Difference between revisions of "Child pornography"

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'''Child pornography''' is any depiction (image or video) or written description (story, etc.) that involves a child and that violates legal prohibitions against child pornography.  The definition is necessarily circular, since the numerous and varied laws that apply to this subject make a more concise definition virtually impossible to formulate. In addition, the definitions tend broaden over time rendering controversial any number of things that may have been legal previously.
'''Child pornography''' is any depiction (image or video) or written description (story, etc.) that involves a child and that violates legal prohibitions against child pornography.  The definition is necessarily circular, since the numerous and varied laws that apply to this subject make a more concise definition virtually impossible to formulate. In addition, the definitions tend broaden over time, rendering controversial any number of things that may have been legal previously.
"Child erotica" is a more neutral term for "child pornography". "Child erotica" may or may not include overt sexual activity, and may or may not be illegal, depending on how the law is applied in any particular jurisdiction.
"Child erotica" is a more neutral term for "child pornography". "Child erotica" may or may not include overt sexual activity, and may or may not be illegal, depending on how the law is applied in any particular jurisdiction.

Revision as of 11:22, 18 October 2019

Child pornography is any depiction (image or video) or written description (story, etc.) that involves a child and that violates legal prohibitions against child pornography. The definition is necessarily circular, since the numerous and varied laws that apply to this subject make a more concise definition virtually impossible to formulate. In addition, the definitions tend broaden over time, rendering controversial any number of things that may have been legal previously.

"Child erotica" is a more neutral term for "child pornography". "Child erotica" may or may not include overt sexual activity, and may or may not be illegal, depending on how the law is applied in any particular jurisdiction.


Before the mid 1970s, "child pornography" was available legally in most countries, including the United States. With the advent of child abuse legislation in the mid 1970s, however, anti-pornography advocates and other social and religious conservatives argued against child pornography since they claim that the production of child pornography may involve child sexual abuse. Even though scholars have challenged whether child pornography (in the broad sense) involves child sexual abuse (see Schuijer and Rossen 1992), whether child sexual abuse (again broadly defined) can lead to psychological trauma (see the Rind Report and [The Trauma Myth (book)]), and whether it can lead people to offend against children (see Howitt 1995), many people today are convinced that producing, distributing or possessing child pornography is even worse than child abuse. Even though all adult-child sex is declared, inaccurately, to be abusive and criminal, child pornography, their minds, is worse. It's child abuse made into a movie, for men to masturbate to. It confirms for doubting pedos that kids can really enjoy sex.

In the decision by the US Supreme Court on April 23, 2014, Doyle Randall Paroline v. United States, et al. [1], it was adjudicated that restitution can be awarded based not only on the manufacture, sale, or distribution of child pornography, but can be collected from all those who have been convicted of viewing the image, based on the magical belief [2] that the act of viewing the image has essentiall caused psychological damage to the soul of the person depicted. Aside from pne well-publicised case,


This has led to broadening the definition of child pornography. In general child pornography is understood as pornography featuring children (i.e. images of children involved in sexual activity). Over the years the definition has become broader to the following ways:

  • Age of the "child". The child is not defined nowadays as a prepubescent person, but as a person under the age of consent (usually between 15 and 18), or more strictly under the age of 18, or more broadly, according to the council of the European Union decision (Council Decision 2004/68/JHA), "a person appearing to be a child" (which may be an adult over 18 who can pass as 16). 18 U.S.C. § 2256(1) defines a minor as any person under the age of eighteen years, so it is possible for a person who takes sexually explicit photographs of his 17-year-old spouse to be convicted of child pornography production, even if there was no state law against such conduct. There have been cases in which naked "selfies" (pictures of oneself) have been deemed child pornography, in which case the child is both the injurer and the injured. Families Against Mandatory Minimums has expressed concerns over the mandatory minimum penalties established for these offenses, arguing that they sometimes result in absurd sentences, such as a 15-year sentence in a case involving a victim who consented and was of legal age to marry the offender.[3]
  • Nakedness of the "child". According to United States v. Knox the "child" in question does not need to be nude as long as there is a "actual or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area." An image of a "child's" (broadly defined as above) crotch in underwear may fall under this definition.(see Azov Films Prosecutions)
  • Conduct of the "child". In some countries, the portayal of naked children does not need to be sexual in order to be considered child pornography. Even though a three judge panel of the U.S. Third Circuit Court ruled on October 23, 2000 that naturist magazines depicting naked children in "a variety of outdoor activities, all of which are natural and expected for healthy and active children, teenagers, and adults" should not be considered obscene, American photo labs are arresting parents as child pornographers for taking pictures of their kids in the bath or photographers taking artistic pictures of naked children in naturist beaches (see Jock Sturges).

