign-made car forcing the American driver to opt for a locally manufactured car. Imposing quotas would also protect the struggling auto industry giving US manufacturers’ monopoly over their market, create jobs, and the revenue generated would remain in the US economy since most foreign companies take their profits back to their home countries. This does seem quite clear-cut and beneficial to the US economy. However, there is more than what meets the eye. (Russell, 2000, 25)

The Reality

Protectionism calls for the restriction of a country’s consumer market to only the local manufacturers. There is no denying most of the goods flooding the US markets from other countries have been massively subsidized to make them more appealing to the US consumer. If anything, it’s the citizens of these foreign countries who should be mad because their taxes are being used to sell goods at a bargain through subsidized costs! Importing these commodities saves the US resources that would have been used to produce these goods from scratch and. These saved resources are again used to produce goods that are otherwise expensive and all of this would not have been possible if it weren’t for the cheap imports.

It is a true influx of imports that has resulted in job losses in industries that directly compete with these commodities. However, these imports are paid for through tariffs and the revenue generated is used to create jobs in other sectors of the economy like manufacturing goods that foreigners are interested in hence boosting the export market. Isolating oneself would only result in worsening of the trade deficit. Unfortunately, hardworking people end up losing their jobs but through the acquisition of new skills, they can still find employment in other sectors.

The call for protectionism is due to the imbalance in the trade deficit. What they might have forgotten to look at is the trade “balance sheet”. Most of these countries generating profits from imports do not buy more commodities from the dollars earned; instead, they re-invest most of it back into the US economy through savings in the credit markets or directly injecting funds into US companies.

This has increased the pool of savings in the US banks which has made it easier for domestic businessmen to access loans. The risk of all these foreign capitals being suddenly withdrawn from the US economy is highly unlikely because currently, the US economy offers the most conducive economic and political environment for conducting business. Unless that changes, there isn’t another market in the world that can handle such quantities of cash. (Irwin, 2005, 118)

Summary

From the explanations given above, protectionism might do more harm than good but there are still strong voices advocating for the need to protect the American manufacturer. Further raising of tariffs and quotas would certainly tighten the noose on imports but would the American consumers tolerate the sudden increase in commodity prices? The reality is the most prosperous economies in the world, including the US, are the ones with free trade agreements with other countries. However, every country has the moral obligation to put its interests first and this involves job security for its citizens.

Even if the US appears to be a free trade nation, it has systematically put trade barriers in form of tariffs and quotas to protect its interests. (Bovard, 1991, 97) The only difference is its trade barriers are not as stiff or visible as Japan’s. Calling for stiffer barriers will eventually lead to a boom in the manufacturing industry, but it will also erode the gains made over the years and dent its image as an investment hub.

References

Bhagwati Jagdish, (1989) Protectionism, The MIT Press, pp 47-53.

Bovard James, (1991) The Fair Trade Fraud, Palgrave Macmillan, pp 97-101.

George Henry, (1998) Protection or Free Trade: An Examination of the Tariff Question With Especial Regard to the Interests of Labor, Robert Shackelford, pp 213-217.

Irwin Douglas A (2005) Free Trade Under Fire: Second Edition, Princeton University Press, pp. 115-119.

Russell D Roberts, (2000) The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism Updated Edition, Prentice Hall, pp 23-25.

Islamic Art: The Dome Of The Rock

Introduction

The Dome of the Rock is a key landmark that also serves as an Islamic shrine. This landmark is located in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, an ancient platform often referred as “The Noble Sanctuary” by Muslims. This landmark that took 3 years to complete (from 1688 to 1691) is “the oldest extant Islamic building in the world” (Cunningham & Reich 2005).

From an architectural perspective the Dome of the Rock has numerous meanings and symbols that relates to religion, especially the Islamic faith. This is because the building is a monumental landmark for the formation and creation of Islam (Hillenbrand 1999). In addition, the site on which the Dome of the Rock has been constructed is regarded holy by both the Jewish and Christian communities. For this reason, the construction of this edifice at the site is a symbol of the victory of Islam as the new faith over these other tow religions. Structurally, the dome of the rock has an octagonal shape, a shape that symbolizes the link between heaven and earth.

