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Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,' Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth
by Marjorie Heins
Rutgers University Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-8135-4221-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-8138-5
Library of Congress Classification Z658.U5H42 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 303.3760973

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, from Internet filters to the v-chip, censorship exercised on behalf of children and adolescents is often based on the assumption that they must be protected from “indecent” information that might harm their development—whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. But where does this assumption come from, and is it true? 

In Not in Front of the Children, Marjorie Heins explores the fascinating history of “indecency” laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth. From Plato’s argument for rigid censorship, through Victorian laws aimed at repressing libidinous thoughts, to contemporary battles over sex education in public schools and violence in the media, Heins guides us through what became, and remains, an ideological minefield. With fascinating examples drawn from around the globe, she suggests that the “harm to minors” argument rests on shaky foundations.

Nearby on shelf for Book industries and trade / Freedom of the press. Censorship: