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Author Topic: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality  (Read 4386 times)

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Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« on: February 19, 2012, 09:39:51 AM »
Hello there, everyone who might be reading this. I made this post in particular due to a story i heard long ago, which then happened to resurface yesterday. I spent almost all night discussing this with a friend, but sadly, it turned out that neither of us could find a way that any of this could possibly work out.

Basically, it's a well known fact that in many countries around the world, the same rules apply. The rule in question is;

'At a certain age you are lawfully allowed to take part in consensual sexual acts.'

And of course, that's great, otherwise life might grow boring in the long run, but soon we run into the problem. And the problem is that in most countries, any pornographic content featuring anyone below the age of 18 is deemed illegal and usually named 'Child porn' even though these individuals are hardly children anymore. Anyway, that's not my problem, my problem is as follows;

A few years back i was told a story about a girl who was of legal age to take part in consensual sex, yet she was not yet of age to participate in production of pornography, but as it turns out, she had been taking pictures of her herself nude and been sending a few of those to her boyfriend. Of course, why wouldn't she? Almost everyone out there below 30 will have tried 'sexting' on their phone, sharing dirty pictures, and so on. Those young enough to have mobile phones with camera's while they were still too young to take part in any kind of professional pornography might even remember doing it further back than that.

Now the problem is, this poor girl ended up being arrested, and actually charged with 'production and distribution of child pornography' and even served a sentence. She would from that point on always have that on her CV, that she was basically a child pornographist, although the only pictures she had 'produced' was actually naked pictures of herself for her boyfriend, who received a fine for possession of these pictures.
____________________

Now this is where the discussion begins, and just to make it a lot easier we can go by the rules of this site, which would be that any 16 years old person (in game) are allowed to take part in different sexual acts, yet no pornographic material of 16 or 17 year olds is accepted.

Now, lets consider E here a country, a country in which the above is the law. Does that mean that a 16/17 year old can actually be punished for keeping pornographic material of themselves? Technically, it would be illegal to own any naked pictures of yourself, as you are not yet of legal age, as the girl mentioned above wasn't, who ended up being punished for producing pornographic material with herself.

The way i see it, it turns into a great paradox, that someone of age to take part in sexual relationships, is not actually allowed to take part in any pornographic material, which means that you are allowed to have sex with someone who's 16 years old, but not to 'imagine' it? I don't even know how that works out in reality.

I hope whoever is still reading will see the problem I'm having with making thing's fit together like pieces of a puzzle, because technically this law would mean, and probably should even mean, that you, yourself could be charged for production of illegal stuff just because you were taking naked pictures of yourself, as the picture would be illegal.

Consider this; You were having sex with a 16/17 year old in this country of 'Elliquiy' and you snap a few shots of it because, hey, why not? You liked this, you had fun, you'd like to think back at this at some point in the future as a very warm and erotic experience for you. Yet, imagine that you at some point are charged with something, and they confiscate your PC or cellphone, and they find these pictures. Perhaps one of the officers knows the girl and can confirm that she is old enough to have sex, but not to participate in pornography. This would mean that what goes on in this picture, is not actually illegal, but the picture itself is illegal, and i really don't think that adds up in way.

So, the only way i see a solution to this is to either heighten the age at which you are allowed to participate in sexual acts to the age of which you are also allowed to take part in pornography, or lower the age of which you are allowed to take part in pornography to the age of which you are allowed to take part in pornography to the age of which you are allowed to have sex.

What are your thoughts on this? Should it be illegal for someone of age to have sex, to have pictures of themselves in sexual situations, although the pictures would actually be deemed illegal in the hands of anyone else? Or do you think that these pictures should perhaps be lawfully 'ignored' if the youngster in question can confirm that all of these pictures of videos were taken and made with their consent? Or do you have a complete different view on this?

Disclaimer; I am not suggesting that any pornographic material of anyone under the age of 18 should be allowed on the site, nor am i trying to support any illegal pornographic production, i merely think this is an interesting paradox that doesn't add up.

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 09:54:17 AM »
Obviously, a law that punishes the people it is supposed to protect is deeply flawed. I'm not sure, however, that it is necessary either to raise the age of consent, or lower the age at which one can participate in the production and publication of pornography. The solution, I think, is much simpler.