Historical perspective

Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad caliph, is believed to have facilitated in the construction of the Dome of the Rock that commenced from 688 AD, and was completed in 691 AD. The intention of constructing this monumental building was not for it to later be turned into a mosque. Rather, the intention of its builders was for it to become a pilgrim’s shrine. The traditions of the Islamic faith provide that the main reason why the Dome of the Rock was constructed was with a view to commemorating the ascension into heaven of Prophet Muhammad, following his nocturnal journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (Hillenbrand 1999).

Abd al-Malik wished to construct a magnificent Muslim structure that would offer competition to the various Christendom churches, in addition to serving the purpose of a symbolic statement not just to the Christian, but to the Jews as well, with regard to how superior the then new Islam faith had become. According to Insoll (1999) “His building spoke to Jews by its location, to Christians by its interior decoration” (Insoll 1999).

Significance

From a religious point of view, the Dome of the Rock remains amongst the key Islamic holiest sites in existence. The importance of this landmark emanates not least from the religious beliefs that are held as concerns the rock at the very heart of this structure. Islamic traditions provide that this rock is the spot from which Prophet Muhammad made his ascent to heaven, in the company of angel Gabriel (Grabar & Nuseibah 1996). This was on the same night that Prophet Muhammad was to make his ‘nocturnal journey’ to Jerusalem, from Mecca.

Even before the arrival of Muslim as a religion, the sacred rock that would later have the Dome of the Rock built over was considered to be, at least by the Jews, the exact place at which Abraham had offered to make a sacrifice of his son Isaac. This is a belief that the Jews hold onto to this day. Furthermore, a majority of the people hold the belief that this monumental Islamic edifice stand adjacent to “the Holy Holies of both Herod’; and Solomon’ temple” (Insoll 1999).

A number of scholars (for example, Cunningham & Reich 2005) have held various opinions as regards the religious significance of the Dome of the Rock. This monument has been constructed on a sacred site to both the Jews and the Christians, in effect asserting itself as an edifice of victory for the new faith, Islam, over the other older religions. From the perspective of the Islamic faith however, the Dome of the Rock symbolizes the final statement and continuation of “the faith of the People of the Book- Muslims” (Insoll 1999). In addition, this monument signifies a symbolic establishment of faith or conquering power “within the conquered land” (Insoll 1999). Islamic power, along with its position ‘as the revealed truth’ is stressed further by way of the imagery and inscriptions that are to be found inside this building.

The Dome of the Rock, according to Insoll (1999), seems to emphasize three fundamental points. First is a forceful assertion of Islamic fundamental principles. Secondly, that Muhammad occupies a special position in religion, in addition to noting the significance of his historic mission. Thirdly, the Dome of the Rock recognizes Jesus’ position, in addition to that of other prophets. This is depicted in the new faith’s (Islam) theology. Insoll (1999), has interpreted the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock as a declaration (one meant to be read by all ‘the People of the Book’, or Muslims, while the other is directed at Christians) that their religion, Islam, had surpassed both Judaism together with their inheritance of this religion from David), as well as Christianity (along with its doctrine about Jesus). These assertions acts to further cement the identity and power of Islam as a new faith.

As a piece of art, the Dome of the Rock signifies the decisive propaganda that the rulers of Arab descent tried to spread to their subject through religion. For this reason, this building is deemed significant in as far as the rise of Islam as a religion is concerned. The various Arabic inscriptions on the interior and exterior walls of the Dome of the Rock are a further testimony of efforts by Arabs to spread Islam through propaganda. For example, the colonnade’s outer face is adorned with several Quran passages. These passages consists of five classes of short phrases, and each of these groups of phrases lays emphasis on unity, in addition to the unconditional and unrivalled power of God (Glasse & Smith 2003).

