A writer for The Atlantic, Megan McArdle, did a piece on non-offending pedophiles. She dragged child porn into the piece, and demonstrates a limited and simplistic understanding of the subject, stating “because the man who purchases child pornography is encouraging its manufacture”. The unstated premise of that statement is that child porn is typically purchased, which is completely unsubstantiated.

In a brief follow up, she publishes an e-mail she received from an anonymous prosecutor. Part of the prosecutor’s e-mail says:

I have seen a good number of men go to prison for child pornography that is found on their computers, and I must say that I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. During my first few years as a prosecutor I wanted them locked up for as long as possible for two obvious reasons: first, they may very likely act out on their desires and victimize a child (who will of course be likely to victimize another child when they reach adult age). Second, as a way to deter the manufacturing of child pornography by removing the possible market. I’ve come to realize that the second reason is about as hopeless as thinking that by locking up drug users I can stop drug dealers. The market will always be there.

The prosecutor’s first reason is really outside the scope of CP Explosion, so I’ll only say that I’m unaware of any study purporting to show a link between child porn viewing and sexual crimes against children that isn’t crippled by sample bias. The second reason though is eerily reminiscent of the position held by LEAP regarding drugs.

There are no scientific studies I’m aware of, but all the anecdotal evidence suggests that no “penalty” will discourage people from seeking out child porn. A combination of factors including long prison sentences, extreme ostracism, and a feeling that there’s little hope of even getting a fair trail if accused have completely failed to deter people from seeking out child porn. I don’t think that even implementing capital punishment for child porn possession would make more than a minor impact on the child porn trade. The use of the term “trade” rather than “market” is intentional and almost certainly more accurate.

Miscellanea

October 24, 2008

Innocent images update

The Innocent Images Project was delayed because I couldn’t get myself registered with the Pirate Bay’s blogging service. They are new to the game, so maybe they are still working out the bugs. But I’ve had success in using their image hosting service. For now the Innocent Images Project will have it’s text hosted here but the images whose links you’ll have to affirmatively click in order to see will be hosted on Bayimg. The subject of the first Innocent Images post will be Robert Mapplethorpe’s Rosie.

Where I’ve been visiting

A fact of life in child porn blogging is getting called a pedophile and accused of surfing for child porn just because you question the government’s claims about child porn. On that note I’ve discovered sites online where self declared pedophiles visit and post messages. Not surprisingly, they sometimes talk about child porn. In fairness to these self declared pedophiles, I’ll say that child porn represents only a very small percentage of their postings. Most messages there don’t have anything to do with child porn, and those that do usually involve efforts to criminalize artistic representations of children, or teens being charged as child pornographers for photographing themselves. I respect the intelligence of my readers, so I won’t insult your intelligence by protecting you from seeing legal sites that I’ve seen. I’ve seen nothing on either site that in my non-lawyerly opinion could be construed as illegal in the United States. These sites were interesting because there I saw intelligent discussion of child porn, not hysterical over reaction and blind acceptance of government rhetoric. Despite my non pedophile status, I was allowed to register at both sites. In the second week of October, I posted an introduction at both. As a follow up to my introductions, one poster told me that “pornography is really a side issue here”. From what I’ve seen he’s right, and that got me to consider why I blog about child porn. Eventually I wrote back to him.

You know, I don’t really see what I’m doing as being about child porn. I just use child porn as a focal point. It’s really about abuse of authority, thought policing, the government’s desire to work around the constitution to censor the public, the prison industrial complex, and more. The parallels between the war on child porn and the war on drugs are frightening.

The sites are called Girl Chat and Boy Chat. Both are primitive message forums where you read posts without having to register. Read if you wish. My name there is the same as here, CP Explosion. I’d suggest not leaving these sites up on your screen for your boss or significant other to see. He/she might wonder what you’re up to.

What this blog is not about, but still a link

I never intended this blog to be about sex offenders. But the issue of sex offenders is very complex and is fraught many of the same issues as child porn. But I’ve decided to post one link to an essay dealing with sex offenders. Why? Well, for two reasons. One reason is that in the United States, and I think in Britain also, those convicted of viewing child porn are considered sex offenders and are subject to enrollment in sex offender registries. I find it weird that people who look at pictures are cast into the same bin with people who forcibly rape real people. The other reason is that this essay’s anonymous author also uses a quote I’ve used before.

The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Please think to read Does America Really Need Its Own Holocaust?

Coming soon

Chatter, and a chapter by chapter book review.