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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Why is it Illegal for those under 18 to view pornography?

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Author Topic: Why is it Illegal for those under 18 to view pornography?
Touchstone
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Why is it Illegal for those under 18 to view pornography? Is it illegal for those over 18 to read childrens' books?

Shouldn't we be free to read/look at whatever we feel? How does looking at pornography hurt anyone?


Posts: 36 | From: USA, NY | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Face it, age discrimination is a fact of life. I can drink pepsi, but you can not drink Miller. I can vote, you can't. Heck even senile old folks who can't read a ballot or have enough strength to push a pin all the way through a piece of paper can vote and you can't. Is it fair, heck no, but that is the way it is. Now if you break one of the laws that you had no representation in setting you can be tried as an adult and sent to an adult prison.
As for the second question about the effects of porn. i think the evidence is pretty clear that any adverse effects are minimal for the great majority of people. Yes I will agree that is does objectify women in the case of straight porn, but then again so do the covers of Vouge, and I don't know to many straight guys who read it.

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LilBlueSmurf
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First of all, you're supposed to be 18 to look at porn ... that doesn't mean you don't. That doesn't mean that you don't click that "yes i am 18" button that will allow you to see parts of a female/male body that you may never have seen before. I'm not endorsing it one bit, but it happens. A lot. Another example ... how many young men here look at one of their parents' playboy/girl? Hmm? And you have to be an adult to by them. They can decide not to sell them to you, but they can't really stop you from looking at them.

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For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me.
~ Winnie the Pooh


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LilBlueSmurf
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Pornography can harm young minds. This says so.
http://www.salon.com./mwt/feature/2001/05/25/click_on/index.html

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For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me.
~ Winnie the Pooh


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Mary
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Wow, that was a really good article! I never really thought about how much pornography could get in the way of a child's healthy life style. I believe it's all right to take peaks at Playboys... We've all been interested in what other people look like naked at one time or another. And I'm not too stingy about looking at porn on the internet. But when a child gets so distracted with sex and pornography, well, it makes me think. And I'm glad we have Web Control! I guess that's all a parent can do... They can influence their child to be safe on the internet and keep an eye on what he or she is looking at. I guess it is important for there to be laws against looking at pornography if you're under 18.

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Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

"Well, I use fertilizer and a new product I got at The Home Depot."


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Lynne
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That article was not a good argument for keeping kids from seeing porn. An unhealthy obsession with porn can -- and does -- happen to adults, too, and the behavior of that boy hardly sounds like the way most 12-year-olds would respond. Most kids would be fascinated, sure, but not to the point of getting Ds instead of As and masturbating in class. Somebody who reacts like that is probably predisposed to obsession (at least at that point in their life); if it hadn't been porn it could have easily been something else. There are probably good arguments for why porn is damaging to children, but that was not one of them.

And I oppose the fact that porn is illegal for people under eighteen to view, if only for the fact that the age of consent is under eighteen in some states. There are some states where a sixteen year old can legally have sex, but can't view pictures of other people doing so. And that's ridiculous.

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To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
-- Jennifer Diane Reitz

[This message has been edited by Lynne (edited 05-25-2001).]


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Confused boy
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[opinion not fact] I reckon it could be the parents that caused that compulsive obsessive thing. I could never imagine my parents checking whether I had howework by searching through my bag (though thats probably because my mum is incapable of lifting it its so heavy). They have merely offered to help me with it. Even when I mention that I talk about rather unsavoury things on the web, they are not too bothered. My point is that those parents probably pushed him hard into doing well at school. This caused him to find some way out of this pressure and he sprung out into an obsession with porn. Now I'm under age and I look on porn sites occasionally but because my parents would not even mind all that much if they knew, I dont see all that much of a point in looking at them all that much. They are rather trivial really, seen 1 and uve seen them all.
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Lin
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I saw my first Playboy when I was 10 and went on my first porn website when I was 16.