With regard to the building architecture, this too is important religion-wise, in terms of helping us in understanding the spread and rise of Islam as a religion. The dome of this edifice has been modeled to resemble Christian churches in Syria. The dome also bears a close resemblance with a number of earlier Byzantines buildings, especially with regard to their geometrical structures. Through the use of the Byzantines architecture, it is thought that the dome sought to illustrate evidence on ‘the conquered people of the power of new rulers’ (Kennedy 2004).

The entire drum of the Dome bears a rhythmic distribution of enormously complex floral scrolls, interspersed by tall amphorae reinforced by precious stones. Traditionally, the amphora characterized by a lack of flowing scrolls is interpreted as having an association with “the tree of life”. From the iconography of Christianity, this symbolizes a renewal. An argument has also been fronted to the effect that the winged motif that appears to be a characteristic of the drum section of the Dome of the Rock in fact a symbol of ‘an angelic figure’ (Kennedy 2004 ).

Another suggestion indicates that the ‘Abd al-Malik’ inscription found on the inside of the Dome was meant to give believers spiritual guidance, in addition to exhibiting the fundamental difference that exist between on the one hand, Islam and on the other hand, Christianity. The implication here is that the construction of the Dome of the Rock was both a vehicle for, and a symbol of, “the emergence of the self-definition of Islam over Christianity” (Insoll 1999).

The shape that the Dome of the Rock has assumed has a significant place in Islam as religion. To start with, the shape symbolizes Prophet Muhammad ascent into heaven. In addition, the building’s octagonal structure symbolizes a mathematical series step that border on a square (a symbol of ‘fixity of earthly manifestations’) and a square (a symbol of heavenly perfection) (Kennedy 2004). The traditional fonts of baptism have also been designed in a similar shape, as are the tombs of Saints. In the latter, their lower part tends to be square, with a drum in the shape of an octagon being inserted between the dome and the cube. This symbolizes the Saint as a connection between God and man (Cunningham & Reich 2005). Similarly, the Dome of the Rock is thought of as a link between heaven and earth, and hence its religious significance.

Taking into consideration the fact that early Islam had more to do with both Judaism and Christianity, it may then be easier to interpret the symbolic meaning of numerous floral and trees motifs that have been depicted in the entire Dome of the Rock, especially with regard to a variety of mosaic series. A number of mosaics that are found within the Dome of the Rock have often been seen to depict “vessels” and “flowers”. From a Jewish perspective this is a symbol of values, as “good deeds” are often described using flowers (Cunningham & Reich 2005).

Also, the inscriptions emphasizes that God is without offspring, and that his messenger is Muhammad. On the other hand, the text found on the dome’s inner face declares the status of Muhammad, along with God’s unity. There are also several verses that have been addressed to “the people of the book”, a declaration on the falsehood of the ‘Trinity’, a caution that religion makes no room for mistakes, and an exploration of the correct view held about Jesus. One amongst the many passages warns against “speaking of three (gods)” (Blair & Bloom 1994).

The inscriptions are also quite clear regarding the issue of Islamic doctrine development. In this regard, status evidence of Islamic fundamental beliefs are provided (that is, the non-divine and non-messianic status of Jesus, accepting a status of multiplicity in terms of prophets, revelation and reception of Muhammad, as well as the designation of Islam as a religion) (Kennedy 2004).

The walls of the Dome of the Rock have been in-scripted with Islamic words that have been sourced from the Quran (Kennedy 2004). This signifies the earliest Quran extant citation, on a date that coincides with the year in which the Rock of the Dome was completed; 691 AD. Free of metaphorical decoration, the Dome of the Rock symbolizes a response to alterations in religious point of reference. A number of inscription bands adorn the building’s interior, with one of the bands being as long as 240 meters in length. This band is important, as it is seen as the founding inscription of this monumental edifice. On it, there have been scripted scripts of Kufic that runs parallel to the pinnacle of the octagonal arcade sides, found within the Dome of the Rock. From its exterior, the arcade is adorned with inscription quotes that have been obtained from various verses of the Quran, all of which offers glory to God. Most of the texts on the interior of the Dome of the Rock are mainly religious (Glasse & Smith 2003).