The child pornography law should simply provide an exception to prosecution in favor of those who are under 18 and choose to circulate materials depicting themselves for non-commercial purposes. This way, 16 year olds who snap photos of themselves and share them with friends and lovers (hopefully not with mom and dad) would not face the specter of criminal prosecution, but criminal sanctions would still be available against those who would exploit those under 18.

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 10:28:25 AM »
Well, it's not a bad point you're making, and I've been thinking something along those lines, but then again, those pictures could slip out to be exploited, or simply end up in the wrong hands. Say, the 16 year old in question recognizes the fact that someone might actually want to pay for these pcitures. Or even wrose yet, some of the recipiants of the pictures in question might actually decide to do something bad with them, and then we're back at the point where we have to ask; Who would be directly responsible?

It would'nt be very democratic if some were allowed to do this or some weren't, because one girl sold hers, and another gave them away. And then yet again we face a different problem, because how would you prove that you owned these pictures with the consent of whoever would be responsible for manufacturing them? It would still have to be either legal or illegal, it would'nt be the democratic solution to make it half legel and half illegal.

But, as stated above, not a bad point.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 11:21:31 AM »
http://www.annarbor.com/news/a-young-man-struggles-with-the-sex-offender-label/
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/teens_sex_offenders_horseplay.html
http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/teen-sex-offender

The law is good but clearly needs more reform and processes to it.  One thing ive noticed is it being used as a lever by DAs for sentencing.

There is no presumption of innocence or misunderstanding if you wind up on the registery. Odds are, once you're on it, you're on it for life. What good is a plea that contains that for something that would have been 'just kids' before the list? Too many DAs seem to think of it as another hammer in their tool box to get the pleas of guilty and pad their 'win' column.

What happened to the burden of proving guilt was on the DA? I don't like the fact that too many 'innocents' are going on the list. When did it become 'better than an innocent get punished, than to let 10 guilty men go free?'.

The list is a good thing. There simply needs to be more administration and rational thought put it. This should be a way to protect us from predators, not to brand a permanent scarlet 'A' on anyone the DA can apply the law to (however wide or extremely it goes).

I mean.. kids sexting are getting threatened with it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 12:04:53 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 01:52:46 PM »
Callie, it gets worse.  Once your on it, you are done.  You cannot get job, housing will turn you down, welfare won't touch you, and you can't legally leave the country anymore because you are considered dangerous and not allowed a passport.

And this is ignoring the stigma of what your peers will do to you when the find out.

You are consigned to conditions worse than prison.  Because in prison, you still get fed, clothed and housed.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 07:52:27 PM »
Callie, it gets worse.  Once your on it, you are done.  You cannot get job, housing will turn you down, welfare won't touch you, and you can't legally leave the country anymore because you are considered dangerous and not allowed a passport.

And this is ignoring the stigma of what your peers will do to you when the find out.

You are consigned to conditions worse than prison.  Because in prison, you still get fed, clothed and housed.

 I know that.. I had a squadron mate accused of molesting his step daughter (as the prequel to divorce proceedings). He was told he was done if they proved anything. He'd lose his clearance, his rating, his position in the command. Then the legal officer explained the rest. Turned out the weekend he supposedly had done this act, he was on a bombing practice run several states away.

It was scary for a week or two though. Cops would show up to take him in for 'questioning' and he'd come back a day or so later.. to the barracks since she'd got a restraining order. And our CMC (command master chief) had people standing watch on his room. (We thought he was being a tool, but it turned out that he was covering the guy's ass. As his wife filed further charges and only having two petty officers in his room ALL night did a lot to shoot it down.)

He lost a TON of cash to her over the month and a half, and she sold a crap ton of his stuff. We had to get a fund together to get him uniforms and civilian clothing. She made his life HELL for like eight weeks or so.

Offline keradi01

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 11:06:03 PM »
I'm not really that familiar with law, but from what I can see, this is a conflict between two different portions of the law. The one that determines age of consent, and one that determines what it means to be an adult. Since obviously the two are not the same, stupid stuff like what happened in the OP example can happen.

One of the biggest problems I find with law is how more people are reading it by the letter rather while forgetting that the point of a law is to be a guideline on how to deal with an act that would be considered illegal so as to carry out the INTENT behind it. Laws are written because someone did something and a lawmaker thought it that isn't cool. And as someone who has taken a political science class, I've read about MULTIPLE occasions where a law had to be rewritten or expanded upon because of special cases or cases that shouldn't be punished by a law. So instead of trying to carry out the intent and try to figure out if a case should be an exception or as the basis of rewording a law, the law is just carried out without such thoughts being put behind it.

