The Social, Political, and Legal Construction of the Concept of Child Pornography
"The Social, Political, and Legal Construction of the Concept of Child Pornography" is the 2009 article by the US academic Harris Mirkin in the Journal of Homosexuality which discusses the flawed dogmas that all production of child pornography causes harm to children and the assumption that images of nude youths can only be viewed erotically.
In the article Mirkin examines the construction of the concept of child pornography, developed in several Supreme Court decisions. New York v. Ferber (1982) separated child pornography from adult obscenity, and soon thereafter almost all pictures of nude children became illegal. These images had been common in art and usually signified innocence, although they often had an erotic component. The assumption that images of nude youths can only be viewed erotically is a significant change. The justification, that children were hurt in producing child pornography, and that distribution (even no-cost distribution) and private possession contributed to that harm, does not hold up under analysis, according to Mirkin who asserts this assumption to be statistically flawed and inconsistent with other Court decisions. Justice Kennedy's decision in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition supports the argument that the images are forbidden because they challenge the ideology of the innocent child. Since erotic images of adults are common, understanding the different treatment of youths is important for understanding contemporary sexual politics.
- "The Pattern of Sexual Politics"- Mirkin's 1999 article which establishes the a two-phase pattern of sexual politics.
- Mirkin, Harris (2009). "The Social, Political, and Legal Construction of the Concept of Child Pornography". Journal of Homosexuality (Taylor & Francis Group) 56 (2): 233-267. doi:10.1080/00918360802623198. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00918360802623198. Retrieved on November 9, 2015.