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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Virtual Kiddie Porn

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Author Topic: Virtual Kiddie Porn
Gumdrop Girl
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SF Chronicle article about the Supreme court deciding whether to ban pornographic materials which have been computer-altered to depict kids engaged in sex acts. The technicality is that no real children were used, their heads were just pasted in there.

imho, the material should be banned. isn't it illegal to publish a person's likeness without their permission? or can the person sue for defamation of character?


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KittenGoddess
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Ban it...it encourages something that is illegal anyway (ie. sex with a minor). So why should we allow people to watch it? Do they honestly believe that by slapping a disclaimer on it, or something like that will honestly stop people from pretending that it really is a minor involved? By using the appearence of a minor, and allowing that to be seen, we convey the attitude that we, as a society, condone that kind of activity. Which we don't.

~KittenGoddess

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"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."
~Joan Crawford


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Lin
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And KittenGoddess has just said about everything I want to say.

Paedophila is something that really really gets to me. And I do not understand how anything which condones it can be supported.

In the first place, I don't understand why this has to be done. An alternative to kiddie porn? It baffles me.


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Lynne
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I have to disagree here (well, except for Gumdrop's comments about how the material should be banned if the people involved didn't give permission for their likenesses to be used -- I agree there).

Child pornography that doesn't involve real children doesn't hurt anyone. My philosophy on laws is that they should only exist to protect the basic rights of others (e.g., the right to not be physically harmed, or raped, or stolen from, etc.). Fake child pornography isn't hurting anybody and isn't infringing on anybody's human rights -- if anything, a law against it is infringing on the right to free speech that its creators have. Despite the fact that what they are producing is highly unpopular, they should have a right to free expression. In fact, unpopular speech needs the most legal protection, because people will want it banned.

A lack of a law against something doesn't mean that that something is condoned or supported by the government. It simply means that it is not illegal -- government support is something along the lines of handing out money.

Also, if pedophiles want to look at kiddie porn, isn't better if they look at fake kiddie porn where no one got hurt, rather than looking at child pornography that involved actual children?

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Heather
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I'm in agreement with Lynne here.

Bear in mind that as part of Title 18 regarding child pornography, that is ALREADY not legal to do. In other words, if you're found making it, distributing it, or are suspected of child molestation and found with it, it will contribute to a case against you.

And as Lynne said, I think it's very important to watch how casually one uses the word "ban." It's a big, big word, and it carries a lot of weight and a lot of far reaching-effects. For instance, were a ban like that to be in effect, and were we here to do some illustrations for you guys to show you anatomy, it's entirely possible that someone could find that to be pornography. Just an example.

I want to add too that pedophilia is NOT child molestation. Pedophilia is, on its simplest level, a paraphilia which is a sexual attraction to children -- not neccessarily an action, nor a need to see them "having sex." On a more complex level, it is a handful of psychological issues which appear to come together at once. And it appears (in every failure to "treat" it) to be akin to any other sort of sexual feeling -- it isn't intentional, it is simply there, rooted in childhood experience, in formative sexual experience, and so forth. So, while I'm all for finding ways to keep children from being abused, I am also all for finding ways to nurture all people, without branding their being by things like orientation, race, creed and other things they cannot change and have very limited control over.

And do realize that in the case of some pedophilies, their being the way they are may be largely in part to being molested themselves, or due to a stunted sexual development as children or adolescents. Treating them like pariahs or criminals when they aren't really can't help anyone, IMO.

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Heather Corinna
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"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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Rizzo
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I'm with Lynne and Miz Scarlet...

In general, I think that the possession of child porn should be legal, especially if no children were harmed in the making of it, and the people who possess it have no real intention to act out their fantasy.

In the Globe and Mail this morning I read that in Canada, "the law prohibits the possession of visual material, real or imagined, that depicts children in a predominantly sexual context. It also prohibits written material that implicitly or explicitly advocates the comission of a sexual offence against a child."

Sounds pretty scary to me. What exactly is "imagined visual material" ? Are we going to have thought police? And say I wrote a mildly suggestive story about children in my diary: Who decides if that's implicitly advocating child abuse or not?


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Bobolink
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Rizzo:

The "imagined" part covers models that look like they are underage but are, in fact, not. I think that ethically, this is a grey area but as far as Canada is concerned, it is criminal.

As far as actual underage children are concerned, they legally cannot consent to being photographed in sexual situations, either singly or with others. This is a more straight forward case of child abuse.


