The year 1977 was a turning point in U.S. public concern about child pornography. In that year, extensive press coverage claimed there had been an emergence of a nationwide, multimillion dollar child pornography market. The media convergence catalyzed state and federal legislative action. That year thus marked the initiation of federal and state laws against child pornography. For example, in 1977, the New York Legislature enacted Article 263 of its Penal Law, banning the use of persons under age of 16 in sexual performances. This was the statute upheld in the landmark 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case New York v. Ferber, which expelled child pornography from First Amendment protection.
On 23 May 1977, the Kildee-Murphy hearings began. Congressmen Dale E. Kildee and John W. Murphy proposed federal legislation that would make it a felony to photograph or film a “child” (anyone under sixteen years of age) in the nude, engaged in sexual activity with another person, or masturbating. The penalty would be a fine not to exceed $50,000 or up to twenty years in prison or both. The Kildee-Murphy Bill would impose a similar penalty on depictions of simulated acts, clerks who knowingly sold child pornography, or anyone who knowingly permitted a child to engage in prohibited sex acts. The existence of a "feminist" antipornography movement made it possible for some politically active women to sympathize with the campaign against kiddy porn and cross-generational sex, which Ms. magazine exploited in a special issue in August 1977 ("Is Child Pornography... About Sex?"). Lysander (talk) 22:32, 20 March 2015 (UTC)