As of March 2014, a Danish proposal called for banning images that show young children who are obviously being posed in ways designed to be erotic: scantily clad, wearing adult makeup and pouting sexually, for example – even though they are not being abused and have their genitalia covered.[4]

Dost Test

The Dost test is a six-factor guideline established in 1986 in the case United States v. Dost. The case involved 22 nude or semi-nude photographs of females aged 10–14 years old. The undeveloped film containing the images was mailed to a photo processing company in Hollywood, California.

In order to better determine whether a visual depiction of a minor constitutes a "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area", the court developed six criteria. Not all of the criteria need to be met, nor are other criteria necessarily excluded in this test.[5][6]

  1. Whether the focal point of the visual depiction is on the child's genitalia or pubic area.
  2. Whether the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive, i.e., in a place or pose generally associated with sexual activity.
  3. Whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose, or in inappropriate attire, considering the age of the child.
  4. Whether the child is fully or partially clothed, or nude.
  5. Whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  6. Whether the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

Concerning the lascivious display of clothed genitalia, the U.S. Department of Justice described use of the Dost test in child pornography and 2257 documentation regulations in a 2008 rule, writing that the precedent United States v. Knox, did not prohibit ordinary swim team or underwear model photographs, but "although the genitals were clothed in that case, they were covered by thin, opaque clothing with an obvious purpose to draw attention to them, were displayed by models who spread or extended their legs to make the pubic and genital region entirely visible to the viewer, and were displayed by models who danced or gyrated in a way indicative of adult sexual relations".[7]

Briefs submitted in late 2009 for Brabson v. Florida, a case in which girls were secretly videotaped during the "innocent conduct" of changing into swimwear, differ concerning the nature of "intent" in the Dost test. At issue is whether "Cases applying Dost hold that the focus in determining whether an image is lascivious should be on the objective criteria of the image's design, not the 'actual effect' of the images on a particular defendant".[8][9]

Criticism of the Dost Test

The test was criticized by New York University School of Law professor Amy Adler as forcing members of the public to look at pictures of children as a pedophile would in order to determine whether they are considered inappropriate. "As everything becomes child pornography in the eyes of the law—clothed children, coy children, children in settings where children are found—perhaps children themselves become pornographic".[10]

The sixth criteria of the Dost Test," Whether the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer", seriously approaches thought crime. The case could, and has, been made that because a particular image elicited a sexual response in the viewer, it could therefore be seen as child pornography. This means that because someone gets turned on by an image that makes the image pornographic. It is a total legislation of thought crime against pedophiles and is entirely dangerous for society. If it turns you on it is lewd and therefore illegal. Schmitt v. State involved a father who was accused of taking nude photographs of his daughter while she was between the ages of eight and twelve years old. The court argued over whether or not the photographs were lewd. In distinguishing mere nudity from a lewd or lascivious display, the court considered the photographer's intent and actions.

While it is conceivable that one might view the allegations in the present affidavit as depicting simple nudity, we believe the magistrate had a substantial basis for concluding otherwise.   The affidavit's factual allegations indicated that Schmitt did not treat the nudity of himself, his daughter, and others in the offhand, natural manner that might be expected if the conduct were purely innocent-for example, if they were nudists. Rather, the affidavit shows he made nudity a central and almost obsessive object of his attention. Thus, the magistrate reasonably could have believed that Schmitt's conduct toward his daughter included the “lewdness” element required by the statute. While nudity alone would not have sufficed, this overall focus of Schmitt's conduct tended to show a lewd intent and thus created a substantial basis for believing that the search would fairly probably yield evidence of a violation.[11](emphisis added)

It is the intent of the photographer which is being used to say whether or not an image is child pornography. The photos themselves are not pornography unless the photographer intended them to be. That is thought crime. A heterosexual man may take pictures of a nude boy, and prove that he had no sexual intent, and that therefore the pictures are not child pornography. If the exact same pictures were taken by a boylover they could be deemed illegal because the boylover had "lewd intent". This makes the simple metaphysical act of being a pedophile illegal in and of itself, in certain instances. It is unabashed thought crime through and through.