And yeah, I know that this isn't always the case, heck once my father got put up on assault charges, but got off because the "victim" was antagonizing one of my father's friend/coworker and then lied about it, saying the assault was out of nowhere. However, that still doesn't mean that a lot of people that work in law are just inflexible to the point of not caring about the fact that law, at its fundamental intent, is to protect people.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 11:37:13 PM »
I'm not really that familiar with law, but from what I can see, this is a conflict between two different portions of the law. The one that determines age of consent, and one that determines what it means to be an adult. Since obviously the two are not the same, stupid stuff like what happened in the OP example can happen.

One of the biggest problems I find with law is how more people are reading it by the letter rather while forgetting that the point of a law is to be a guideline on how to deal with an act that would be considered illegal so as to carry out the INTENT behind it. Laws are written because someone did something and a lawmaker thought it that isn't cool. And as someone who has taken a political science class, I've read about MULTIPLE occasions where a law had to be rewritten or expanded upon because of special cases or cases that shouldn't be punished by a law. So instead of trying to carry out the intent and try to figure out if a case should be an exception or as the basis of rewording a law, the law is just carried out without such thoughts being put behind it.

And yeah, I know that this isn't always the case, heck once my father got put up on assault charges, but got off because the "victim" was antagonizing one of my father's friend/coworker and then lied about it, saying the assault was out of nowhere. However, that still doesn't mean that a lot of people that work in law are just inflexible to the point of not caring about the fact that law, at its fundamental intent, is to protect people.

The problem is.. a LOT of legislature types go 'WE CANNOT LET PERVS OFF' and won't go any further. Anything that can be REMOTELY spun by the media as letting 'perverts' off the list. I see damnable little press on the abuses of the list. It takes a LOT of yelling and screaming to get someone to say ANYTHING against someone going on the list. Like one of the potential DA abuse cases I heard about..was from my friend.. who was DEFENDING the kid that the DA wanted to put on the list. The words that got the charges dropped were.. 'conflict of interest' when he pointed out that said DA was a relative of the girlfriend he had 'victimized'. An overprotective relative. Most abuses of the list get quietly brushed under the carpet and ignored.

Offline Petronius

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 06:14:30 AM »
These laws have killed more young people than they have saved. Teenagers have their futures wiped out because their underage-by-a-month girlfriend went down on them. Some of them commit suicide. Young men end up on the register because they got busted urinating on a fence on their way home. Some of them commit suicide. 17 year olds are prosecuted for taking a naughty shot of themselves on their phone. Some of them commit suicide.

When prudery and "think of the children" intersect, lives are ruined and they are often the very people the laws were intended to protect. But as Callie said, if you try to change the law you're branded an enabler of child molesters. Personally I think you'd be better off without elected DAs and prosecuters, at least that would cut down on the prosecutorial zeal a bit.

Offline Serephino

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 06:52:56 PM »
The media is definitely part of the problem.  A while back a lot of daytime talk shows were talking about the growing trend of sexting.  Naturally, parents got their panties in a knot over it.  One DA got the bright idea to make an example of some boys.  One girl sent a naked picture of herself and sent it to her boyfriend.  He sent it to all his friends.  She got upset, and when her parents found out they started foaming at the mouth.  The DA and the parents decided to slap the boys with a child pornography charge, and they were convicted. 

While I don't think teenagers should be doing this, I think charging them as criminals is a bit extreme.  Teenagers don't think.  I know, I was one not that long ago.  If a girl takes a naked picture of herself and it gets around, well, it's her own stupid fault. 

Offline Contacaton

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 09:14:42 PM »
I've thought about this in the past, and I must say that I personally am in favor of the 'legal porn' age being lowered to 16. To me, it makes no logical sense to allow people to participate in the act at 16, but make them wait to observe it until they're 18. I mean, come on, you can have it but you can't watch it? How does that make sense?

I also agree that charging teens for producing/possessing child pornography like that is ridiculous. Especially with the almost-18-years-old-anyways. As Nachtmahr said, they're barely children at all, and they're being charged like the pictures were of much younger kids.