My bf first saw his first full length porn flick at 14. My brother saw his first porn story when he was 11. The story was mine by the way.

And when he saw the story he freaked out, jumped about, called me evil and yada yada.

You know these age limits don't work when 80% of the Singaporean population has seen a copy of Playboy, been on a porn website and are the second largest consumer of Palm porn (that's porn on Palm tops).

I think what's important here is that parents should teach their kids about sex. Same old argument I know but it is really important to let them know that sex is not part of the pizza delivery girl's job.

One thing about porn is that if you are not educated on it, you end up having these unreal expectations and/or fantasies. I believe that if my mum told my brother about porn and how it is not "evil", he wouldn't have freaked out the way he did when he found my story. To me, porn is something very normal and can be very healthy as well.

When I have a child, chances are he/she is going to be curious about sex one day and rather than letting him/her surf the net and view all sorts of unhealthy porn, I would rather talk to my child about porn and explian it to him/her. Heck, if need be I will direct my child to healthy porn sites. And I think I will be a better judge of when my child can view porn than some ruling made up a group of people.

I agree with Lynne. When a child starts masturbating in class and getting Ds instead of As, the problem runs deeper than pornographic sites.


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lilnerd
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That was a really weird article... I have friends who've seen porn since they were 12 and it didn't effect their school work or how they behave in public. That certainly doesn't happen with everyone.

But I agree that pornography is not to be targeted towards those under 18. Younger people are much quicker to take what they see as reality; and as we all know porn is pretty far from sex in reality.

But is there much we can do to stop people from viewing pornography? At this point.. I really don't think so. If a few more cases pop up of deteriarating minds due to porno then I think we'll have something to seriously worry about. Otherwise, what are ya gonna do? Believe it or not it's part of growing up and finding the world has all sorts of things that you'd never imagine!

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"nothing's quite the same now - I just say your name now - but it's not so bad - you're only the best I ever had"

[This message has been edited by lilnerd (edited 05-26-2001).]


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PoetgirlNY
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When I got back from a two week stay with my aunts during my winter break when I was twelve, there was a new computer sitting in the living room, complete with internet access. With literally no exaggeration, the first thing I did on that computer was look for porn. Did it traumatize me? No. Did it make my schoolwork slip? No. In fact, I looked at a few different terrible porn sites, laughed, called my best friend to tell her how stupid it was, and stopped going to those sites because they were so boring. There is no reason for parents to add another thing to fight with their kids about. IMO, either a kid is old enough to handle seeing/reading porn, or they won't be very interested in it. In either case, it is more important that they have the proper sex education to know that most pornography is very unrealistic and degrading towards women. When I was 15, I became re-interested in it, found some good nonoffensive porn, and have been enjoying since then. Still not traumatized. My parents would have freaked out about it if they knew about it when I was twelve, but they didn't. I'm pretty sure my parents know about it now, and they don't care. Seriously, they know that I'm old enough and educated enough to make my own decisions. It's not like I try to tell them not to look at porn(although I really hope they don't, they're my parents, lol).

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Limes Are Sublime


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'rin
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i'm not saying that 18 is the perfect age to set it at, but i think i know why there is an age limit on pornography. there is a deep seeded belief in our society that parents have the right to the final say over what their children are exposed to during their formative years. by putting an age limit on the buying of porn, parents don't have to worry (as much) about their children stumbleing accross it, at least not while really young. if a parent chooses to let their children look at porn, there is no law against providing it for them. i think the age limits on porn are there to allow parents to choose how to raise their children in reguards to sex and sexuality.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


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Beppie
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Lin: Very well said, I agree completely (and with everyone else who said the same thing too).