Sometimes objections are raised to the term "child pornography" on the grounds that it implies consensual activity.[12] Terms such as "child abuse material" or "child abuse imagery"[13] are preferred instead. In cases involving children who create their own child pornography without adult involvement, the children are presumably abusing themselves, according to this view. Some children have been charged with producing and circulating child pornography for taking and circulating pictures of themselves.

Simulated child pornography

As if these were not enough, child pornography law in the U.S. has established that simulated computer images, or drawings, or paintings of children (naked or not) that are deemed "indecent" or "lascivious" are illegal as well, even though there should be no question of child sexual abuse since, by definition, the production of these images do not involve real children.

In particular, United Kingdom with an 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act introduced the legal definition of an "indecent pseudo-photograph of a child", which is prohibited as if it were a true photograph. On October 1, 2002, the Netherlands introduced legislation (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 470) which deemed "virtual child pornography" as illegal. German law does not discriminate between actual or "realistic" sexual depictions of children, while Canada in October 2005, Canadian courts sentenced an Edmonton, Alberta man to one year of community service for importing manga depicting child sex. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court decided in 2002 that the previous American prohibition of simulated child pornography was unconstitutional (Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition).

Allusion pornography

As a response to the publication of the first edition of Destroyer Magazine the Swedish Ombudsman for Children, Lena Nyberg proposed in 2006 a change to Swedish law making "allusion" pornography (defined as images of males who have not completed puberty and merely appear to be under the age of 18) illegal.[14]

A law to treat arbitrarily defined “young-looking” adults as legal children has been rejected so far even in porn-hysterical US. Such a law could send a Swedish gay man to prison for possessing, say, a photo of his formerly furry boyfriend’s now smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom shaved crotch.[15]

For additional details, please read Gay Man's Worst Friend - the Story of Destroyer Magazine.[16]

Textual child pornography

In some countries textual material describing sexual activities involving children is legally classified as child pornography (e.g. in Canada and Norway since 2005) while in other countries, for example the United Kingdom it is not prohibited in itself, but is caught under general laws controlling indecency and obscenity. The rationale behind these laws is that textual depictions of sex with children promote child sexual abuse. In yet other countries, most significantly the United States, it is legal; written child pornography is legally protected by the US Constitution as long as it is not judged obscene. As it very difficult to prove obcenity, it is effectively legal. As a result of its general legality in the United States, written child pornography is easily available on the Internet. In some states, a person can be prosecuted for mere writings. The State v. Daltonis a legal case in the United States state of Ohio involving the prosecution of a man for recording fictional tales of alleged child pornography in a diary. He had no images, either drawn or photographed, just writings in a journal and it was deemed to be child pornography. Altogether the man spent over 10 years in prison for simple writings.[17]

In September 2006, Federal authorities prosecuted Karen Fletcher for transmitting obscene materials in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1462(a) and 2, after she posted various stories on the website describing the torture, sexual molestation, and murder of fictional children. The case was notable because the allegedly obscene materials were text only, and the government has never won a conviction based solely on text under current obscenity law. Fletcher pled guilty to six counts of distributing obscene materials online in August 2008. She was sentenced to a term of probation of 60 months, with 6 months of home detention, a fine of $1,000, and a special assessment of $600.[18]

In addition, the New Zealand Court of Appeals ruled in Moonen v. Film and Literature Board of Review (1999) that erotica stories published by Acolyte Press should not be considered child pornography as they could not see how these stories explicity promote child sexual abuse.

Due to its widespread availability, countries in which it is prohibited have not always actively sought to enforce the legal prohibition against it. In general, people possessing or distributing this material are only charged if they come to the attention of law enforcement, most commonly while being investigated for other crimes (such as possession of visual child pornography, or child sexual abuse, see Robin Sharpe)

The prohibition against written child pornography can extend even to materials produced by pedophiles for their own personal consumption and not revealed to anyone, such as diaries or journals in which they record their fantasies. Several individuals have been prosecuted for keeping such diaries (see Brongersma Foundation). Some have argued that this violates their right to freedom of thought.

