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Nords Strive To Define Porn

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Feb 20, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
OSLO, Norway – A court trial against a porn publisher for violating a decency criminal code is being used as a flagship case for the future definition of pornography in the Netherlands.

Defendant Stein-Erik Mattson, the editor and publisher of adult magazine "Aktuell Rapport," reportedly eliminated the black censorship bars on hardcore nude and sexual images in his magazine and distributed 13,000 copies for free with the intention of provoking a legal debate over Norway's anti-porn laws.

The free edition was distributed in 2002 and Mattson is just now standing trial in an attempt to do away with outdated Nordic sexual mores and align the country's porn laws with other, equally media savvy countries.

The porn publisher is being charged with violating a law in Norway that prohibits "the offensive depiction of sexual acts."

The magazine, devoid of sensor bars, is being used as a legal test, according to Aftenposten, a news organization based in Oslow, as the court examines the issue as a whole.

Aftenposten reports that the trial has so far featured numerous expert witnesses in defense and opposition to Norway's porn laws.

One expert witness for the defense reportedly referred to Norway's porn law, which imposes black censorship bars on explicit nude images, as being "one of the strangest results of Norwegian pornography law."

"The boundaries of pornography are constantly moving in step with society," the witness said. "Today's media savvy people must be assumed to tolerate quite strong impressions without being harmed by them."

"The definition of the word offensive must be constantly renegotiated by society," the witness added. " It is not an objective or normative criterion."

In the meantime, Norway received the dubious honor of being the world leader in casual sex. Statistics state that Norway is the world leader in one-night stands and that seven out of ten Norwegians have had a random sex partner, according to a 2003 study conducted by condom maker Durex Global that involved 150,000 respondents in 34 nations.

According to the study, Norwegians were closely followed in their lust for one-night stands by Icelanders and Vietnamese.

The study also discovered that eleven percent of Norwegians have paid for sex, 42 percent have had telephone or Internet sex, and 12 percent have had homosexual sex.

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