Mull of Kintyre test

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Kintyre is highlighted in red. The "Mull of Kintyre" properly refers to the promontory at the southernmost end, but in this context the apparent angle of the whole peninsula is the relevant standard against which a penis would be compared.

The Mull of Kintyre test was an unofficial guideline said to have been used by the British Board of Film Classification in the United Kingdom to decide whether an image of a man's penis could be shown.

The BBFC would not permit the general release of a film or video if it depicted a phallus erect to the point that the angle it made from the vertical (the "angle of the dangle", as it was often known) was larger than that of the Mull of Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, on maps of Scotland.

According to Professor John Hoyles of the University of Hull, the guideline was adopted by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 1992. Hoyles presented it as "the male performer's penis must never appear more than slightly tumescent". The Scottish lawyer Richard Findlay had previously alluded to it in a 1999 interview with Annette McCann. This test was subsequently adopted by UK television broadcasters and by some print publishers.[citation needed]

According to writer Emily Dubberley, the rule hampered the 1990s trend toward feminist pornography; since "you couldn't show a man in a state of arousal", the allowed depiction was "hardly a turn-on", and she criticized it as a double standard that was permitted due to the perception that women did not respond visually to erotic stimuli.[1]

In 2000, a BBFC spokeswoman commenting upon the criteria that the BBFC uses for classification denied that this test existed.[2]

By 2002 the BBFC had largely abandoned its restrictions on the depiction of a tumescent penis. The rule is thought to have first been broken on UK television by a 2003 Channel 4 series entitled Under the Knife with Miss Evans.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Dubberley, Emily (2005). Carly Milne. ed. Naked Ambition: Women Who Are Changing Pornography. Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0786715901. OCLC 62177941.,M1. 
  2. ^ O'Reilly, John (2000-10-12). "WH Smith suffers from video nasties". VNU Business Publications Ltd.. 
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