In addition, these religious texts have been deliberately but carefully composed from selected passages of the Quran, then later on used in quite a distinctive form. The interior mosaic of the Dome of the Rock marks both stylized and realistic depictions of vegetation, as well as other relevant themes. According to the laws of Islam, it is forbidden to depict living beings through the work of art. These mosaics so adorned call to mind exotic garden, probably the gardens to be found in paradise. In addition, there is also rich jewelry that has also been represented in the various mosaics, and essentials necklaces, breastplates, as well as a Persian crown. It is worth of note here that the caliph Omar was the ruler of Persia, in 637 AD. As such, these mosaics are a representation of the various Persian crowns that were hanged during his reign, in Mecca (Grabar & Nuseibah 1996).

Moreover Insoll (1999) has noted that the pictorial imagery that adorns the inside of the monumental Dome of the Rock is quite important in terms of the identity and power of “the new faith”. Insoll (1999) offers an interpretative alternative that succeed in providing an explanation as to why Ssanina and Byzantine royal symbols got used in decorating the interior walls of the Dome of the Rock. The explanation that Insoll offer is that these are symbols that clearly identify the defeat of unbelievers, resulting into their conversion to ‘the true faith’ (Grabar & Nuseibah 1996)

Current status

At the moment, the Dome of the Rock has received an aluminum covering, in addition to being topped over with a crescent of gold. It is adorned with magnificent a design that bears their roots to the Syrian/Byzantine motifs. Calligraphic decorations (these are quite common in a majority of the Islamic art) dominate the exterior and interior of this edifice that amounts to about 240 meters. The various inscriptions that are found inside of the Dome of the Rock all have to do with verses from the Quran regarding Jesus and the kind of relationships that he had with Jerusalem (Cunningham & Reich 2005).

The interior as well as the exterior of the Dome of the Rock have over the years been refurbished on a continuous basis. This is in addition to the numerous renovations that the building has received. A prayer chamber is located below the sanctuary, and this chamber is often accessed via the use of a stairway. At the same time, the main floor of the building also has a larger area dedicated to prayers. At the payer chamber, one is able to get a glimpse of a crack within the rock. This crack, as per the traditions of the Muslims, happened at a time when Prophet Muhammad made his ascent into heaven (Grabar & Nuseibar 1996).

Such groups as the Eretz Yisrael and Temple Mount faithful movement have communicated their wish to have the Dome of the Rock moved to Mecca, with a proposal that a Third Temple be built to replace it. Seeing that Muslims considers the very ground under which this monument has been constructed to be quite sacred (Glasse & Smith 2003), if a relocation were to occur, then such a move would not only be controversial in nature, but there is a possibility that it could also provoke violence. A majority of the Israelis are extremely undecided regarding the suggestion made by the two movements to have the dome relocated.

It is the feeling of a faction of the religious Jews, who subscribe to the rabbinic dictum that this shrine ought to be rebuilt “in the messianic era” only (Kennedy 2004). In addition, the group has asserted that it would be seen as quite conceited of the people to attempt at forcing the hand of God. Nevertheless, it is the position of several Christian evangelic members that the very act of relocating the dome is a precondition to both the second coming, and Armageddon.

Such a view inclines towards a belief in “a prophetic rebuilding of the Temple in place of the Dome of the Rock” (Kennedy 2004). Elsewhere, the Dome of the Rock has been featured on the backside of the 1000 rials Iranian banknote (Grabar & Nuseibar 1996). In terns of possession, the Dome of the Rock is both maintained and owned officially by the Jordanian Ministry of Awaqaf (Cunningham & Reich 2005).

Conclusion

The Dome of the Rock, situated Old Jerusalem’ eastern side, at the Temple Mount has gone down the annals of history as Islam’s third “most holy place” (Cunningham & Reich 2005). This shrine was constructed in 691 AD by Abd al-Malik. Muslim traditions hold that this edifice is situated at the site where Prophet Muhammad made his ascent into heaven, accompanied by angel Gabriel, following his nocturnal trip from Mecca, to Jerusalem. The architectural design of the Dome of the Rock bears symbolic meaning to religion.

