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Reply #61: I tend to agree with you. [View All]

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Runcible Spoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
61. I tend to agree with you.
This debate is by no means cut and dry ethically/morally one way or another. I do agree that people who enjoy looking at naked children are sick fucks, as unequivocally reflected by our societal values. The issue is how to deal with them. I don't think anyone sane person would defend the act of the pictures being taken, but should looking at an image of a certain nature constitute an actual criminal act?

I don't think laws should be crafted around whether or not looking at the images entices or lessens a pedophile's urges. The bottom line is we are prosecuting people based on a dubious assumption of intent, and that is really prosecuting a thought crime. You can find an accomplished and well-published behavioral specialist who will tell you that YES looking at child pornography increases the likelihood of the individual actually molesting children, and you can find another just as respected specialist saying the exact opposite, that only individuals already predisposed to this activity would be in possession of such images. Why? Because the reasons people develop these behaviors are complex and very specific to the psychological history of that individual and the influence of the pornography on people is greatly variable.

I struggled with this argument for a long time, especially as a grad student when I did worked with and witnessed through the writing and research of others. What our culture would call pedophilia was as every day event: very sexually open cultures where mothers rub their young children in the genital regions, for example, any kind of sexual initiation ritual you can imagine. All of these behaviors were normalized in their cultural settings. This left me feeling very conflicted as teh children seemed happy and the familial structures seemed stable and loving, but I left with one definite thing: assuming the absolute fixation of moral normality and rectitude is dangerous for a society structured in punitive laws.

I'm not arguing for the absence of prosecution of child molestation; our society has deemed the sexualization of children to be morally repugnant and as such our society should punish that as a serious crime. However, extending that punishment when it comes to looking at images is an extremely dangerous precedent in that the whole basis for prosecution demands the jury to make an impossible ascertainment: what was the INTENTION of the person having this image in his possession? Certainly many museums would be in great danger for displaying controversial sexual images; perhaps they have some sort of protection since it is assumed museums do not exhibit the images for the purpose of promoting child pornography. But what of the people who go there to view the works? How can you prove the intention of someone viewing an image in a museum versus someone viewing an image on a home computer? It's a legal/ethical quagmire.

The whole issue also begs questions in terms of violent imagery/rape fantasy. The very same logic is used in reference to images of non-consensual sex/extreme bondage(even staged; in some cases it's impossible to tell unless subjects of the images are known to be mutually consenting adults); that merely possessing them is linked to an increased likelihood of committing the act. But BSDM images are protected even though the same logic is often applied to rapists. And all at the same time, "Lolita" and extreme fetish sites which dance around legal boundaries continue to thrive on the internet.

*note to any BSDM enthusiasts who might be reading this: I don't by any means intend to conflate this type of fetish with actual rape OR child pedophilia. I am merely referring to the reasoning used by certain groups to outlaw it which I think is just as legally dubious as the argument used to prosecute those holding images depicting certain images.

We need to craft these laws logically and not as an emotional reaction to a tragic event, as is the case with many laws related to children's welfare.

