Pornography has existed throughout recorded history and has adapted to each new medium, including photography, cinema, video, and computers and the internet. government from restricting speech based on its content.
The first instances of modern pornography date back to the sixteenth century when sexually explicit images differentiated itself from traditional sexual representations in European art by combining the traditionally explicit representation of sex and the moral norms of those times. Indecent speech is protected and may be regulated, but not banned.
Obscenity is the judicially recognized exception to the first amendment.
Historically, this exception was used in an attempt to ban information about sex education, studies on nudism, and sexually explicit literature.
Carved phalli can be seen in places of worship such as the temple of Dionysus on Delos, while a common household item and protective charm was the herm, a statue consisting of a head on a square plinth with a prominent phallus on the front.
The Greek male ideal had a small penis, an aesthetic the Romans later adopted.
Large phalli were often used near entryways, for the phallus was a good-luck charm, and the carvings were common in homes.
One of the first objects excavated when the complex was discovered was a marble statue showing the god Pan having sex with a goat, a detailed depiction of bestiality considered so obscene that it was not on public display until the year 2000 and remains in the Secret Museum, Naples.
Nude human beings with exaggerated sexual characteristics are depicted in some Paleolithic paintings and artifacts (e.g. Recently discovered cave art at Creswell Crags in England, thought to be more than 12,000 years old, includes some symbols that may be stylized versions of female genitalia.Early cultures often associated the sexual act with supernatural forces and thus their religion is intertwined with such depictions.In Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan and China, representations of sex and erotic art have specific spiritual meanings within native religions.The history of erotic depictions includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, dramatic arts, music and writings that show scenes of a sexual nature throughout time.They have been created by nearly every civilization, ancient and modern.
On the other hand, graphic paintings in a brothel advertise sexual services in murals above each door.