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What are the Different Types of Illegal Pornography?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are a number of different types of illegal pornography, though they will often vary depending on the specific laws of an individual country. Many countries in the Middle East, for example, outlaw all depictions of sexual acts and pornography, regardless of the material presented in such images. In countries in which some pornographic material is legal, there is often a separation of images along the lines of what is depicted and whether such depictions are considered obscene or not. Many countries that do allow for some legal depictions of sexual acts will often indicate illegal porn as depictions of sexual acts that are themselves illegal.

Illegal pornography is typically any type of depiction of sexuality that is considered illegal due to the laws of a given country. This can vary quite widely from country to country, and in the US these laws are often established at a state level based on the views on decency of a community. Care should be taken, therefore, by anyone who wishes to transfer pornographic materials between different countries or states to be aware of what materials may be considered illegal pornography in the area the person is moving into.

In some countries, all depictions of sexual activities are considered illegal porn and the punishments for possessing or distributing such materials can be severe. Other countries tend to break down depictions of sexual behavior into different categories, and define legality based upon those categories. “Softcore” images, for example, are legal in many countries and these images are often sexual in nature but are not always explicit in what is shown. “Hardcore” images, on the other hand, are typically much more explicit and may constitute illegal pornography in countries that allow depictions of human nudity in other forms.

Many countries that do allow some forms of pornographic materials, even “hardcore” materials, will still establish certain forms of illegal pornography. These forms of illegal pornography are typically depictions of sexual acts that, themselves, are illegal. Child pornography, which is depictions of sexual activities involving someone under the legal age of majority in a country, is illegal in the majority of countries. In some countries this can include even simulated child pornography, involving actors who are of legal age but pretending to be younger or illustrated depictions of characters that appear to be children.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1004715 — On Apr 05, 2021

You are correct in saying that the Constitution and Bill Of Rights are not being respected in the U.S. today, including by legal professionals who should know better (it makes you wonder what they're teaching in law school these days---how to get rich quick?). Nevertheless the Constitution says what it says. The fact that the U.S.,ever since the last century,has more of its own citizens behind bars than any other nation on earth,should prove conclusively just how off-track America is from its original principles. Remember: America was founded as a radical revolutionary state. It was not founded as a police state or a plutocracy. So we need to do some "cleaning house" in the U.S.---and that includes some overpaid lawyers and judges who "laugh all the way to the bank". Emphasis, in future, should be on equalizing wealth, humanitarian values, and public service on the part of government. Prisons, prosecutors, and too many prisons we already have.

By anon1004703 — On Apr 03, 2021

YES,there is a general problem in the U.S. today with the Constitution and Bill Of Rights not being respected,including by judges and lawyers who should know better(what are the law schools teaching these days,how to get rich quick?). Nevertheless the Constitution says what it says. The fact that the the U.S. has consistently,decade after decade,more of its own citizens behind bars than any other nation on earth, just goes to show you how far off-base we have become. The nation that was once the world leader in democratic and humanitarian values has now become----as many see it---a wealth-controlled police state. So we need to do a little "house cleaning" here in the U.S. And a good place to start is to remind all you voters out there NOT TO VOTE REPUBLICAN! Some BIG changes are needed here in the so-called "United" States.

By anon1004542 — On Mar 02, 2021

Judges will take five seconds to pretend they’ve read your constitutional arguments in a courtroom before dismissing your argument with a finding of guilty.

By anon1004322 — On Jan 15, 2021

What people often forget is that,in the U.S. at least,everything must be viewed or filtered through the lens of the U.S.Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. And as the Supreme Court itself has ruled,"In the U.S. the primary emphasis is always to be given to people's rights,and not to any restrictions on those rights". We are not living in a police state,at least not here in America. And remember what it says in the Constitution; "And this Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land, all other authorities not with standing." Period.

By anon1002367 — On Nov 08, 2019

Really quite unhelpful. Simply trying to define what constitutes illegal pornography in the US and other Western European Nations. We all know the insanity of Islamic rule where you can be put to death for making the mistake of wearing the wrong colored socks on a Tuesday.

Honestly a chimpanzee could write something like this.

By Cageybird — On Jan 29, 2014

I've rarely heard of any illegal types of pornography ever being redefined as legal in the United States. If anything, the laws against things like child pornography keep getting stronger over time. There's absolutely zero tolerance for anyone who is found in possession of print material, computer files or videos depicting minors performing sexual acts. I've heard stories of minors getting charged with production and distribution of child pornography simply by texting nude photos of themselves or other friends on their smart phones.

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