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Girls post own naked pictures

2002-01-24 07:14:08-08 by Dan Lyke 13 comments

There are all sorts of comments to go along with this, but in the end I'm going to have to let y'all write your own: Girls, ages 11 and 12, posted their own naked pictures on the web.

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Children and growing up ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:42-08 by: Diane Reese

Well, not that it was a good idea for them to do what they did, but since when is a photo of a naked 11- or 12-year-old automatically child pornography?! The naturist/nudist community has long complained that family photos taken in our yards or at our beaches or resorts can't be taken to photo developers for printing, since it puts us at risk of prosecution for doing nothing illegal. We were all thrilled at the advent of digital photography. Note that the article says the girls "scanned the pictures" before sending them to people in a chatroom. This implies that they had paper photos: how did they get them printed?



Note also that their parents need to be spanked for not teaching them better Internet manners and responsibilities, and enforcing them. Many kids that age still need supervision when surfing, and their parents abdicated some of their responsibilities of raising good citizens. Put a flipping password on the computer or something, dolts. Sheesh. It's people like that who give us aware parents a bad name, grumble, grumble... Doing the parenting thing right is Hard Work, and gets in the way of lots of more fun things you could be doing for a few years. But putting in the effort and doing it right can yield high rewards, for society as well as for the family involved. Ooops, sorry, time to step down off the soapbox now...

#Comment made: 2002-01-24 09:01:13-08 by: Shawn [edit history]

I've raised this question (or one very similar) [edit: The original post, not Diane's] on a couple of occasions myself. According to the letter of the law, they are guilty of distributing child pornography. But who was harmed? - which is, after all, the whole point and purpose (if proponents are to be believed) of child pornography laws.

My question was this: If you take naked pictures of yourself while a minor (under 18), and then post those pictures to a kiddie-porn website when you're, say 30, are you guilty of distributing child pornography? (The law says "yes".) Should you be? Have you done anything wrong? Who was harmed? Were you harmed? (Which seems to be the primary basis for the laws.)

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:42-08 by: Shawn

Well, not that it was a good idea for them to do what they did, but since when is a photo of a naked 11- or 12-year-old automatically child pornography?!

According to the law, any nude - or even simply suggestive (yes, that's right, fully clothed pictures can qualify) - photographs that are created and/or used primarily for sexual arousal/gratification classify as child pornography.

This implies that they had paper photos: how did they get them printed?

Polaroid?

Note also that their parents need to be spanked for not teaching them better Internet manners and responsibilities,

This assumes that being naked and/or sexual at 11/12 is "wrong" or "shameful". Which is exactly the lesson our shame-based society would like us to instill in our children.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:42-08 by: Diane Reese

Shawn, what is the letter of the law w.r.t. "child pornography"? Does it say somewhere that any photo of an unclothed minor is, per se, child pornography? Think of all the "baby in the bathtub/on the bearskin rug" photos in grandma's album: she's a pornographer too, is she?



We live in a completely screwed up society.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:43-08 by: Diane Reese

Shawn: I wrote: Note also that their parents need to be spanked for not teaching them better Internet manners and responsibilities and you replied This assumes that being naked and/or sexual at 11/12 is "wrong" or "shameful". No, not at all! Their parents needed to teach them to respect their own privacy, not to be hanging out in chat rooms with older people who would encourage them to send along naked photos of themselves, and not to send such photos when asked. Given the disparity in age and other dynamics, 11/12-year-olds probably won't make informed and rational decisions about their own sexuality with adults in chat rooms; consent is a sticky concept at that age. Sometimes they need a parent to set boundaries for them, and enforce those boundaries. I did not say that being sexual at 11/12 is "wrong" or "shameful", and I clearly don't think being naked is either of those things, at any age!

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:43-08 by: Larry Burton

Diane, I don't want to automatically assume that because these children crossed what you and I might set as boundaries for our children that those same boundries were not also set by their parents. Parents set boundries, kids cross them and then parents discipline them. The problem I see with this situation is that the prosecutors may be rushing to solve a problem that the parents may already have solved.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:43-08 by: Dan Lyke

The problem with "the letter of the law" and obscenity or child pornography is that more often than not it depends on whether a regional prosecutor can get 12 self-loathing mouth-breathers to feel ashamed about their erections.

And yeah, usual flame-bait about prosecutors versus parents, and children and consent, and shame, and all that.

#Comment made: 2002-01-24 11:55:50-08 by: TC [edit history]

Dan there are some very delicious brands of decaf out on the market today. I think Larry nailed this one (in the middle) where it belongs. Yes my grandma is a pornagrapher too, and I defend her right be such. I think the crime is that this became a news story. If a DA picks up this case well then Dan's flamey comments apply but I find it unlikely.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:44-08 by: Dan Lyke

And leave it to y'all to take this seriously; I was going to put some sort of "See, not every teenage girl on the web is a vice cop from middle America" comment.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:46-08 by: Shawn

Diane: The letter of the law wrt child pornography varies slightly from state to state, but in general it is [legally] agreed that any nude, suggestive or provocative depiction of a minor distributed and/or used for sexual gratification/arousal constitutes child pornography. Yes, "baby in the bathtub/on the bearskin rug" pictures qualify - the moment they are given or used for the purpose of sexual gratification.