The bottom line is, are child molesters born or made, or some combination? IS this a biological/hormonal condition, or is it created through psychological trauma/conditioning? Can that be discerned with what we know now, and what is the role of pornography in these patterns of behavior? These questions are by no means definitively answered...
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  -A Malicious Prosecution in my Family Time for change  Jun-15-08 08:00 AM   #0 
  - Something does sound a bit odd about that  ck4829   Jun-15-08 08:09 AM   #1 
  - It's pretty well-established  dems_rightnow   Jun-15-08 08:15 AM   #2 
  - I don't think I ever said it was protected under the First Amendment  ck4829   Jun-15-08 08:30 AM   #4 
  - According to an IT tech I know, there is no reason a tech should be looking at image files  AmyDeLune   Jun-15-08 01:26 PM   #23 
     - I didn't think of that  Time for change   Jun-15-08 07:43 PM   #44 
  - The main question at issue here isn't whether or not there was a crime  Time for change   Jun-15-08 08:43 AM   #7 
  - I seriously have no idea.  dems_rightnow   Jun-15-08 09:45 AM   #9 
  - I'm just as guilty as my nephew is  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:56 AM   #13 
  - Self-delete -- wrong place  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:54 AM   #11 
  - First Amendment: What Jim's lawyer explained to me, and the USSC decision from the link in the OP  Time for change   Jun-15-08 02:46 PM   #26 
  - A former state Attorney General should know not to hire prostitutes with  Freddie Stubbs   Jun-16-08 11:51 AM   #71 
  - Thanks for sharing the story. What a nightmare.  rucky   Jun-15-08 08:17 AM   #3 
  - That's why it's a bad law:  PaulHo   Jun-15-08 08:37 AM   #5 
  - I've suggested to my nephew that he pursue a civil suit, and he's explored it with his lawyer  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:34 AM   #8 
     - Since we know kiddie porn was present, it's not malicious prosecution.  TexasObserver   Jun-15-08 10:05 AM   #15 
     - I don't understand why the fact that a crime has been committed immunizes  Time for change   Jun-15-08 11:37 AM   #22 
     - Good. I agree with your "take" on it on all counts, and understand  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-15-08 06:28 PM   #39 
        - The venal prosecutor simply showed no interest in even considering any other possibility  Time for change   Jun-16-08 07:17 AM   #66 
           - I found FarceOf Nature's post interesting, but not persuasive.  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-16-08 11:10 AM   #68 
              - Our gulag-archipelago  Time for change   Jun-16-08 11:24 AM   #69 
                 - It wouldn't be at all practicable, Tfc! It certainly is the road to hell,  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-16-08 11:41 AM   #70 
                    - I'm afraid it's true that our country is going to hell now.  Time for change   Jun-16-08 11:52 AM   #72 
                       - I was kidding about the 'y' chromosome, and I understood your point.  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-16-08 12:49 PM   #75 
                          - It's a subject of which I have very little understanding  Time for change   Jun-16-08 08:09 PM   #78 
                             - Not at all. By a strange coincidence, after signing off yesterday, I found myself  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-17-08 12:42 PM   #89 
  - It sounds like one of those chain of evidence problems  MiniMe   Jun-15-08 08:41 AM   #6 
  - I think it's far more than a chain of evidence issue  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:49 AM   #10 
  - The $300 for record expungement is CHEAP.  TexasObserver   Jun-15-08 09:56 AM   #12 
  - My problem with the expungement of the records is not so much the price  Time for change   Jun-15-08 10:08 AM   #16 
  - Somebody at that company has found an easy way to cover  sfexpat2000   Jun-15-08 10:14 AM   #18 
  - I think that's probably a good idea  Time for change   Jun-15-08 05:38 PM   #37 
  - He can avoid paying that by doing it himself....  Viva_La_Revolution   Jun-15-08 06:52 PM   #40 
     - Ahhhhhhhhhh. Thank you.  Time for change   Jun-15-08 07:07 PM   #42 
  - Very valid point made here. It's the same theory that guides this admin.  acmavm   Jun-15-08 10:30 AM   #20 
  - I'm sorry for Jim's and your tragic involvement in this mess.  bertman   Jun-15-08 10:04 AM   #14 
  - I agree -- They should be held accountable for these things  Time for change   Jun-15-08 07:37 PM   #43 
  - Welcome to life in the fourth reich.  greyhound1966   Jun-15-08 10:11 AM   #17 
  - This law reminds me very much of drug possession laws  Time for change   Jun-15-08 10:21 AM   #19 
  - Sounds like the defense lawyer did ok - and maybe he thought he had the  TBF   Jun-15-08 11:04 AM   #21 
  - Don't take this the wrong way, but I am going to look at the case  rebel with a cause   Jun-15-08 01:36 PM   #24 
  - I agree with all you say here, except for one thing  Time for change   Jun-15-08 02:31 PM   #25 
     - Person who have these porn sites often know how many  rebel with a cause   Jun-15-08 02:56 PM   #28 