Enforcement and penalties

The penalties for non-contact child pornography offenses are often greater than those for actually touching minors.[19][20] In the Pabon-Cruz case, Judge Gerald E. Lynch noted that if the defendant had been charged with having sex with a 12-year-old, he would have faced only about five years, rather than the ten years prescribed by federal law: "This leads me to the rather astonishing conclusion that Mr. Pabon-Cruz would have been better off molesting a child."[21] No reliable study has found that a possessor of child pornography is more likely to commit a contact offense.[22] In fact, Melissa Hamilton notes:[23]

Despite the deontological presumptions underlying the child pornography crusade, researchers in the child sexual abuse arena contend that the evidence to date strongly and rather consistently shows that child pornography consumption does not itself represent a risk factor for contact sexual crimes. Instead, multiple studies show that child pornography offenders are at a much lower risk for contact sexual offending than previously known contact offenders. . . . Paraphilic interest does not motivate all child pornography offenders, but is one among many explanations for consumption. . . . Given that child pornography offenders tend to score low on antisocial tendencies, they are not likely to imitate the pornographic scenes with real children. Investigations of child pornography consumers have yielded several other, relatively nondeviant, motives that render these offenders at lower risk. Briefly, these motives include using the images as a substitute for contact offending, curiosity and accidental access, facilitating social relationships, and avoiding real life. . . . Further, child pornography offenders are better prospects for postconviction rehabilitation, with far better rates of compliance when treated and when supervised postrelease, compared to child molesters. This may be the case, in part, since child pornography offenders may have more incentives as they tend to be better educated, of higher intelligence, and more likely to be gainfully employed than other types of sexual offenders. In sum, child pornography offending as a signal crime used to invoke fear for the safety of children is a social construction that misses the mark.

The FBI has made more than 10,000 child pornography arrests since 1996, with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reporting a similar number of arrests since its creation in 2003.[24] The average sentence in 2007 was 91 months.[25][26]

The manufacture of such content carries a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence,[27] while pursuant to the PROTECT Act, receipt or distribution of it is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for a first offender.[28][29] The penalties have been substantially increased; in 1991, a first offender a with no criminal history who possessed violent child pornography images and movies and shared them with others would face a maximum of two years in prison in federal cases. Today, that same person could face more than 20 years.[30] One judge noted, "Our 'social revulsion' against these 'misfits' downloading these images is perhaps somewhat more rational than the thousands of witchcraft trials and burnings conducted in Europe and here from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, but it borders on the same thing."[31]

When the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines were first promulgated, simple possession of child pornography was not a federal crime, and the single relevant Guideline addressed "transporting, receiving, or trafficking" offenses, for which the base offense level was 13. Since then, pursuant to the PROTECT Act and other laws, possession has become an offense with a base offense level of 18, and the base offense level for trafficking and receipt offenses has been raised to 22.[32] In a 2010 survey of federal judges by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, about 70 percent said the proposed ranges of sentences for possession and receipt of child pornography were too high.[33]

Child pornography is a "cheap crime" to investigate and prosecute

Child pornography is a cheap crime for police, prosecutors, and judges to deal with. It can be investigated from an officer's desk, and at whatever schedule that he (or occasionally "she") finds convenient. The evidence is easy to store; it could hardly be easier. The definition of the crime is clear-cut; what was going on in the perpetrator or alleged victims' minds, always hard to deal with, is irrelevant. Charges are rarely contested or go to trial. There is scarcely any other felony whose investigation is so labor-efficient for law enforcement. Favorable news stories practically produce themselves. Unsurprisingly, prosecutions have boomed since the Internet became mainstream, about 2000.

(A similarly labor-efficient "crime" investigation technique is setting up "stings", in which a law enforcement officer or ally pretends to be a minor in Internet chat rooms, sets up a meeting for sexual contact, then arrests the adult (almost always male) when he shows up for the meeting.)

