6.29.2009

Pervert, yes. But harmless?

As it happens, I don't think people should go to jail for fake child porn that has not harmed an actual child. But I think it is odd for Chris Bodenner, writing on Andrew Sullivan's blog to conclude that a guy who photoshops pictures of a 10-year-old girl of his acquaintance onto the body of a naked adult female is "harmless." If perhaps we don't want to immediately conclude he is harmful, harmless seems a hasty conclusion as well. At the very least, some harm alarm bells are rung. If I were the mother of that 10-year-old, I'd probably rescind any outstanding dinner party invites I'd made to the guy.

Incidentally, I'd love to see a study that examines whether fake child porn reduces the number of actual children harmed (perhaps because those who are inclined that way have some sort of outlet for their feelings) or if it increases the number of children harmed (perhaps because consumers of such porn want to enact what they've seen).

3 comments:

  1. I suppose it could be argued that there was no material harm done, in that the girls in question were not actually exposed themselves. I find the whole thing revolting, but I can at least understand the argument.

    That being said, I think there's a compelling argument that, even if this patently disturbed person is not convicted of a crime, he poses a threat to the children in question, and should be kept away from them. His defense that he "wanted to see what they looked like as adults" omits the part about them being naked, and seems to imply that this desire would make sense to other people.

    It's all very bizarre and disturbing.

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  2. Some sort of judgment wherein this guy stays away from these children, or all children, yet without jail time also seems reasonable to me.

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  3. I'm worried about convicting someone of a crime for thinking things, even bad things. It isn't clear to me that making a video without involving children, yet depicting children as sexual objects, is harmful enough to society that it should be a punishable offense.

    Personally, I think these "people" are creepy beyond belief, and something is seriously miswired in their brains. I wish I knew an appropriate way to deal with the potential threat they pose to children, but I don't.

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