Post in our forum for parents, teens - You! - at ConnectSafely.org.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Self-produced child porn: Good discussion

It's good to get the thinking of three legal scholars on this growing problem (I first picked up on it way back in 2004). They spoke at a University of Virginia Law School event entitled “Self-Produced Child Pornography: The Appropriate Societal Response to Juvenile Self-Sexual Exploitation,” Virginia Law Weekly reports. The professors talked about this phenomenon of teens voluntarily distributing pornographic pictures they have produced themselves. Prof. Mary Leary of Catholic University asked if this is a social or legal problem, or both. She reportedly said "it is the duty and responsibility of the government to intervene in the continued sexual objectification and eroticization of children, even if self-produced, in the rehabilitative settings of the juvenile justice system." Prof. Stephen Smith of UVA, said the ultimate goal is protecting children. "The role for criminal law should not include arresting and prosecuting these minors, but should be limited to rehabilitation.... A larger question posed by Smith was why kids would behave in this manner. He pointed to the simple fact that we live in a sexualized society where teenagers have sex. The median age of the first sexual experience is 16 for boys, 17 for girls." And "before we decide to criminalize, [the third panelist, UVA Prof. Anne] Coughlin argued, we must identify the additional harms created by the image. It is not enough to point to the harms created by other forms of child porn. Rather, we must specify what the harm is and who the victims are when consenting minors make images of and for themselves." I'm going to go long, here, because I feel her view is important: "She reminded the audience that American culture objectifies everybody, including children, who often receive mixed signals about the acceptability of their sexuality. Acknowledging that this is a serious social problem, Coughlin concluded that the criminal justice system was not an appropriate fix."

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

Anonymous Vanessa Van Petten said...

I really think that kids who expose their bodies online is a huge problem. Many of my friends and I do not realize the immediacy of the Internet. We also do not realize the permanence of what goes up online...you never know when it will come up down the road. Be sure to talk to your kids about these aspects!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for your comment, Vanessa. I agree. I think it's a growing problem and am concerned about it. All best,
Anne

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all seem to be forgetting that the age of consent is lower than 18 in most states. If they're considered old enough to consent, what's the issue? As far as I'm concerned, there shouldn't be one at all since consent is the only thing that matters.

This is a case where the govenment urgently needs to back down.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any of you ever here of a site called dadscloset dot com?

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any of you ever here of a site called dadscloset dot com?"

What about it?

4:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home