Arguments for and against child pornography

Arguments against child pornography

The Meese Commission wrote:[34]

The problems to which child pornography regulation is addressed are numerous, but four stand out most prominently.

The first problem is that of the permanent record of the sexual practices in which children may be induced to engage. To the extent that pictures exist of this inherently nonconsensual act, those pictures follow the child up to and through adulthood, and the consequent embarrassment and humiliation are harms caused by the pictures themselves, independent of the harms attendant to the circumstances in which the photographs were originally made.

Second, there is substantial evidence that photographs of children engaged in sexual activity are used as tools for further molestation of other children. Children are shown pictures of other children engaged in sexual activity, with the aim of persuading especially a quite young child that if it is in a picture, and if other children are doing it, then it must be all right for this child to do it.[74] As with the problem of the permanent record, we see here a danger that is the direct consequence of the photographs themselves, a danger that is distinct from the harms related to the original making of the picture.

Third, photographs of children engaged in sexual practices with adults often constitute an important form of evidence against those adults in prosecutions for child molestation. Given the inherent difficulties of using children as witnesses, making it possible for the photographs to be evidence of the offense, or making the photographs the offense itself, provides an additional weapon in the arsenal against sexual abuse of children.

Finally, an argument related to the last is the unquestioned special harm to the children involved in both the commercial and the noncommercial distribution of child pornography. Although harms to performers involved would not otherwise be taken to be a sufficient condition for restriction of the photographs rather than the underlying conduct, the situation with children is of a different order of magnitude. The harm is virtually unanimously considered to be extraordinarily serious, and the possibility of consent is something that the law has long considered, and properly so, to be an impossibility. As a result, forms of deterrence of the underlying conduct that might not otherwise be considered advisable may be considered so with respect to photographs of children. If the sale or distribution of such pictures is stringently sanctioned, and if those sanctions are equally stringently enforced, the market may decrease, and this may in turn decrease the incentive to produce those pictures.

As part of the previous justification, it ought to be obvious that virtually all child pornography is produced surreptitiously, and thus, even with vigorous enforcement efforts, enforcement will be difficult. Enforcement efforts against the more accessible product of the process rather than or in addition to the less accessible process itself may enable the realities of enforcement to track the magnitude of the problem.

Arguments in favor of allowing child pornography

It is sometimes argued that child pornography images validate and normalize the sexual exploitation of children. This may well be true. But the same could be said of explicit arguments in favor of exploitation of minors, which nevertheless enjoy First Amendment to the United States Constitution protection.[35] Also, there is evidence that pornography, including child pornography, can serve as a substitute for sexual violence.[36]

Gordon Hawkins writes, "There are two contrasting definitions of victimless crime, only one of which would include most instances of the involvement of children in pornography. The most common definition, derived from John Stuart Mill and according to which such crimes have no other victim than the perpetrator, who harms only himself (Mill, [1859] 1975:10-11), does not really apply in this context. Even if children consent to being used in, or exposed to, pornographic communication, their immaturity could nonetheless render them victims in Mill's sense. But another concept of victimless crime defines it as referring to 'crimes that lack victims, in the sense of complainants asking for the protection of the criminal law' (Morris and Hawkins, 1970:6). In light of this definition, all of the consumption of pornographic material by willing children, and a substantial amount of child participation in the production of pornography, would be victimless crime."[37]

Lew Rockwell points out that if the state is unleashed to solve the problem of child exploitation, "The power will not be used to solve the problem, but rather to intimidate the population in ways that people will find difficult to object to":[38]

The goal of the state is to find some practice that is universally reviled and pose as the one and only way of expunging it from society. The best example today is child pornography, a grim and ghastly industry that every decent person would like to see eradicated from the earth. But in the name of doing so, the state invades everyone's privacy, controls speech, interferes with families, and otherwise uses the issue as a wedge to eliminate every freedom.

