Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Pornography

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Pornography
MusicFan
Activist
Member # 13432

Icon 5 posted      Profile for MusicFan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
--Sorry if this is in the wrong forum...I didn't know which one to post it in...

Here's my question: How come it is illegal to view pornography if you're not 18 (sometimes 21) years old?


Posts: 56 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Milke
Activist
Member # 961

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Milke     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For about the same reason you can't drink until you reach a certain age; some things aren't approrpiate for children, and an arbitrary age limit has to be set.

------------------
Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

This is the time to unite over the Revolution of the Pants


Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Technically, what's illegal is for a adult to provide or distirbute pornography to a minor in any way, not for the minor to view it.

In other words, no one is going to find themselves in th slammer for being found with what you found under your parent's bed, if you follow.

And my guess (and just that) as to why 18 is often the arbitrary age is that 18 is the high end of the age of consent for most sexual activities in general.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pix
Activist
Member # 13496

Icon 1 posted      Profile for pix     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(this thread does seem like it might fit better in sexual ethics and politics)

but i do think that it is somewhat odd, regardless of their reasoning, that pornography be illegal to minors. sure, if it is explicit, it's probably not something that little kids should be watching, but at the same time, it is the human body in itself, or at work.

it also seems that people who want to view it will be old enough to understand it. a little kid whom it might scar is not likely to be like "mommy, daddy can i watch porn?" but i guess they still have to put in laws so that doesn't end up happening.

i think this idea of porn being so bad for young'uns is more present in north america. i mean, i walk into a magazine store, and all the porn is covered by coloured plastic or whatnot. when i was recently in europe, i would walk down the streets, and pornographic magazines would be on public display at kiosks. so i guess it all depends where you are.(it might be different in terms of films however)


Posts: 109 | From: canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even as a producer of a certain kind of pronography though, and a very liberal person, I don't have a problem with age limits being imposed on the sale and distribution of porn, which is, again, what the law is about, NOT about an age of viewing. Once more to make clear: much pornography is not technically illegal for minors to VIEW, it is illegal for adults to sell or distribute it TO the minors.

Mainly, I think it all differs so much in terms of tone and context that it's usually best a parent gets to decide what they feel is and isn't appropriate for their children (and I'm not really talking adolescents here, but primarily younger kids) to see or find. Personally, I'd like not to, for instance, have to try and explain to an 8-year-old what a gangbang is, expain how it may or may not differ from rape, etc.

It's also of note that one issue that comes up with very freely displayed public porn is that should a young child be needling round in a kiosk with openly displayed porn, the adults who may come upon the doing so and interact with them... their motives or responses (whether that be sexual agression, or instilling them with shame, etc.) can't be predicted or controlled.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 8067

Icon 1 posted      Profile for logic_grrl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
(this thread does seem like it might fit better in sexual ethics and politics)

pix, you're right - I'll just move it over there.


Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 226

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dzuunmod     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the scenario you first describe, Heather, I'm curious to know whether the father in that case could find himself in trouble, for, say, not keeping his pornography in a locked cabinet, or something ridiculous like that.

I know you may not be able to speak about Canadian laws, but I'm curious about any laws that touch on that, in any jurisdictions. Dan? You have any idea?

Or, maybe it's not really a legal matter at that point, but perhaps there have been cases like that where the children's aid people have gotten involved?

That's just what I wonder about it, anyway...

------------------
"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
Activist
Member # 3072

Icon 3 posted      Profile for BruinDan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
I'm curious to know whether the father in that case could find himself in trouble, for, say, not keeping his pornography in a locked cabinet, or something ridiculous like that.

Neither I nor any of my co-workers have ever heard of something like that happening. There are a few problems you'd have to overcome first, most importantly the existence of a complainant. A kid finding porn isn't about to march off to the local police department to file a complaint, and he's probably not all that likely to spread it around to someone who would. Even if he did tell someone who complained later, something that minor really wouldn't be an issue. Obvious exceptions would include if the pornography was "deviant" in nature (featuring young children or something that John Ashcroft wouldn't like) or if the child stumbled in on some sort of mass orgy in progress.

The latter sounds odd, but there is all sorts of case law about things of that nature. There was a case out of Oakland, California a while back where a family had their children removed from their home by the Department of Children and Family Services after they repeatedly exposed their children to sexual acts. I believe the family was already under investigation for some sort of abuse, but the fact that they failed to place their two children in another room when they invited other couples over for a romp was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. As a result of that case, there is now legal precedent for the removal of children from a home where they are deemed to be in some sort of danger by virtue of the things their parents are not shielding them from...including repeated sexual events.

