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Contemporary community standards is a standard used by courts to test descriptions or depictions of sexual matters. It was first adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957 in Roth v. United States. In the Roth case, the Court set forth a test for determining whether a work is obscene as "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest."
This will normally permit the use of county standards or federal district standards, if a federal case. In fact community standards may be utilized without reference to a precise geographical area.
- USLegal, "Contemporary Community Standards Law & Legal Definition" (full-text).