pornography

   The ill-defined threat of an invasion of "pornography", usually linked to communist subversion, was one of the themes of right-wing propaganda during the Franco regime and the years immediately afterwards. This was the terminology used by Carrero Blanco, in a report to Franco in October 1969, when he complained about what he saw as the excessive liberalization introduced by Fraga Iribarne's Press Law of 1966. That the Press Law was a restrictive measure which still provided for censorship was not enough to assuage right-wing fears. Carrero did not live to see his fears realized, as they undoubtedly would have been, given the increase in sexually explicit magazines and films which flooded the market after the lifting of censorship restrictions in the late 1970s. To those belonging to the generation which as recently as 1972 had had to travel across the border into France to see Last Tango in Paris, the change seemed either exhilarating or catastrophic, depending on one's point of view. The perception that the sexual revolution in Spain was particularly dramatic, aptly summed up by the use of the term el destape (the uncorking of the bottle), derives from the fact that it contrasted so radically with what had gone before. It is probably true to say, however, that within a relatively short time the volume of pornography had settled down to a level comparable to that in most countries in western Europe.
   Compared to countries like Britain, however, there are fewer controls to protect the young from exposure to pornographic material, except in the cinema. The socialist PSOE government which came into office in 1982 decided to regulate films, and in 1984 the first "X" cinema, specializing in sexually explicit and violent material, was opened, which largely obviated the need for classification. The situation with regard to television, however, is rather different. Though some norms designed to avoid advocacy of violence and protect standards of taste were introduced for advertising in 1990, these are rather general, and there is no provision for preventing the screening of "adult" material in advertisements at any time of the day. Other forms of television output are largely unregulated. Pornographic material in the form of comics is openly displayed in department stores and fast food outlets such as VIPS, which commonly cater for family parties.
   Further reading
   - Hooper, J. (1995) The New Spaniards, Harmondsworth: Penguin (chapter 10 gives a reliable overview of various aspects of the sexual revolution).
   EAMONN RODGERS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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