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What Can I Do?

How can you make a difference in your community? Follow these simple suggestions below.

What to do about Indecent Magazines and Videos

Protecting Children From Harmful Material
Indecent Public Display is a law that makes it illegal to display any material in any place where a person under 18 years of age has a right to be:

  • If the material contains nudity, partial nudity or sexual acts; and
  • It has no value for a minor.
  • Nudity or partially denuded means:

    (a) Less than completely and opaquely covered (you can see through the covering):
     (i) human genitals
     (ii) pubic regions
      (iii) buttock; and
     (iv) female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola; and
    (b) Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely and opaquely covered (you can't see through the covering).

This law applies to movies, plays, video tapes, still photographs, books, CDs, magazine covers and any other public display where the person in the material is posed or presented in a manner to provoke or arouse lust or passion or to exploit lust or perversion.

This also applies to printed text such as: "Have more fun in bed: passion toys every Cosmo girl should try". "100 sex tips from guys". "Your secret sex cycle: discover the days when you can achieve the most intense pleasure".

The law may require that the material be placed out of the reach of minors, behind opaque covers, or made available to adults upon request only. These regulations protect children from its content. Display laws have been known to reduce pornography sales up to 75% because it's out of sight. Many are surprised that it often takes just one nice request to get a store to remove or cover inappropriate material.

Politely express your concerns. When you discover that a store is selling, renting, or displaying sexually oriented material, make a personal and polite request that the material not be sold in your community. Tell him or her of your concern about the effects of sexually explicit materials. Peer pressure is also effective. It is often helpful to provide examples of the other businesses in your community that do cover/remove indecent material. Ask that the store:

  • Provide covers for magazines when the issues contain offensive verbiage and/or pictures, for example: "Have more fun in bed".  "100 sex tips from guys".  "Your secret sex cycle":  These magazines may include: Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Vanity Fair, Cosmo Girl, Marie Claire, Instyle, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Shape, Muscle, and Woman's Own.
  • Discontinue the following magazines that frequently violate the Utah Indecent Display Law -Maxim, Gear, Stuff, Women's, Photo, Photo America , Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit, Girlfriends, Blackmen, American Curves, and Muscular Development.
  • Authorize an employee to cover additional offensive magazines on a month to month basis.
  • Request that the store magazine representative return magazines to the publishers that do not meet store's standards.
  • Offer Sport's Illustrated swimsuit edition at the service desk only.

Be persistent and encouraging.

  • Have a conversation with the manager at the service desk. Personal contact is encouraged because it is more effective. It is helpful to take someone with you to do this.
  • Write letters to the store owner/manager. This is a great CFD District meeting idea.
  • Write a note on the back of your receipt and leave it at the service desk.
  • Leave preprinted business cards with the manager or owner requesting that the material be removed or covered.
  • Send emails.
  • Make a phone call to corporate headquarters or customer service. Sometimes several calls that work up the chain of command are necessary.

When your efforts are effective, don't forget to personally thank and patronize family-friendly businesses!

In addition, you may want to contact Communities for Decency for consideration of an action item - projects@communitiesfordecency.org

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