There are some concerns that Canadian child pornography law causes harm to society by suppressing thoughts and expression concerning child and youth sexuality that involved no harm in production, fall short of advocating harm and that have at best a tenuous connection to the commission of harmful acts.[39] In the U.S., court rulings have required restrictions on free speech to have a direct connection with abuse of actual children, while the Canadian Supreme Court has allowed much broader possession offenses, including works of the imagination such as writing, to pass constitutional scrutiny.[40] In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103 (1990), the dissent by Justice Brennan argued:

The notion that possession of pornography may be penalized in order to facilitate a prohibition on its production, whatever the rights of possessors, is not unlike a proposal that newspaper subscribers be held criminally liable for receiving the newspaper if they are aware of the publisher's violations of child labor laws. . . In both cases, sanctions against possession might increase the effectiveness of concededly permissible regulations on the production process. But although the need to protect children from exploitation may be acute, it cannot override the right to receive the newspaper or to possess sexually explicit materials in the privacy of the home, especially when less restrictive alternatives exist to further the state interests asserted.

Howitt suggests that child pornography's use in grooming is rare.[41]

According to Hamilton:[23]

several concerns held by child pornography crusaders should be addressed. One is the argument that there is value to pursuing child pornography offenders generally, in order to reduce the production market. The market thesis, though, is more speculative and ideological than supported by experiential data. The global nongovernmental organization End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) acknowledges that organized crime is rarely involved with child pornography. Furthermore, a United Nations report indicates skepticism that children are sexually abused for the sole purpose of making a marketable product. The argument is also troubling on several other-though somewhat contradictory-grounds. The illegality of the content may encourage consumption as many report that the unlawful nature of the content is what makes the material more sexually enticing. From an economic-theory perspective, just as the country witnessed with the war on drugs, the criminality itself could conceivably drive profits for those organizations that can charge for the material. In actuality, however, the Internet permits widespread trading and downloading of child pornography materials for free, thereby creating a disincentive to those who believe they can profit by creating new products.

According to Wolak, Finkelhor, and Mitchell:[42]

One concern is that the accessibility of online CP has caused increases in child sexual abuse. Some research suggests that CP may trigger sexual abuse by activating and validating sexual urges in CP viewers that were previously suppressed or controlled (Beech et al., 2008; Quayle & Taylor, 2003; Wilson & Jones, 2008). There is no evidence of increasing abuse in the United States, however. In fact, rates of child sexual abuse have declined substantially since the mid-1990s, a time period that corresponds to the spread of CP online. Statistics from U.S. child protective service agencies show that from 1992 to 2007, child sexual abuse declined 53% (Jones & Finkelhor, 2009), including interfamilial abuse (Finkelhor & Jones, 2006). Evidence of this decline also comes from victim self-report surveys and U.S. criminal justice system data (Finkelhor & Jones, 2008; Finkelhor, Turner, Ormrod, & Hamby, 2010), as well as the child protective services data collection system. The fact that this trend is revealed in multiple sources tends to undermine arguments that it is because of reduced reporting or changes in investigatory or statistical procedures. Nonetheless, we cannot conclude for certain that the online circulation of CP is having no impact, despite these indicators. Even if child sexual abuse has not increased, more abusers may be recording and circulating images of the abuse they perpetrate, there could be increases or shifts in victim populations that might not be reflected in large aggregated data collection systems, and increases in abuse associated with CP consumption could be seen in the future. However, it is important to recognize that, to date, there has not been a spike in the rate of child sexual abuse that corresponds with the apparent expansion of online CP.

Child pornography as a positive experience for the child

Recent discourse on child pornography, except for Judith Levine, falsely portrays it, like child sex in general, as a disaster for the child. Children are (supposedly) "traumatized" because they cannot consent, and their parents cannot consent for them. Thus all child-adult sexual contact is by definition the crime of rape (actually, it is statutory rape which usually involves no real physical violence at all), and the child pornography is considered documentation of "crime" and more or less permanently remains available on the Internet for all to see.

Unfortunately, there are small numbers of people who really do abuse children, and who even violently rape them, without the child's consent or that of their parents. These are, and should be crimes, of course.

Yet there are many children seen in child pornography whose words, facial expressions, body language, and orgasms show that they thoroughly enjoy the sexual activity, sometimes enjoying it immensely. Why causing another human being intense enjoyment and pleasure, without any complaint from the alleged victim or his/her parents, is necessarily a crime is one of the contradictions of our sex-conflicted age.