On the subject of parenting and chat rooms: The initial story I read regarding these girls stated that they were sending the pictures to other teens. Further, there is no evidence that the parents neglected to teach them proper behavior - unless you're suggesting that taking naked photos of themselves and sharing them with friends is improper behavior - in which case, I would stand behind my original comments.

todd: Exactly. The crime is that we're talking about this at all - that it made the news. Unfortunately, people do get tried - and convicted - on such silliness however. I don't have any direct references, but there was a well published case a few years back (was even on Oprah) about a just-turned-18 young man who had gotten his 17 year-old girlfriend pregnant and was being made an example of by the local prosecutor.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:46-08 by: petronius

One issue with the public is a yearning for consistancy. It is hard to find anybody in support of "pornographic" pictures of provocative nude little kids. The definition of pornographic in this case seems to be the vile use some pervert makes of them. However, I have seen some Mapplethorpe photos of 6 year-old girls that are as provocative as anything caught on film. Yet when sanctified by being placed in an art gallery they are allegedly OK. Most people think that if a picture is not acceptable in one venue (Filthy Fred's Adult Book Store) then it must also be unacceptable at the Museum of Fine Art.

It doesn't help that many in the art Establishment counter this argument by either a)denying the erotic charge in the photo, which denies the artist's power, or b)basically saying that those who object are a bunch of ignorant yahoos who should just shut up,listen to their betters, and pass that bond issue to expand the museum. This is the atmosphere that prosecutors love come election time.

#Comment made: 2002-02-20 21:34:47-08 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, Petronius, I'll stand up and say that there's nothing wrong with '"pornographic" pictures of provocative nude little kids'. I don't always feel that way about the acts that may be portrayed in the images, but I've yet to have anyone yet give me a good, backed up with studies to show that the precepts of their argument are valid, reason why making the posession of any images criminal has benefits which outweigh the damage that such rules allow out-of-control moralists to inflict on people.

Unfortunately, people don't want to hear that question because it brings up a lot of the same issues that occur when we start talking about rape: That most of the damage occurs because of the way that our culture treats the victims of sexual assault. It also makes us come to grips with the fact that children are sexual creatures; when we were younger we knew what makes our bodies feel good, and it's a damned shame that we have to relearn that as adults.

"Vile use some pervert makes of them"? The studies I'm familiar with generally talk about access to pornography in general, but the reputable ones show a lower correlation to sexual violence for a region's purchase of pornographic magazines when compared to purchase of outdoors and sporting magazines. Pornography appears to be correlated with lower incidences of sexual assault in violent populations like prisons. So someone gets to jerk off, why is that vile? Is it any worse than that a necrophiliac may legally[Wiki] have a collection of images of corpses? And in the past two centuries, when those who've attempted to suppress pornography have succeeded, they've immediately gone on to assault women's rights. Why do we attack the solitary masturbator and not the Anthony Comstocks of the world, whose damage on the American culture it took nearly a centure to undo?

Now admittedly we start to pretty quickly get into pragmatism. What sort of social response would one portrayed in images like this find if the images were to circulate at school? What is consent for a child, and what were the power dynamics that made the potentially erotic situations? But I'd suggest that we're far better off attacking these issues directly, rather than flailing at the straw-man that pornography, especially "child pornography", has been set up as.

Time to go back and re-read some of the Pat Califia essays on the topic.

#Comment made: 2002-01-27 13:16:30-08 by: Shawn [edit history]

One issue with the public is a yearning for consistancy.

I've got news for you - the adult entertainment industry also yearns for some consitancy. The obscure and ambiguous obcenity laws in this country actually serve the anti-porn crusaders more than pornographers themselves.

It is hard to find anybody in support of "pornographic" pictures of provocative nude little kids.

You think maybe the witch-hunt mentality that results from such opinions has something to do with that?...

Most people think that if a picture is not acceptable in one venue (Filthy Fred's Adult Book Store) then it must also be unacceptable at the Museum of Fine Art.

Ahh, but that's not the way obcenity is defined by the law. Actually, its not really defined at all and that's part of the problem. Whether or not something is obscene depends on a) whather it has "redeaming" scientific, artistic and/or social value, b) whether it appeals to [soly] prurient interests (meaning; whether or not it arouses) and c) the community standards wherein the material is being questioned. All of these are subject to wide interpretation and can vary widely from locale to locale - not to mention time period to time period.

I'm with Dan in believing that pornography/erotica is not damaging in and of itself, but rather how our society deals with/treats it - and those involved in it - is what is truly damaging.

Since Dan is recommending some reading, I will also do so ;-)

Not In Front of The Children

"Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth


By Marjorie Heins

ISBN: 0374175454