Gah. There's too much to get angry about these days.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 06:19:55 AM »
Honestly, I’m in favor of raising the age that required for someone to produce and sell pornography.  The age of 16 is certainly too young for someone to fully understand the consequences and ramifications of that decision.  From the controversy surrounding the Girls Gone Wild tapes and other amateur video problems, 18 year olds hardly seem capable of making that sort of decision.  A night of alcohol and meeting a smooth talking man, suddenly this woman’s body is on the internet for everyone to see for the low low price of whatever.  That is something her future husband might see, her father, brothers, and even her children might one day see.  Employers can stumble across that and so on.  In this age of information and mass distribution, such a decision can be catastrophic for someone.

As for the girl sending her own nude photos, she should be getting into trouble for that demonstration.  While I do not agree with a lot of the rules of the sex offender list, this girl should at least face some sort of legal punishment.  I do not personally feel she did anything wrong, but her actions could setup a dangerous precedent.  If she is able to send nude photos of herself to someone else, then what prevents another from doing so.  Then what if one of them distributes their nude photo to an older person.  Is that person in trouble for possessing an under aged photograph which was legally distributed to them?  A person cannot legally distribute contraband.  For instance, if I were to give you prescription medication then I am arrested for distribution and you are arrested for possession.  If I am legally allowed to give you the medication, but you cannot possess the medication then that makes little sense and is not ceasing the distribution. 

This also sets up a future argument of further distribution.  If the photograph was distributed legally to another party then that party is considered to be in possession of the photograph.  If they are legally allowed to receive the photograph, then there is not much of a leap to them being able to legally distribute the lawfully given photo.  Then what if the 16 year old approves her photo for public display?  For instance if she is caught on camera flashing at Mardi Gras and the camera man knows she is 16, can she give permission to have her photograph used on the site?  She knowing displayed herself for a camera, much as she did when taking photographs of herself.  She is basically distributing her photograph to someone else at this point, which is what she did when giving the picture to her boyfriend.  There is just a great deal of undermining that can occur here and its better to simply cut off the problems with a prosecution.

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 08:14:20 AM »
So, you want to save this misguided 16 year old from the folly of sending her boyfriend sexually compromising photo of herself by stigmatizing her with a criminal conviction, placing her on a list with sexual predators who prey upon children in grammar school, and perhaps also exposing her to the wholesome influences of the state pen?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 09:48:05 AM »
No I want to prevent other 16 year old girls from being victimized due to a loop hole created by the poor judgment of one girl and the dim foresight.  The penalties are indeed harsh, but to prosecute her under lesser penalties would have established precedent once more.  This would simply lead to child pornography being punished less if the child is the one distributing the pornography.  I do not agree with the sex offender list as I stated above, but the simple fact is to establish a double standard could lead to other children (not just girls) being harmed or victimized.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 10:01:58 AM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 11:40:37 AM »
Now everyone, remember it's okay to argue, but i don't want you all fighting. As for most of the things mentioned above, i'm glad that everyone participating have been taking their time to think their arguements through, and i still think this is quite an interesting topic.

As for Pumpkin Seeds above;

I sort of feel like you're contradicting yourself with the argument, stating that girls the age even at 18 and above aren't ready to be legally used for pornographic production, all things considered. You then go on to state below that you think the 16 year olg girl should get into legal trouble for sending nude photos of herself, but wouldn't she need as much protection as the 18 year olds who are perhaps drunk and do stupid things? I'm not really sure what you're trying to make of it. Basically i would think that this girl shouldn't really get into legal trouble, as that would just be taboo'ing the matter of youngsters and their bodies of sexuality. I mean, they would no longer be allowed to show their body off toa nyone and satisfy their curiousities, without possibly putting their social status at risk by doing something illegal, i just think hushing young peoples sexuality to death isn't the way to go around all of this.

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2012, 02:24:05 PM »
No I want to prevent other 16 year old girls from being victimized due to a loop hole created by the poor judgment of one girl and the dim foresight.  The penalties are indeed harsh, but to prosecute her under lesser penalties would have established precedent once more.  This would simply lead to child pornography being punished less if the child is the one distributing the pornography.  I do not agree with the sex offender list as I stated above, but the simple fact is to establish a double standard could lead to other children (not just girls) being harmed or victimized.

Your concerns about a "loop hole" mix the proverbial apples and oranges.

It is one thing for some dumb kid to send sexual images of himself or herself to a friend. It is quite another for that kid to disseminate images of other children. The former is youthful indiscretion. The latter is child pornography, regardless of the age of the disseminator. There is no reason why the law should not discriminate between the two different behaviors, attaching criminal penalties to the latter but not the former. Since no age-based defense to true child pornography would be recognized, the "precedent" or "loop hole" you fear would allow victimization of other children would not exist.