Children, especially younger children, need protection from abusers and rapists. The logical people who should provide this protection are the child's parents. Here are some reasons why parents might even endorse their children's participation in child pornography:

  • Many children are eager consumers of pornography of all sorts.
  • Since smartphones such as the IPhone became available, each of which contains a still and video camera, some children - how many is unknown, but a variety of cases have appeared in newspapers - without any adult participation, knowledge, or guidance start taking and circulating among each other nude and pornographic pictures and videos of themselves.
  • Making pornography brings the child, in some cases, into contact with sexually enlightened people, who can teach the child about sex.
  • The sexual sophistication exhibited by just-turned-18 porn actors and actresses is documentation of "kinky" sex by minors.
  • Making pornography can be very lucrative for the child. This may brighten the child's future, if the money is invested; if the family is suffering economic difficulty this income may alleviate it. Like a Thai child "prostitute," a child may be very happy to be able to help the family economically.
  • Children enjoy the attention they get during the photographic session. They come to learn that they are perceived as "hot", and this is a source of pride, as is the fact that people will be watching and be stimulated by the child's sex scene(s) for many years. Some may become Internet "stars" and get fan mail.
  • It's fun. Sex is fun. It's an adventure. As the Lone Ranger said, "Hi-yo Silver." (Silver was his horse.)

Of course, in some cases it is the parents themselves having loving sex with their own children that may be recorded, and referred to as "child pornography."

Further reading

Columbia Law Review 101, no. 2 (2001): 209-273. --Argues that child pornography law, intended to protect children from sexual exploitation, threatens to reinforce the very problem it attacks. (This is the original article, not a copy!)
  • Chuck Kleinhans, "Virtual Child Porn: The Law and the Semiotics of the Image," Journal of Visual Culture 3, no. 1 (2004): 17-34 Abstract
  • Andrew Sorfleet and Chris Bearchell, "The sex police in a moral panic: how the 'youth porn' law is being used to censor artists and persecute youth sexuality," Parallelogramme 20, no. 1 (1994). --The Law in Canada.
  • D. Howitt, "Pornography and the paedophile: Is it criminogenic?" British Journal of Medical Psychology 68 (1995): 15-27.
  • D.D. Knudsen, "Child sexual abuse and pornography: Is there a relationship?" Journal of Family Violence 3 (1988): 253-267.
  • B. Kutchinsky, "The effect of easy availability of pornography on the incidence of sex crimes: The Danish experience," Journal of Social Issues 29 (1973): 163-181. --Based on the Danish experience, concludes that concurrent with the increasing availability of pornography, there was a significant decrease in the number of sex offenses registered by the police.
  • David L. Riegel, "Effects on Boy-Attracted Pedosexual Males of viewing Boy Erotica" Archives of Sexual Behavior 33, no. 4 (2004): 321-323.
  • David L. Riegel, Beyond Hysteria: Boy Erotica on the Internet (Philadelphia: SafeHaven Foundation Press, 2004) Review
  • Rod Liddle. "Should it really be a crime to look at child pornography?" The Guardian. January 14, 2003.