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KittenGoddess
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No, we can't police people's thoughts, and I don't really think that we should. That gets a little too 1984 for me. But still, if we make pornography that uses the appearence of children legal and don't show the legal consequences of actually carrying out such acts, then to me at least, that signifies that we're saying that it's ok to go ahead and do that. People argue that there is too much violence on television right now, but if you look at those shows, it does show the legal ramifications of those actions...people end up dead, or in jail. Now none of the actors are dead in real life, or in jail (well, except maybe Robert Downy Jr., but we won't get into that)...but they're given the appearence of being dead. So I guess I'm saying that if we're going to allow pornography with the appearence of children, then the consequences of actually perpretrating such an action should be shown too. If we're showing murder on television, then at least most of the time we're showing that someone ends up in jail for the rest of their lives. If we're going to show a sexual act with a minor who is not able ot make such a decision for him or herself, then we need to also show the ramifications of such an action...both the jail time, and the psychological effects on the child. I just think that by showing the appearence of a child, and no consequences, we're saying that it's ok to do something like that.

~KittenGoddess

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"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."
~Joan Crawford


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Heather
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The trouble is that you're dealing with the realm of fantasy -- many, many people who view any sort of poronography don't see it as reflective of real life. In addition, it IS illegal to distribute the type of porn you're referring to, so as of right now, what is being debated is whether someone can make it at home and look at it themselves.

And honestly, if we were to police porn this way, then we'd also have to ask that all porn showed (or was banned if it did not) what happens when disease is transmitted, or pregnany. Or what might happen to a relationship if you cheat on a partner, or what the pool guy REALLY does (read: clean pools, not accost the lovely famle pool owner who -- oh my! -- doesn't even HAVE a pool in her yard!).

I'm just having a hard time seeing how such a ban -- in privatized homes, not in distribution -- would be played out, and I'm seeing an awful LOT of pitfalls we already see, like mothers winding up with their kids taken from them because they took a nice family bath photo.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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lemming
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My semi-relevant two cents here: on the bit of this that centers on current "teen" porn models, who are made to look younger than 18 (but are at least 18 years) and are often dressed in school uniforms or whatnot...

If I showed you guys a racy picture of a 17 year old girl and then a racy picture of an 18 year old girl, could you tell the difference? What makes it all right as soon as you have your birthday...?

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com/.
Ike Ike Go Go Jump!


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Bobolink
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What makes it "all right" is an 18-year-old has the legal power to sign a model release. A 17-year-old does not.

The "age-of-majority" is an arbitarily grey area. there are 16-year-olds who could responsibly use a credit card. There are 40-year-olds who can't. But arbitary lines are probably necessary. At 18, credit card companies know that they are assuming the risk that the card holder is responsible.

Speaking of arbitrary numbers. Why is 65 deemed to be the age of retirement? Because Prince Otto von Bismark decreed it when he was setting up the Prussian social security system in the 1860's. At that time, few people of the lower classes actually made it to 65 and von Bismark felt that the Prussian government could afford to pay pensions to those who did.


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Beppie
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I agree with Lynne, Miz Scarlet and co, that it should not be banned when no actual children are used, although I personally find the stuff distateful as all hell. I will say that I'm not comfortable with such pornography being around, though.

I'm curious, have any studies been done into whether or not there is a link between people who look at child pornography, and people who sexually abuse children?


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Heather
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None that I know of that found a conclusive correlation, Beppie. It's been the same case with people doing studies to try and prove that pornography incites rape. The truth of the matter is that from what we know, it just really doesn't, and we've never had any real evidence to show otherwise.

It's important to remember though, too, that many sexual abusers of children are not pedophiles. In other words, some child molestors do not victimize children because children, per se, are sexually attractive to them -- it is the sexual abuse in and of itself that is attractive, and children make easy prey. Obviously, some molestors ARE pedophiles. But just as many are not, and those that aren't probably aren't going to be purusing child pornography.

And I'm with you: I don't like it, I feel it's in poor taste and that it sends a really crummy message, and I'm not comfy with children being sexually objectified in that way period -- but I could take Calvin Klein to issue on that mat just as easily as a pedophile who creates handmade child porn. And frankly, the film and advertising industry are bigger culprots: the material leaves their homes and rides on buses, and they make millions from it. They also lay a foundation for saying that sexually objectifying the young IS okay.

But if a "ban" like this were passed, do you think it would apply to them? No way.


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Eclipse
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I agree with Lynne and Miz Scarlet & so forth. I think it's creepy fantasy material, but I think government bans are even creepier.