After all, the purpose of the child pornography laws is to protect children from sexual exploitation by others, not to compound self-inflicted injuries borne of a child's immature appreciation of the potential consequences of his or her sexual bravado. 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2012, 03:05:23 PM »
Your concerns about a "loop hole" mix the proverbial apples and oranges.

It is one thing for some dumb kid to send sexual images of himself or herself to a friend. It is quite another for that kid to disseminate images of other children. The former is youthful indiscretion. The latter is child pornography, regardless of the age of the disseminator. There is no reason why the law should not discriminate between the two different behaviors, attaching criminal penalties to the latter but not the former. Since no age-based defense to true child pornography would be recognized, the "precedent" or "loop hole" you fear would allow victimization of other children would not exist.

After all, the purpose of the child pornography laws is to protect children from sexual exploitation by others, not to compound self-inflicted injuries borne of a child's immature appreciation of the potential consequences of his or her sexual bravado.

So you're saying it's okay for the orginator to be a stupid idiot but not the person receiving it? That because he or she might not think things through clearly, that they will FOREVER have to report their location, never be able to get a passport, hold down any job with even remote contact with children, and have to wear a scarlet letter (so to speak) for one moments stupidity?

Sorry.. not drinking the cool aid on that one.

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 05:05:21 PM »
So you're saying it's okay for the orginator to be a stupid idiot but not the person receiving it? That because he or she might not think things through clearly, that they will FOREVER have to report their location, never be able to get a passport, hold down any job with even remote contact with children, and have to wear a scarlet letter (so to speak) for one moments stupidity?

Sorry.. not drinking the cool aid on that one.
No. What I said was this: (1) broadcasting pornographic images of oneself should not be a crime, regardless of the transmitter's age, but (2) broadcasting pornographic images of others under the age of consent should be a crime, regardless of the transmitter's age.

I don't know where you got the rest of this. For the record, though, I don't think the receipt of images voluntarily transmitted by their subject should be a crime.

I do, however, favor criminalization of all of the following: (1) the offering by an adult to a child of any inducement to provide sexual images; (2) the re-transmission of received sexual images of a child by an adult; and (3) the re-transmission without the subject's consent of received sexual images of a child by another child. The first and the second of these should, I hope, be uncontroversial. I realize that the third may in some cases visit criminal sanctions on kids for actions which may be  merely thoughtless. However, unlike the situation in which the transmitter is the subject of the image (the premise with which this discussion started): (1) re-transmission raises the specters of both exploitation and harassment of the subject of the image -- the very evils the law is meant to curtail; and (2) punishment of the re-transmitter would not irrationally pile on to the subject's existing, self-inflicted injuries.     

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 05:36:48 PM »
Once more I place emphasis on the fact that a substance cannot be illegal to possess, but legal to distribute.  A child taking a photograph of themselves nude is in possession of an illegal item, even if that item is of themselves.  The possession of their own photograph is actually not illegal, but distributing that photograph to others is illegal because then there is legal child pornography in the public space.  At what point is the line crossed between the boy having possession of the photograph and him distributing the image.  For instance could the boyfriend show a video of him and the underage girl having sex at a party, but since she videotaped the act then the possession of the material is legal since it was then given to him lawfully?  Could the child’s father watch the video since he is merely watching something of his son’s or does that cross the line of distribution?  What if the son gave permission or loaned the tape to a friend?

Also I notice in your little rule scenario there is actually no stipulation against the underage person distributing the imagery to an adult.  There is a stipulation against an adult coercing a child into the act, which is quite vague for the law.  So for instance if a 16 year old girl is interviewing for early admission to college and the interviewer states that she might gain an edge with admission if a few photographs were sent.  There is no real evidence he made the claim and she has now sent them legally to the person.  What if a college guy is chatting up a sixteen year old girl that is 16, telling her that she could hang out with him and his friends if she provided some entertainment with a show via her phone.

Of course that also brings into question if the imagery is restricted to a photograph.  Could an underage person “put on a show” for an adult?  She/he is not even distributing the image, but rather showing someone in person.  Could a father have his daughter lawfully perform a strip show for a friend in their own home with no legal repercussions?  If the child is allowed to show photographs of themselves being nude, then what is the problem with that child showing themselves in person being nude?  All that is removed is the medium of the camera. 

