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1.1 Background of the Study
This study “Impact of Pornographic Materials on Youths” aims at identifying the influence of pornographic materials on the youth, with particular emphasis on the youths in University of Nigeria Nsukka. The study will help to ascertain whether pornographic materials have adverse effect on the moral behaviour of youths. However, this study will be narrowed down to pornographic films only.
In view of the foregoing, films began in the minds of people who came long before the film pioneers themselves. The attempt to capture and recreate motion can be traced to when civilization began. The cave drawing which showed a horse with eight legs, the fleeting arrow from a hunter‟s bow and even carefully detailed drawing of kings with one foot outstretched suggest motion.
Bittner (1989) said that history is somewhat not clear as to who deserved the glory of inventing still motion pictures, but that William Dickson and Thomas Edison were associated with the efforts to create motion pictures.
The earliest forms of pornographic films were seen in France during the 1920s. The development in France brought about fun and all sorts of condemnation from the public. For instance, Dellu cinema owner and also French man said that the exhibition of such pornographic films contributed to melancholy, fatal condition, social and other negative attitudes among the people.
Down here in Nigeria, pornographic films started pervading our country in the late 1960s and became more rampant in the 1970s. Today, pornographic films have become so prevalent that access to them is easy.
“Film, according to Black African greatest film producer Ousmene Senibene is tool or communicator of social change and culture.” He went further to stress that “a film is but a driving belt, a vehicle that conveys an idea and by this we will see that communication and ideas help people make their own decisions about the environment they live in.
Film as a genre of mass communication is therefore, associated with the enormous influence of the mass media. To buttress this, Walter Lippman (1922, p. 588), also said that the media do not only tell the people what to think, but what to think about. That is to say the media shape the picture in our heads. There is no consensus of opinion on the power of the media to propagate sexual abuse, crime, violence etc, among youths by way of projecting such message to them.
The stand which one takes on this issue depends on individual perception towards the controversial topic. But the aim of this research is to investigate this issue scientifically keeping emotion aloof, that is, to find out if there is any relationship between youth exposure to media portrayals of pornographic and sexual perversion among the youth.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Undoubtedly, social scientists who are interested in the study of mass media particularly film effects have been involved in the efforts to find out the relationship between media and anti-social behaviour like crime, violence, sexual behaviour perversion, abuse and rape. There has been series of research works which show that audio-visual media can be described as an all powerful, all pervasive and all manipulative medium capable of producing the most effective emotional reaction through the portrayal of pornography, violence and other immoral acts.
This project is geared towards ascertaining if sexual crimes, perversion and abuse among the youths could be attributed to their exposure to pornographic films. Therefore, in which way can the viewing of pornographic materials be stopped?
1.3 Objectives of the study
This study is aimed at the following:
a. To find out the reasons why youths watch pornographic films.
b. To assess the extent youths practice behaviors acquired from viewing pornographic film.
c. To make suggestions and recommendations on what can be done to stem the viewing of pornographic materials.
1.4 Research questions
1. What are the reasons why youths watch pornographic films?
2. To what extent do youths practise behaviours acquired from viewing pornographic films?
3. Should the Nigerian government ban pornographic films because of its negative influence on the youths?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study is limited to youths in University of Nigeria Nsukka. But since the characteristics of youths are generally similar in many ways, the findings of the study would therefore be generalized to include all youths in Enugu.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study will be of great benefit to Nigerian students in the tertiary level. This study will be of significance to the students because it will help them to know the effects of pornographic films.
Furthermore, it will be of benefit to both governments because it will help the government to understand ways in which they can control and eradicate this social vice.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
The variables for this study, “Impact of Pornographic Materials on Youths” are operationally defined as follows:
The Impact Operationally Defined
The operational definition of impact as the powerful effect that something has on somebody.
Pornographic Materials Operational Defined
The operational definition of pornographic materials are films that are made solely for sexual arousal and featuring nudity and explicit sexual acts.
Youths Operational Defined
The operational definition of youths is the time of life when a person is young having the characteristics of the young.