  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking
  3. Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Child Pornography Offenses.
  4. http://cphpost.dk/news/politicians-disagree-on-child-pornography-laws.8847.html
  5. url=http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9482047682589425170&hl=en&as_sdt=10000000000002&as_
  6. http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/adult
  7. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-29677.htm
  8. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/clerk/briefs/2009/1-200/09-136_JurisIni.pdf
  9. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/clerk/briefs/2009/1-200/09-136_JurisAns.pdf
  10. http://www.law.nyu.edu/news/ADLER_SPECTACLES
  11. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1246396.html
  12. http://www.interpol.int/en/Media/Files/INTERPOL-Expertise/IGLC/Child-abuse-material-and-the-Internet
  13. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10675738/Patrick-Rock-child-abuse-arrest-Can-we-all-stop-calling-child-abuse-child-porn.html
  14. Gay Man's Worst Friend - the Story of Destroyer Magazine Karl Andersson, (self-translated by the author from the Swedish) (2011), Entartetes Leben:Czech Republic, p. 20, [Translation of Bögarnas värsta vän – historien om tidningen Destroyer, Karl Andersson (2010) ]
  15. The Guide, 2006, as quoted in Gay Man's Worst Friend
  16. Gay Man's Worst Friend - the Story of Destroyer Magazine, ibid.
  17. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/14/us/child-pornography-writer-gets-10-year-prison-term.html/
  18. http://www.dmlp.org/threats/united-states-v-fletcher
  19. Goode, Erica (4 November 2011). Life Sentence for Possession of Child Pornography Spurs Debate Over Severity. New York Times.
  20. Specter, Arlen and Hoffa, Linda Dale (October 2011). A Quiet but Growing Judicial Rebellion Against Harsh Sentences For Child Pornography Offenses — Should the Laws Be Changed? pp. 12. The Champion.
  21. Weiser, Benjamin (13 January 2004). A Judge's Struggle To Avoid Imposing A Penalty He Hated. New York Times.
  22. Shein, Marcia G. (May 2011). The Changing Landscape Of Sentencing Mitigation In Possession of Child Pornography Cases pp. 32. The Champion.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Hamilton, Melissa (2011-2012). The Child Pornography Crusade and Its Net-Widening Effect. 33. Cardozo Law Review. pp. 1679. 
  24. Elias, Paul (6 February 2011). Child porn prosecutions soaring in U.S.. Associated Press.
  25. Sulzberger, A.G. (21 May 2010). Defiant Judge Takes On Child Pornography Law. New York Times.
  26. Ian Friedman, Roger Pimentel (December 2009). Sexual Offenders: How to Create a More Deliberative Sentencing Process pp. 12. News and The Champion.
  27. 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e)
  28. 18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(1)
  29. U.S. v. Jorge L. Pabon-Cruz (2nd Cir.). Text
  30. Efrati, Amir. "Making Punishments Fit the Most Offensive Crimes", The Wall Street Journal, 23 October 2008. 
  31. U.S. v. Paull, 551 F3d 516, 533 (6th Cir. 9 January 2009).
  32. Steiker, Carol S. (2013). Lessons from Two Failures: Sentencing for Cocaine and Child Pornography Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in the United States.
  33. "Debate rages over severity of child-porn sentences", Associated Press, 29 April 2012. 
  34. http://obi-investigators.com/xuk/porn/meese/207-child-pornpgraphy.htm
  35. Williams, Katherine S. (2004). "Child Pornography Law: Does it Protect Children?". Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 26 (3): 245-261. doi:10.1080/01418030412331297065. "If politicians and judges were worried that paedophiles might be so sexually aroused by such pictures as to attack other children, or have their inhibitions removed so that such attacks would be possible, there should have been consideration as to whether this would/might/was likely to happen. No such research was conducted prior to the legislation being passed. Furthermore, if such endangering of children is proven, it seems logical that stories, cartoons, sketches, paintings or other indecent representations of child sexual activities should also be tested as they might have similar effects and therefore need controlling. However, these items are only controlled if they are deemed obscene, a more stringent test, and only then if they are traded in some way; mere possession is legal.". 
  36. Worstall, Tim (7 July 2013). Outrage As Judge Tells The Truth About Child Pornography. Forbes.
  37. Hawkins, Gordon and Zimring, Franklin E. (1988). "Public policy after liberalization". Pornography in a Free Society. Cambridge University Press. pp. 191. 
  38. Rockwell, Llewellyn H. (30 April 2008). But What About the Children?.
  39. Ryder, Bruce (2003). The Harms of Child Pornography Law. 36. University of British Columbia Law Review. pp. 101. http://ssrn.com/abstract=1739873. 
  40. Johnson, Travis (Fall 2006). "Child Pornography in Canada and the United States: The Myth of Right Answers". Dalhousie Law Journal 29 (2): 375-412. 
  41. Howitt, D. (1995). "Pornography and the paedophile: is it criminogenic?". British Journal of Medical Psychology 68 (15–27). 
  42. Janis Wolak, David Finkelhor and Kimberly Mitchell (2011). "Child Pornography Possessors: Trends in Offender and Case Characteristics". Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 23 (22). doi:10.1177/1079063210372143. 

See also

See also

External links

  • "The Perverse Law of Child Pornography" by Amy Adler
  • 'Everything is Now "Potential" Child Porn' by Dr. Marty Klein; Sexual Intelligence; 24 June 2011