The dome has its interiors and exterior walls adorned with Arabic calligraphy of various verses from the Quran, talking about Jesus as well as the relationship he had in Jerusalem. The shape of the dome is quite symbolic to the Muslim faith, as it signifies the ascension that Prophet Muhammad made to heaven. In addition, its location, coupled with its grandeur are quite significance, as they help Islam as a new faith to assert itself in a region hitherto dominated by Christianity and Judaism (Kennedy 2004).

There are also numerous inscriptions within and without the building. The objective of these Arabic inscriptions that are attributed to ‘Abd al-Malik’ was to give believers spiritual guidance. In addition, these inscriptions help in expounding the fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity (Grabar & Nuseibah 1996). The octagonal structure of the building is symbolic of the position that this shrine occupies, as a link between heaven and earth. Various ‘flowers’ and ‘vessels’ can also be seen through out the building, and these are symbolic of the ‘good deeds’ in Islam.

Work cited

Blair, Sheila, & Bloom, Jonathan. The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994

Cunningham, Lawrence & Reich, John. Culture and Values; a survey of the humanities. New York: Cengage Learning, 2005.

Glasse, Cyril, & Smith, Houston. The new encyclopedia of Islam. London: Rowman Alktamira, 2003

Grabar, O & Nuseibah, S. The Dome of the Rock. New York: McGraw- Hill, 1996.

Hillenbrand, Robert. Islamic Art and Architecture: World of Art Series. London: Thames and Hudson, 1999.

Insoll, Timothy. The Archaeology of Islam. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.

Kennedy, H. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century. (2nd Ed). London: Longman, 2004.

The Various Aspects Of Internet Pornography

Introduction

Before we understand what internet pornography means, it is necessary to have a look at what pornography means. The word Pornography has originated from the Greeks who described the term as ‘writing about prostitutes’. Pornography can be defined as: ‘Sexually overt depiction of people through different means such as words or icons. The basic aim to produce this kind of stuff is to extract momentous sexual arousal on behalf of the customer who purchases such stuff’

By internet pornography we mean the porn hat is distributed through internet using further various sources such as websites, peer to peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. The trend of internet pornography has existed since 1980; however it was made popular by the World Wide Web in the year 1991. Since then it has revolutionized the world of internet porn. Pornography can also be accessed through DVD’s and other video tapes however it is much easier to access through the internet since this can be done in a much private and confidential manner. People who are restricted due to lawful or societal reasons find it much easier to watch porn through internet (Mc Bain, p. 112).

History of Internet Pornography and Methods of Distribution

The trend of internet pornography was very much limited in the early 90’s. Previously internet was not accessed by the normal public that often, its usage was very much limited to business and job-related people. Internet gained popularity and so did the pornography linked with it. In the past, people used to scan photos from adult and porn magazines and uploaded them to the Usenet Newsgroups. This method was adopted by a number of people since it was very cheap and did not require extra fees except for the money people paid to access the internet. Their identity remained a secret and copyright restrictions could also be easily ignored. (Lehman, 272). The various methods of distribution of internet pornography have been mentioned below:

  1. Free vs. commercial
  2. TGP
  3. Link lists
  4. Peer to peer

Free vs. Commercial

Internet pornography can be accessed free as well as commercially. The bandwidth used by porn sites is relatively higher than the normal sites. The money earned by normal sites is through advertisement is not sufficient enough to cover the cost of the bandwidth that they use. The normal or free websites usually post links to the porn sites in the form of thumbnail images as well as in the form of galleries that are hosted for free. The free websites provide thumbnails and smaller versions of the images and when a customer orders for a subscription to the commercial site, this takes place by clicking on the thumbnail images present on the free sites. This way the owner of eth free site plays a major role in promoting the commercial site and hence he gets paid for it.