'rin- Why should parents have that much say over how their kids are brought up sexually, if those kids can be tried as adults if they commit a crime? Now, this doesn't apply to situations where a dependent child is engaging in risky activities that can result in the transmission of a disease or pregnancy- the parents should have more say there because they'll be the ones footing the bill if something goes wrong- but I don't think that parents have the right to dictate their children's opinions about sex and sexuality. That's something everyone has to decide for themselves, and in my opinion most teenagers are capable of deciding such matters.


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Heather
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There has never actually been ANY conclusive research ever done which shows that pornography (especially that which shows consensual sexuality) has ever been harmful to adults or children. Never. On the other hand, studies have been done which show harmful effects from violence, and yet it's all over the television without any age mandates.

Certainly, one can argue -- and I think it's reasonable -- that too much porn, especially when nnot tempered with actual relationships with real people -- can cause for unrealistic ideas and expectations of sexuality and bodies. And I would agree they certainly can. But, in all honesty, we could say the same thing for children and adults who watch too many movies or television without real interaction. The "harm" doesn't seem to be so much in any given material, but in social isolation.

To my understanding, legally, the 18-21 laws are there for pornography and the purchase of sex toys for a number of reasons, including legal adulthood, zoning laws, commerce issues and the like.

Some of those reasons are sound (like protecting parents if a minor spends thousands of dollars on their credit card on porn), and some aren't so sound. It's a very tricky issue.

But Salon, per usual lately, seems to be slipping.

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Heather Corinna
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LilBlueSmurf
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If the parents had been more open w/ their son, would he have gotten that hooked on it? Maybe ... Maybe not. If they had specifically warned him about the kind of trouble he can get into online, it probably wouldn't have been a problem. But for whatever reasons, some parents just avoid anything remotely to do w/ sex. If they don't know about it, they won't do it, huh?

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For I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me.
~ Winnie the Pooh

In a Smurf's world ...


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Only In Dreams
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That article was just confusing. At first, it didn't seem as though pornography was the only thing going on, and then later on, they weren't descriptive enough. Personally, I don't really think it was a good argument against porn.

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"Only in dreams
We see what it means
Reach out our hands
Hold on to hers
But when we wake
It's all been erased
And so it seems
Only in dreams..."
-Weezer

"Wow, someone slept in sex ed!"


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Touchstone
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I couldn't amagine anyone being THAT obsessed with porn, i mean masturbating in social studies? dropping form a A to a D?
I would also think somethin else was going on with that kid. heh, maybe Everquest? course thats only dropped my grades froma A to a B+.

Also agree with Ms. scarlet, it would make more sense to put age restrictions on violent TV shows, not that i think they should (wich btw they are doing with arcade games).


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lemming
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
But Salon, per usual lately, seems to be slipping.

Bleh. Amen.

Did that article ever see a fact checker, or, heck, a decent editor?

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com/.
"Is love like the sweet, bitter taste of marmalade on burnt toast?"


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Moth
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quote:
Originally posted by LilBlueSmurf:
Pornography can harm young minds. This says so.


I soundly disagree with the premise of this essay. In it, the boy's grades plummet, etc., because he becomes hung up on porn. I agree that this isn't good, but the thing is, the fact that it was porn is compltely irrelevant. Your grades can plummet by being obsessed with sports, or clothes, or (in my case) books, or (in my boyfriend's case) coming up with calculus proofs.

The whole situation could have been handled much better if the mother and kid talked about it, instead of the mother immediately assuming the child was corrupted. Those sites objectified women, apparently, and they could have spoken about that . . . it also seems the kid was more in it for the shock factor than anything else. That, too, could have been remedied by some basic sex ed.

Furthermore, I see no evidence anywhere in the article that the kid's mind was harmed, or that he suffered any kind of mental damage from it all- except the scare that his mother gave him. Which I take even more issue with, considering that it was mostly fabrication on her part (admittedly!) and designed purely to scare him.

Lastly, the mother's "punishment" was over the top. There was no need to punish his natural curiosity whatsoever.

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Signed, Moth.

"Nothing in Life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." -Marie Curie


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