A lot of tricky shifting of the definition of distribution of child pornography when really a good solution is to simply attach a juvenile status to the act and amend the punishment.  A few states, faced with these crimes, have made such alterations to their legal system.

Offline Serephino

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 11:35:58 PM »
I honestly don't think nude pictures of a girl or guy under 18 should be illegal if shared between others who are also under 18.  Do I think such a thing is a bad idea?  Of course I do.  And yes, these girls need to be educated about what a bad idea this is.  But to put them through a traumatic trial and put them on a sex offender list, after they go through the humiliation of having their nude picture passed around?  No.  I think the humiliation is enough.  And if they don't care, well... *shrugs*.  Even if the first girl who gets exposed like that doesn't care, maybe it will give another girl who would care pause.  I mean, seriously, it's legal for two people under 18 to have sex with each other.  Why can't they look at each other naked?  That kind of happens anyway when you have sex. 

While I agree that young adults don't always have the best judgment, the law has decided they're adults.  They can vote, serve in the armed forces, make legal contracts, and get tattoos.  If they want to do porn, that's their business.  We can't put people in a bubble because they might do something they might regret later.  That's life.  Who doesn't have regrets from when they were young?  It's how we grow.   

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Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 03:43:06 AM »
     Philosophical explanation of why we see the paradox we do:  Power, at any level and by anyone, can operate by silencing people from expressing how things are actually done. 

     Also if you read Foucault's histories of bureaucracy, the Law in Western Europe (at least) has long existed as a means that nobles and states use to mark out areas of existing practice as new "problems" and targets for discipline.  It's not simply  that we have wrongs we seek to right, and that the law is supposed to make thought and practice consistent.  That is an idealistic notion.  I'm sympathetic to the ideal, but the practice has often been more that law creates a new "grey area" where those in power can selectively -- and not consistently -- intervene to periodically assert themselves.  (In other words, I'm inclined to say, the Law as we know it serves conservative more than liberal ideology.) 

Macro level: The Big powers that be go out and arrest, or (in foreign policy) perhaps, bomb people.  They do not say in the open where-how-why they do so, at least not with great consistency over time.  Even when most citizens and observers know it's happening, it's "classified" so that even news outlets and academics are not supposed to say much.  The actions may be obvious and frightening, but the silences and revisions of the explanation are larger still.

Micro level:  Everyone knows lots of teens have sex, many of age and some not.  However, adults largely reserve the right to discuss sex and its ultimate propriety for themselves.  Consistent with this, many youth may have sex but they may not represent the situation of themselves having sex.  (This is true, although I'm not quite convinced that older people handle those facts and ideas much better than younger people.) 

The resulting silences serve those in power 1) at least to maintain their relative power, 2) and possibly to disrupt a certain level of activity by those without power - but certainly not to curtail it all.  They serve the relatively powerless only in a lesser, limited sense -- because it's hard to prosecute without some evidence, and in this situation, reports about the events are a potential form of evidence.

     I tend to agree it would be better if there was more consistency between practice and the regulations that are supposedly serving "common" good.  However, that would mean an effective change in the organization, if not the institutional "spirit" of the Law on the whole.

   

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2012, 07:30:04 AM »
Once more I place emphasis on the fact that a substance cannot be illegal to possess, but legal to distribute.  A child taking a photograph of themselves nude is in possession of an illegal item, even if that item is of themselves.  The possession of their own photograph is actually not illegal, but distributing that photograph to others is illegal because then there is legal child pornography in the public space.  At what point is the line crossed between the boy having possession of the photograph and him distributing the image.  For instance could the boyfriend show a video of him and the underage girl having sex at a party, but since she videotaped the act then the possession of the material is legal since it was then given to him lawfully?  Could the child’s father watch the video since he is merely watching something of his son’s or does that cross the line of distribution?  What if the son gave permission or loaned the tape to a friend?

Also I notice in your little rule scenario there is actually no stipulation against the underage person distributing the imagery to an adult.  There is a stipulation against an adult coercing a child into the act, which is quite vague for the law.  So for instance if a 16 year old girl is interviewing for early admission to college and the interviewer states that she might gain an edge with admission if a few photographs were sent.  There is no real evidence he made the claim and she has now sent them legally to the person.  What if a college guy is chatting up a sixteen year old girl that is 16, telling her that she could hang out with him and his friends if she provided some entertainment with a show via her phone.