TGP

The TGP provides a list of thumbnail images that are directly linked with the photo gallery. This way the surfer gets a preview of what he might want to view later. Often these TGP’s are misguiding since they lead the surfer to the sites that he or she is least concerned in visiting.

Link lists

The main difference between TGP and Link lists is that they provide links in eth written form rather than in the form of thumbnails. These links are access to the free sites. It is often debated whether thumbnails are more useful or written text. It is concluded that thumbnails are more efficient and make the research easier.

Peer to Peer

Peer to peer is another efficient method of sharing files with various networks and they are a reliable source to provide access to porn sites. This method gives rise to the unauthorized use of copyright files, music, videos, etc. A number of commercial sites make use of this method and sample their material through the peer-to-peer process.

Formats of Internet Pornography

The various formats of internet pornography as listed below:

  1. Image files
  2. Video files and streaming videos
  3. Webcams
  4.  Other formats

Image Files

Image files that are most commonly of the JPEG format are the most common and easiest method to promote porn. This format enables one to upload images by scanning them on the computer by taking photographs from pictures, magazines, video frames, etc.

Video Files and Streaming Video

As the name indicates, this format is used in eth distribution of porn videos. It uses formats such as MPEG, WMV and Quick Time. Currently, the easiest method to distribute pornographic movies is in the form of VCD and DVD. Nowadays commercial sites are also using WMV HD format to support high-definition videos.

The most recent research shows that YouTube is the most efficient method in distributing pornographic movies. The technology of Flash Player has been used to view the files uploaded by the users.

Webcams

Webcam is the most recent and the most efficient source that has been contributing a lot to the distribution of pornographic movies and pictures. This method has gained popularity since the advent of the internet. It is a completely different format as compared to the ones discussed earlier. The content of a live webcam can be easily divided into two categories; shows that can be viewed by groups who are most important members of an adult paysite. Another category is where this activity takes place on 1 to 1 basis; this is usually more common as the customer can view whatever he desires depending on the money he offers to pay.

Other Formats

Text and files related to audio come in the category of other formats. This format is not very popular as compared to other formats that are used in the distribution of pornographic material. Text porn includes erotic stories, various pages on the web and messages that are put on board or newsgroups. Audio porn is distributed through MP3 and FLV formats. The content of audio porn can include recordings of people who are having sex or reading porn and erotic stories. Porn magazines also lie in the category of text porn (Williams, 516).

Types of Internet Pornography

The types of porn that are most commonly viewed on the internet include Hardcore, softcore, other and child pornography. Hardcore pornography is the highest standard of porn and is also the most popular one. It includes material that actually shows involvement in sexual activities. Softcore porn is more commonly related to models dressed in bikinis, spread-legged females, and other factors and poses that stimulate sex. The category ‘other’ includes everything from bestiality, urination, bondage, sneaky images, etc. It covers a very long list of activities that might stimulate an individual’s sexual desires.

The exhibition of child pornography on the internet is increasing at an alarming rate. It generally refers to images and videos that exhibit sexual activity involving young kids. It is the most pronounced form of child sex abuse. It has become one of the fastest-growing industries and criminals are most prominently involved in this activity. The basic aim of child pornography is to fulfill one’s sexual desires, it can be used to prepare kids for sexual abuse which in turn leads to child grooming, which itself is a very common activity. It can also be used to produce another porn movie or taking a guide in order to pursue the activity of child prostitution.

What Does Internet Pornography Suggest About Our Culture?

Internet pornography is considered to be one of the basic reasons that children, as well as teenagers, are deviating from their culture, values and norms. Culture is a very important part of an individual’s personality and once it is erased, the individual is void of all ethics and duties. Children are regularly subjected to images that come in the category of hardcore as well as softcore porn. It can be very easily said that an individual’s very initial sexual education takes place through internet pornography. Internet pornography misguides individuals about the behavior related to their sexual desires. It leads to serious problems such as teen promiscuity, abortions, early and unwanted pregnancies, etc. These problems can lead an individual to lifelong problems and he might never be able to get out of them. Parents have to be very careful and alert in monitoring the attitude of their children and keeping a check on their internet activities, iPods, cell phones, etc.

