I'd imagine there is anecdotal evidence on both sides. Some people might have access to the stuff and it prevents them doing anything further. Others it might encourage them. A difficult area on which to base a criminal law.
Or you could chose to see that this is a many sided issue. As I was trying to explain, Some of the material thats currently ruled to be child pornography, is also valuable imagery in which to educate on what sexual abuse actually is. This is important, because creative use of that material can help reduce the prevalence of sexual abuse. Weather pedophiles get there jollies or become motivated to offend is a different concern to me, than have effective ability to illustrate where the boundaries of intimacy have been exceeded.
Child sexual abuse is insidious, pedophiles target vulnerable children. Children that have been exposed to mild forms of abuse, become far more vulnerable to more serious forms.
We are talking about a social problem that thrives on secrecy. My analogy is that its sort of social sewerage. How do we disinfect sewerage? we expose it to ultraviolet light.
Very much my reaction too (on reading a report in last Sunday's Japan Times ). I mean, it's so batshit crazy on so many different levels:
(i) the Kafkaesque insanity of attempting to try her as an adult , for child pornography of herself (surely at least one of these definitions has got to be flexible under the circumstances?);
(ii) the so-called "perpetrator" of the act is also the "victim": thus, any prosecution is by definition prosecuting the victim and compounding the effect on her life beyond any direct result of the original photos; it can't be defended in any way as championing the victim!(iii) the mandatory outcomes of any conviction (sex offender register) and the traumatically serious possible outcomes (e.g., maximum possible sentence is 17 years in jail).
Counselling might be appropriate here. But prosecution !? Sheesh.
(e.g., maximum possible sentence is 17 years in jail).
Within the sexual predator unit!
Yeah, it's all about protecting victims, except that it isn't, it's clearly about getting off on your moral crusade, and the actual outcomes are beside the point.
My partner and I were discussing this a couple of nights ago: what's behind this growth in moralism when we're supposed to be becoming more liberal. It's not just a matter of perception, because in Britain and Australia you can count the increasingly restrictive laws being passed. And in the US, the change of government seems to have had no effect on the moral crusade.
Which is because these laws are enforced by elected prosecutors. People who can get votes out of being 'tough on crime' can also directly prosecute offenders. Imagine Rodney Hide being the state prosecutor...
In a nice piece of convergence, the Outlawing Indencency doco Russell mentioned has a section on a state trying to outlaw low-cut jeans. Yes, to the point of sending people to prison if their underwear shows above their jeans.
The Whale Tails site is on the ACMA ban list.
Imagine Rodney Hide being the state prosecutor...
Now that is an offensive sentence.
Article 1773992 of the Deep Space Concordat clearly states that " No Ferengi shall sit in judgement over alternate life-forms ..."
Actually, while we're dumping really offensive moralism, try the story of Jessie Logan. This isn't child pornography: she was 18 when she sexted nude photos of herself to her boyfriend. After they broke up, he sent the photos to other girls at her school. As a result, she was bullied so badly she killed herself.
Here are some headlines in reaction to that:
"Sexting Leads to Teen Suicide"
"Teenager Commits Suicide After Sexting..."
"Friends Hope Teen's Death Warns Others Against Sexting"
Get it? It wasn't the bullying or the slut-shaming that drove her to kill herself, it was the action of sexting. It was her own fault.
Which is because these laws are enforced by elected prosecutors. People who can get votes out of being 'tough on crime' can also directly prosecute offenders.
In light of that, it's hugely ironic that Australia, and in particular the Australian Labor Party, which has made a big issue of the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary ever since the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam goverment, is at the forefront of this contrived populist puritanism.
Ten years ago it was a splendid wheeze on the part of the media to bail up a gormless One Nation candidate and mock their yokel incomprehension by hitting them with a curly question on the separation of powers. Rudd's slickly packaged puritanism is turning out to be far more dangerous than any of Hanson's garbled initiatives.
what's behind this growth in moralism when we're supposed to be becoming more liberal
Been around for a while, that one.
Been around for a while, that one.
Yes, and despite all technological, ideological and social advances, it persists. It draws it's bow furthest in times of fear. Exploiting that fear, to subjugate followers, according to it's continually rejigged mandate. And with every election the christians win, their mandate to impose the christian morality is reinvigorated, Kevin Rudd and Barack Obama, John Key, Stephen Harper, Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel are all christians. As long as the democratic support for the christians remains, and as long as they're continue to be re-elected, then the nations responsible will continue to bare the brunt of staid, unscientific, illogically paranoid, and morally arbitrary edicts. Basically it's the election of christians, but ultimately christianity itself that is behind it in terms of funding and moral capital. Helen Clark's lack of religious distincition was one of the reasons she was such a good leader.