     - Ok, let's say that whoever took the pictures knows how many times their sites are downloaded  Time for change   Jun-15-08 04:00 PM   #30 
        - We will have to agree to disagree about the pictures  rebel with a cause   Jun-15-08 04:42 PM   #32 
        - That's ok  Time for change   Jun-15-08 05:10 PM   #34 
        - important  bkscribe   Jun-15-08 10:56 PM   #55 
           - It's just a guess  Time for change   Jun-16-08 12:11 AM   #58 
              - Stick to your point then.  bkscribe   Jun-16-08 01:01 PM   #76 
                 - I have more than one point that I've discussed in this post and think is important  Time for change   Jun-16-08 08:25 PM   #79 
     - owning kiddie porn...  northernlights   Jun-15-08 03:19 PM   #29 
        - I would answer your first paragraph by referring you to my last paragraph of post # 30  Time for change   Jun-15-08 04:09 PM   #31 
        - I tend to agree with you.  FarceOfNature   Jun-16-08 04:59 AM   #61 
           - Thank you for all that information  Time for change   Jun-16-08 07:04 AM   #65 
        - The real danger of the internet is not in the images themselves but the communities created online..  FarceOfNature   Jun-16-08 03:58 AM   #60 
  - You ask: Shouldnt a competent defense attorney have gotten this case dismissed for lack of probable  truedelphi   Jun-15-08 02:55 PM   #27 
  - I'm very glad  Time for change   Jun-15-08 06:08 PM   #38 
  - I think it would have been more helpful to the case if, when you got  Vinca   Jun-15-08 05:02 PM   #33 
  - That may be a good point  Time for change   Jun-15-08 05:17 PM   #36 
  - you'd think the prosecutor  barbtries   Jun-15-08 05:16 PM   #35 
  - Thank you.  Time for change   Jun-15-08 08:56 PM   #49 
  - Someone should look into whether Restronics has a sweetheart deal with police to "catch" people...  DRoseDARs   Jun-15-08 07:07 PM   #41 
  - I hadn't thought of that  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:24 PM   #53 
  - blank check  Two Americas   Jun-15-08 08:02 PM   #45 
  - Very good points -- That's what I feel so uncomfortable about this law  Time for change   Jun-15-08 08:46 PM   #47 
     - my guess  Two Americas   Jun-15-08 08:59 PM   #50 
        - That's a scary thought  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:51 PM   #54 
           - all speculation of course  Two Americas   Jun-15-08 11:05 PM   #56 
  - Sounds like you were set up. Mabe for political reasons. Are you a DEM?  L. Coyote   Jun-15-08 08:46 PM   #46 
  - Yes, I'm a Dem, but it wasn't me that they went after, it was my nephew  Time for change   Jun-15-08 08:50 PM   #48 
     - Did it disrupt your life? Can you claim you were targeted?  L. Coyote   Jun-15-08 09:06 PM   #51 
        - It sure as hell disrupted my nephew's life  Time for change   Jun-15-08 09:23 PM   #52 
  - My .02.  varkam   Jun-16-08 12:06 AM   #57 
  - "If the state in question depends upon the control issue, and the images were in Jim's computer  Time for change   Jun-16-08 02:20 AM   #59 
  - Because it is Jim's computer.  varkam   Jun-16-08 05:47 AM   #64 
     - The God damned prosecution didn't even take the time to get a computer expert  Time for change   Jun-16-08 07:25 AM   #67 
     - Couple things  varkam   Jun-16-08 12:25 PM   #73 
        - It's hard to be calm about this after this prosecutor so callously destroyed several months of my  Time for change   Jun-16-08 02:41 PM   #77 
           - I understand your emotions.  varkam   Jun-17-08 04:32 AM   #81 
              - Thank you for your input  Time for change   Jun-17-08 09:12 AM   #88 
     - It does seem odd, doesn't it?  kgfnally   Jun-16-08 12:45 PM   #74 
        - Indeed.  varkam   Jun-17-08 04:35 AM   #82 
  - absolutely agree with you, and posted my thoughts RE: dubious justifications for prosecution.....  FarceOfNature   Jun-16-08 05:04 AM   #62 
     - Exactly. It's hard to determine a causal relationship.  varkam   Jun-16-08 05:42 AM   #63 
     - In those circumstances, I don't think they are dubious justifications,  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jun-17-08 01:19 PM   #90 
  - I have thought hard about answering because you have no remedy.  tsuki   Jun-16-08 09:36 PM   #80 
  - Thank you for the advice. Jim will take a look at this.  Time for change   Jun-17-08 09:06 AM   #85 
     - Don't thank me. I brought a lot of grief down on me. There is nothing  tsuki   Jun-17-08 04:09 PM   #93 
  - The reality is that this has nothing to do with kiddie porn or pedophilia.  readmoreoften   Jun-17-08 05:22 AM   #83 
  - Thank you -- Those were some of my thoughts  Time for change   Jun-17-08 09:10 AM   #86 
  - I have a dear friend undergoing a really unfair trial with the justice system.  live love laugh   Jun-17-08 05:57 AM   #84 
  - Yeah, just look at Guantanamo Bay  Time for change   Jun-17-08 09:11 AM   #87 
  - Is there any way to link this to Bush?  poliscifanboy   Jun-17-08 01:54 PM   #91 
  - I would talk to another lawyer about the possibility of going after Restronics,  yardwork   Jun-17-08 02:06 PM   #92 
  - recently a kiddie porn case was tossed out cause the pics came  mdmc   Jun-17-08 04:14 PM   #94 
 

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