Children are the most common victims of internet pornography since they are not fully aware of the pros and cons associated with this adversity. Some of the facts that were revealed by conducting research on internet pornography are as stated:

  1. Internet pornography is most commonly viewed by children ranging from 12-17 years old.
  2. Types of research reveal that the aggregate age at which children are subjected to internet porn is 11 years old.
  3. Certain sites and manipulate children’s words such as Teletubbies and Pokémon as Meta tags in order to lure kids into their vulgar sites.
  4. There are approximately 20 new children who make their appearances on eth porn websites. Half of them are either kidnapped or sold for the purpose of sexual abuse.

Considering the above information, it is very necessary for the government to take notice of this severe problem. The restrictions, rules and regulations should be further revised and special care should be taken to impose them in areas in which they are needed the most. Blocking devices should be used so that the children can be kept away from the nuisance of this critical matter. It is stated that the inefficient porn standard will be removed and a new FTC-approved system will be introduced so as to assure that the laws are implemented and followed. This would enable the porn sites to verify the ages of their users in a more accurate manner. (Kiesler, 463)

Types of Sites That Assist in the Promotion of Internet Pornography

Depending on the services they provide, sites have been divided into categories. They are discussed as under:

  1. Free Sites: These sites provide examples that are related to a pay site or provide softcore porn.
  2. Index Sites: These sites provide information about other sites and their content. This is usually done by providing the user with a brief description of the site either through text or images. It gives an approximate figure of the number of videos or images.
  3. Forums: Forums often have links to the index sites. They enable the user to post, read as well as write messages. It also provides links to the different sites that the user has requested or other links related to the topic in concern.
  4. Pay or Membership Sites: The users of this site should own a credit card because without it these sites cannot be accessed. It is often claimed that the card is not billed, instead, it is used to verify the accurate age of the user. However, users often do not believe in this and they restrain to use such sites which require the use of eth credit card. It is obvious that the company will take care and return any money that is taken by the owner through fraud, yet people feel too embarrassed to get into this process and rather opt to cancel their cards.
  5. Mixed Sites: Mixed sites contain the index or links of other sites and also exhibit some photo galleries.
  6. Private and Hidden Sites: As the name indicates, these sites violate the laws, rules and regulations of a country. It contains a record of files stored in a free storage area. (Reichert, 294)

Hazards and Pitfalls

The hazards and pitfalls that need to be avoided while accessing any site are as mentioned below:

  1. Advertising: These sites have the ability to place cookies on an individual’s computer. This way the sites one visits will enable other sites to intrude on your privacy and other people using the computer will also get to know about the site history.
  2. Pop-ups: These are usually windows that appear on the screen when you are either visiting or leaving a site. They advertise their product. They can be very distracting as more than one pop-up can appear at a time and it can also affect the computer.
  3. Dummy Links: These sites usually appear when a person is using his desired site and he clicks to go to the next page only to be taken to an entirely different site. These sites can either be index sites or paysites.
  4. Hijacking: Some sites enable the user to download information from a particular site and once you download it, it can cause serious problems to the computer by logging it off, muting the modem, etc. This is not restricted to porn sites only; it can also lead to a person to a site that is not all related to porn material.

Conclusion

It is evident from the information provided in the paper that internet pornography has been gaining popularity among children, teenagers, adults equally. It is exploiting the youth at an alarming rate. Serious steps need to be taken to overcome this problem so that society does not lose its values and culture and is able to practice them in a much better manner. For this, the government needs to be active and inefficient.

Works Cited

  1. Kiesler. S. Culture of the Internet. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates. 2000
  2. Lehman. P. Pornography. Rutgers University Press. 2006
  3. Mc Bain. M. Internet Pornography iUniverse. 2002.
  4. Reichert. T. Sex in Advertising. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates. 2003
  5. Williams. L. Porn Studies. Duke University Press. 2006

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