Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Won't somebody think of the children?!

Atrios posted a couple links about underage kids who make their own pornography and who face prosecution for violating child pornography laws. I've thought about this in the past, and not because I'm a perv, but because I saw it coming years ago, during "controversial issues" discussions in ENGL102 classes I taught.

If teenagers film themselves having sex without adult coercion or an intended adult audience, should they be charged as criminals? A huge swath of murky gray area exists around current laws, particularly given the conflicted state of sexual morality in the US and the level of accessible technology.

Students in my classes as early as seven or eight years ago were discussing saucy pictures of themselves that they'd sent to friends during middle school. Kids have access to the technology to easily make their own films nowadays, and of course kids also have easy access to pornography--they don't have to hunt it down like we did when I was in middle school. No amount of parental supervision will prevent them finding every possible genre of video with relative ease.

Of course teens being put in jail for violating laws designed to protect them is ridiculous, but it's an inevitability. Imagine the hysteria coming down the pike! Hopefully we get a Supreme Court capable of looking at the issue rationally in coming years.

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