Of course that also brings into question if the imagery is restricted to a photograph.  Could an underage person “put on a show” for an adult?  She/he is not even distributing the image, but rather showing someone in person.  Could a father have his daughter lawfully perform a strip show for a friend in their own home with no legal repercussions?  If the child is allowed to show photographs of themselves being nude, then what is the problem with that child showing themselves in person being nude?  All that is removed is the medium of the camera. 

A lot of tricky shifting of the definition of distribution of child pornography when really a good solution is to simply attach a juvenile status to the act and amend the punishment.  A few states, faced with these crimes, have made such alterations to their legal system.

Oy vey, Pumpkin, you have quite a jumble of horrors here, none of which seems to provide the slightest justification for punishing their victim. Let me see if I can help untangle them for you. (For simplicity, let's continue with the hypothetical example of a 16 year old girl who has snapped a pic of herself plucking her magic twanger and sent it on to her boyfriend. Let's call the young lovers Romeo and Juliet.)

To begin, the question at issue is whether Juliet's conduct should be illegal. Your classifications of Juliet's act of possessing her pic as legal and distributing it as illegal assume your conclusions and thus do little to further the analysis.

Your illustrations of Romeo's sharing his prurient images of Juliet with his friends and father, and of Juliet's own father commanding her sexual performance for others, are certainly disturbing, but hardly compel Juliet's punishment. Yes, the only difference between a live nude show and nude photographs is the medium of the camera. But, what is your point? By all means, prosecute Juliet's dad for enlisting his daughter in such an enterprise, whether on film or in the flesh, but spare the poor girl. 

The evidentiary difficulties you presume would be attendant to prosecutions of the college interviewer and "college guy" who persuaded Juliet to share her pics are by no means unique to child pornography laws. Juries frequently sort out much thornier factual questions than whether these malefactors induced Juliet to send the pics, either by offering her something of value or threatening her. More to the point, if the element of inducement (which can be defined easily in objective terms, without ambiguity) were eliminated from the crime, the interviewer and "college guy" would face criminal prosecution even if, entirely unbidden, Juliet sent them her photos. I trust you are not seriously suggesting that such wholly passive receipt of the images should be cause for forcing these two to run the gauntlet of criminal prosecution. 

Were the purpose of child pornography laws to prohibit all sexual images of children -- i.e., to make them contraband -- as you seem to suppose, Juliet's exercise in creative self-photography and her Dance of the Seven Veils for dad might be cause for imposing criminal penalties on her. The object of these laws, however, is not to ban potentially arousing images of children, but instead to protect children from predators who would abuse them in the creation and dissemination of such matter. On this point, you might find elucidating Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, in which the Supreme Court struck down, as overbroad and offensive to the First Amendment, portions of the Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 (CPPA) which prohibited all sexual images of children (including virtual images), whether or not their production and distribution implicated such predation.   

Kiddie porn laws are only one species of wide-ranging legislation designed to protect children from all manner of harms. The category includes prohibitions against child labor, restrictions on the age at which children may marry, and statutory rape. One of the common features of these laws is that, despite the severe penalties they frequently impose on those who abuse and exploit children, they do not punish the children who are victimized by the proscribed conduct, even when they are willing participants in it. If Juliet had been bedded, for example, by her history teacher rather than by Romeo, the teacher would face criminal prosecution for statutory rape, but Juliet would not. (It may be that in certain states, Romeo's and Juliet's coupling would lead to the prosecution of both for statutory rape, since each would have engaged in sexual relations with a minor. My own state, New York, has taken a more enlightened approach to the issue, requiring that the statutory rapist be over 21. But, then, we New Yorkers tend to be a godless lot). If there is some compelling reason to brand as criminals those children whose immaturity manifests itself in racy photography, but not those children who engage in coitus, it eludes me.   


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2012, 03:51:26 PM »
My display of “horrors” as made reference to is not simply to highlight a punishment of the child but also to show where the changes proposed can lead to victimization.  Hence, my argument as to why making alterations to the nature of child pornography can lead to dangerous loop holes and problems that can be exploited legally.  As was pointed out, the child pornography laws are at their essence to prevent predation by adults on children.  My “horrors” make an illustration of how those alterations allow for such predators to operate legally in the system, hence making demonstration of how the proposals are against the spirit and letter of the law.

