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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Bid to restrict 'degrading' mags
Lad mag
Sexually explicit "lad's mags" should be kept out of reach of children on the top shelf by law, a Labour MP has said.

Claire Curtis-Thomas is launching a bid to restrict the display of such magazines in shops across the UK.

She claims some lad's mags - the display of which is already regulated by a voluntary agreement - are "repulsive" and "degrading to women".

She will present her Regulation of Sale and Display of Sexually Explicit Material Bill in Commons on Tuesday.

Ms Curtis-Thomas said descriptions of sexual acts in the 'Dictionary of Porn' in an April edition of Zoo magazine are "so graphic and repulsive I am prevented from quoting it on the floor of the House of Commons."

She went on to claim that an average issue's contents page "is based on 'girl on girl' action and jokes about women being urinated on and having sex with animals".

'Obscene material'

The MP said: "Whilst explicit material is available freely to minors on the bottom shelf of a high street newsagents, its content is so graphic and repulsive that I am prevented from quoting it on the floor of the House of Commons."

She said that while such magazines were aimed at men in their twenties, "the reality is that a significant proportion of their readership are teenagers and children. She added:

"Throughout Britain today there is unrestricted access to such material."

Ms Curtis-Thomas said that freedom of speech and expression were "defended foundations" in society but it was "frankly disgusting that these liberties can be exploited to the extent where children have free access to such degrading material."

Newsagents' deal

She added: "Whilst I am not advocating the censorship and prohibition of such literature for adults, there must be safeguards in place to protect minors from this obscene material."

Earlier this year, new guidelines were brought in moving newspapers and magazines with sexual content are to be moved to higher shelves.

The deal, struck between newsagents and Home Office officials, is not legally binding but trading standards will be able to reprimand offending outlets.

Advice was sent out to 19,000 newsagents is to display such magazines out of the sight of children.

But the new measures do not specify they should be placed on the top shelf.

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