But no, as far as basic pornography is concerned, I can't see that being prosecutable even in the most conservative of locales. I'd imagine you might get a warning if things got out of hand, but there's no specific criminal section that would go quite that far.

------------------
BruinDan, "Number Three," PHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


Posts: 2727 | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 226

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dzuunmod     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
Obvious exceptions would include if the pornography was "deviant" in nature (featuring young children or something that John Ashcroft wouldn't like) or if the child stumbled in on some sort of mass orgy in progress.

Reading this at first, I just saw the words "featuring" and "John Ashcroft" together...

But that's all good to hear, Dan.

------------------
"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
Activist
Member # 3072

Icon 3 posted      Profile for BruinDan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
Reading this at first, I just saw the words "featuring" and "John Ashcroft" together...


hahaha Wouldn't that be a sight to see!

------------------
BruinDan, "Number Three," PHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


Posts: 2727 | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MusicFan
Activist
Member # 13432

Icon 5 posted      Profile for MusicFan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet: much pornography is not technically illegal for minors to VIEW, it is illegal for adults to sell or distribute it TO the minors.

Does that include pornorgraphy on the Internet too? Or just pornography being sold?


Posts: 56 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
this tends to include porn online. technically, you can look at it, but if it's found that the porn is widely available to minors, the distributor can get into huge trouble.

because of rules like this, for example, we prohibit users from posting really explicit descriptions of sexual acts on this site. this is because the text can be pornographic, and because our user base is 13+, that can consitute supplying porn to minors, and that would be a lot of trouble for MizS.

so yeah, the feds won't be busting don your door if you see porn, but it can cause problems to the owners of the porn sites if it's found that young'uns are watching.

------------------
Be the doctor your parents always wanted you to marry.
Love Scarleteen? By donating just $1, you can help keep us around.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
Activist
Member # 3072

Icon 3 posted      Profile for BruinDan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by MusicFan:
Does that include pornography on the Internet too?

Gummy's correct with that, but it is also worth noting that it isn't just adults who can get in trouble for providing porn to minors. Even if you're under 18, you can be hauled in on charges of "providing obscene material to a minor" if you do so. This would include transferring things through email, or via peer-to-peer software too. So you just don't want to be doing any of that.

The big caveat, as always, goes towards porn that is illegal under any circumstances; such as porn featuring children or folks under the age of majority in your state...which are illegal with two minor exceptions. Got naked pictures of your 17-and-a-half year old girlfriend? Dump 'em, since mere possession of them can get you busted. I'm sure you get the drift, it's just better to play it safe than to have the Feds come a-knockin'.

------------------
BruinDan, "Number Three," PHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


Posts: 2727 | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PoetgirlNY
Activist
Member # 168

Icon 1 posted      Profile for PoetgirlNY     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can you get in trouble for having naked pictures of yourself if you're under 18? How about when you're over 18 and you kept the pictures of yourself from when you were under 18?
Posts: 1101 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Johnny Park
Neophyte
Member # 14831

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Johnny Park     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by PoetgirlNY:
Can you get in trouble for having naked pictures of yourself if you're under 18? How about when you're over 18 and you kept the pictures of yourself from when you were under 18?
If the pictures aren't explicit, it's considered art and not porn. If it's you in some kind of sex act, it's considered child porn.

Posts: 5 | From: Morgan Hill, CA | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
Activist
Member # 3072

Icon 3 posted      Profile for BruinDan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Park:
If the pictures aren't explicit, it's considered art and not porn. If it's you in some kind of sex act, it's considered child porn.

You need to be very, very careful with that. Trying to gauge what is art, vs what is in the prurient interest is a very fine line; and right now we are playing by Ashcroft's rules. I go by the belief that it's better to play on the safe side, and I would encourage that belief while our government is in the hands it is currently in. What may have been considered art just a few years ago could now be construed as something quite different...remember Ashcroft is the one who ordered a sash be hung in such a way so as to cover the breasts of a statue that was at the rear of the venue he was speaking in!

Technically yes, you are in violation if you have naked pictures of yourself from while you were a minor. Seems odd, doesn't it? This again falls under the age-of-consent umbrella, since you were not legally at an age where you could have made the choice to take those pictures. There are only two exceptions to the child pornography rule, and somehow taking pictures of yourself is not one of them.

As for whether or not any DA would prosecute you for it...that's probably a toss-up which would depend on jurisdictional priorities. I'd assume that you'd only find yourself in serious trouble if you showed anyone those pictures, or passed them around; since sharing child pornography is a pretty blatant violation no matter who the pictures are of.

------------------
BruinDan, "Number Three," PHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


Posts: 2727 | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3