Here's a related question. This year for Christmas, I got a digital camera. They've gotten cheap enough to be pretty much another middle class luxury, and I know a lot of people who have them. Now, taking "naughty" pictures of myself was not the first thing I thought of when I opened the little digital camera box, but y'know, it didn't take me long either. To be honest, I found it unbelievably liberating/amusing to make private "porn" of myself. I have an academic interest in sex and an academic interest in fashion (that goes with a artistic interest in clothes (I spin, weave, and knit) and a personal/political interest in nudism (mostly 'cause I don't like wearing clothes))... in short, this fit right in. I was 18, and am now 19, so it was all totally legal.

The thing is, like I said, digital cameras are becoming more common. I bet it won't be long before a lot of young teens have their own. Certainly a few of them will be interested in sex enough and uninhibited enough to take pictures of themselves nude. Nothing you can't do with a polaroid, you might say. Well, yes and no. You don't have to buy film for a digital camera (just batteries). It's easy to take lots and lots and lots of pictures. It's easy to erase bad ones. And many middle class teens now have their own computers and their own internet connections. In short, we're approaching the first time that your average American middle class 15 year old could, in the comfort of her bedroom, snap a couple shots of herself in the buff and zap them to someone across the country or across town, in a matter of minutes, with a great deal of ease, and with fairly little chance of getting caught.

I don't think this is the end of the world--sadly enough, teenagers can and do do other things that are more dangerous and less legal. What I'm curious about is whether this will become a political issue and enter into the free-speech/porn/internet debates with a vengence--middle class American parents can be pretty protective of their sons and daughters. Thoughts?


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Lin
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I dunno. I totally understand what everybody is saying but I would still be in favour of a ban.

Maybe where I come from, where everything can be banned or restricted, I have just conditioned myself to accept the fact that these bans are for our own good.

And try as I might, I cannot believe that there is no relation between viewing such pornograpic material and actually going out to do something.

Yup, there's no proof. For everyone one piece of evidence that says yes, another says no. But my fear comes from the fact that what if one person goes out to hurt a child, to molest a child after becoming turned on by whatever he is watching or reading.

Coz at the end of the day, we only need one man/woman to maybe destroy a child's life.

Alot of people cannot understand why chewing gum is banned in Singapore. But we get it. The cleaners are happy that they no longer have to spend time digging up someone's half chewed gum from the floor. The train management don't have to spend so much money replacing soiled seats or damaged material.

Was that relevant? That's just me I guess. There are some things whereby I just cannot use my head to think. And unfortunately this is one of them.


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Jeff_5000
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There is a VERY big difference between looking at child pornography and actually molesting a child. Just because you do one doesn't mean that you will automatically do the other. It doesn't even matter anyways because if someone was capable of molesting a child, why would they bother looking at pictures?

I do disagree with real child pornography for obvious reasons, but I don't see the harm in doctoring a photo to make it look like a child in a sex act. It may be wrong ethically, but there is no foreseeable way that simply looking at a few pictures could make someone want to go have sex with a child.


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DC_WillowFan
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Well, first of all I didn't read all the post because it's so long and I'm a bit in a hurry so don't argue if I missed someone's opinion in what I say.

Personaly I'm not against fake pictures. I mean, they ARE fake. What's wrong about it ? Would it be wrong if I superposed two pics and ended up with a new one if it wouldn't involve any sex ? I guess you'd answer no. And you'd be right.

Also about making teens look younger, why not ? It has it's advantages with the fact that they look younger so that some persons could be aroused by them instead of a real young girl. I've seen those kind of pics and I think they look ok. I know they're 18+ teens but still I like the young look.

Majority: I've also wondered what makes someone major the day of their 18th birthday. I mean, I'm probably the same person than the day before. It's just a concept that we have in our society to protect some rules and avoid some kind of problems but it actually had no "real" value if you consider the fact I previously said.

Those were just MY opinions, and I can agree or not with yours, just repect mine.

David

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- I hope I shall be able to confide in you conpletely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.

Anne Frank to her journal
(1929-1945)


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exit seraphim
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maybe i'm confused, but *doctoring* a photo to make it look like children engaging in sexually activity would involve using a pictures of children, correct?

now what happens to these children whose pictures were taken and used for this practice? isn't that wrong?

what if someone took my picture, and slapped it on some naked woman or in a situation where sexually activity was involved? i'd be incredibly upset. and then i would have to file legal action. and it could happen too. (which is the reason i *don't* put my picture on the internet)

what if it was your children? maybe even younger? it could happen if a ban wasn't in place.

i am knowledgeable enough to know that by placing a ban is not going to stop some people. i think even *pretending* to use children in sexually oriented situations is wrong. it can't do any good.

-justine

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have i been wrong?
have i been wise?
to shut my eyes and play along?


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Jeff_5000
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That's a good point. But the problem is that some people do like that. And in my opinion if a person wanted to do that for their own private use, then it should be legal, no matter how morally wrong it is.
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