Furthermore my assumptions are more accurately called scenarios, not assumptions, whereby I show the immediately noticeable problems of the discussed changes.  I do not assume that “Romeo” will show his friends such pictures, but simply postulate a scenario where “Romeo” does so.  This scenario is not far-fetched since this situation has occurred before, especially when “Romeo” becomes scorned by “Juliet.”  Also, there is not an assumption about “Juliet” possessing and distributing pictures of herself as illegal because if that was an assumption then this thread would not be made.  My argument, being that her act should be illegal, will continue to highlight the importance of keeping the laws the same though not necessarily the punishment.  My point and contribution to the argument is then that the laws are in place not to punish immature behavior, but to prevent minor from being preyed upon by adults.

Ambiguity is the enemy of law.  Prosecutors have a far easier time when an act is obviously illegal than when the circumstances could make an act illegal.  For instance the student and teacher scenario.  Under current laws the teacher is arrested for possessing child pornography, there is no question of whether the pictures were given freely or under coercion to make the teacher’s act legal.  The predator in this case is taken into custody and prosecuted at the very least for possessing the pictures and prosecution can later sort through the facts to lay on additional charges.  The student may be prosecuted if she is believed to have freely distributed the pictures, as in distribution of child pornography, but the prosecution is then discerning whether she was coerced or not.  The predator is now behind bars hence protecting other potential victims.  The case of the “Seven Veils” is similar to this now where the prosecution is putting in jail the father and “friend” for viewing the act.  Predators are put into prison and the prosecution is instead left to discern if the act was performed willingly or not. 

I do not suggest that the college student or the teacher should be prosecuted if the pictures are simply sent to them without their suggestion of the pictures.  Just as I am sure you are not suggesting that entire laws should be rewritten because someone cannot find the delete button on their email.

Now toward a comparison of self-distributed child pornography and statutory rape.  The reason there is an immediate need to prosecute the adult in this case and not the child as in the other case is because an adult is involved.   The adult is supposed to know better despite the immature antics of a child attempting to seduce them, if that is the reported case.  An adult is not allowed the luxury of immaturity to rule and excuse their actions.  New York essentially said that under the age of 21, someone who is allowed to vote and join the military, is not mature enough to avoid having sex with a minor.  Were the photographs of the 16 year old in question sent to an adult, the adult would be prosecuted for receiving the pictures and not properly reporting and disposing of them.  Coercion of some sort is assumed in the case of the adult because the adult is supposed to know better.  The adult is the figure of authority and guidance, not the minor. 

The case of the girl with the photographs, her pictures was distributed to another minor.  There was not adult involvement in the act so she distributed the pictures of her own free will, meaning that she has to take responsibility for performing the act.  There was not adult involvement to claim that she was being manipulated, no figure with maturity implied to know better, so the law had to turn toward the person performing the act.  In this case the girl in the case took the pictures, distributed them and so is the instigator of the situation.  Laws currently are only equipped with the punishments used to address adults distributing child pornography, not children distributing pictures of themselves with cellphones and email.  Law is slow to change unfortunately.

The consensus that I see in this situation is that people have a problem with the punishment and not so much the prosecution.  As I pointed out, a few states and areas are beginning to make adjusts to the law in light of the current problem so that children that are distributing their own images of child pornography are tried under a juvenile court and not an adult one.  Better to alter the punishment then to suddenly rewrite the laws of what child pornography is, who can lawfully distribute child pornography and who can lawfully possess child pornography.

The idea that distribution of underage photographs is acceptable between minors is also a dangerous one.  For one, keep in mind that girls are not the only ones needing education in the dangers of sending their nude bodies to other people.  I do find some humor that girls have to be educated but boys are fine showing their genitals to the world.  Child pornography distribution as allowed by this under 18 ok ruling would allow a 17 year old to possess pictures of a 9 year old naked.  For the most part this conversation has been dealing with 16 year olds because of the case in particular and the ease of people to argue for a 16 year old being naked.  Do keep in mind that child pornography is 18 and under (typically) and that under part extends far beyond 16.

Offline vtboy

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2012, 05:32:12 PM »
Well, I've led this horse to water, but concede I cannot make it drink.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: When a law turns into a Paradox - Youth and Sexuality
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2012, 05:39:34 PM »
Please refrain of condescending remarks and/or tone on the politics and religion forum.  Also please refrain from posts that contribute nothing to the discussion but to “get in the last word” or make a snide remark to another poster.  Thank you.