Tuesday, April 5, 2016

1965: Perversion for Profit

Back in 1965, George Putnam narrated the short film Perversion for Profit, in which he warned concerned viewers about filthy magazines containing female nudity and even much worse unnatural sexual content.  In addition to all sorts of "perversions" that the film singles out, great attention is given to that time-tested threat to civilization, homosexuality.  1965 was a time when the new hippie and beatnik movements were growing in popularity with young people, and along with this movement came new ideas about sexuality and 'free love'.  Interestingly, the majority of young men (outside of places like San Francisco) in the early 1960s American hippie movement maintained the same views on homosexuality as their parents.  The color short is valuable today in that it serves as a time capsule of how pornography was used as a social weapon and also how media's influence on young men was spun as having perverse ramifications.  

Putnam warned of the dangers that modern 1965 society posed to making porn available to young men who were victims to their hormones, by saying  "[...] you might ask yourself 'Why this sudden concern? Pornography and sex deviation have always been with mankind.' This is true. But, now, consider another fact: never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution: all have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman, and child in the country."

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