Not In Front of the Children: “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth
The first comprehensive history of the debate about censorship designed to protect children and winner of the ALA’s 2002 Eli Oboler Award for best-published work in the area of intellectual freedom. From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet filters to the V-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that children and adolescents 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, a pathbreaking history of indecency laws and other restrictions aimed at protecting youth, Marjorie Heins suggests that the harm-to-minors argument rests on shaky foundations.