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Should Child Porn be Re-legalized?

Discussion in 'Debate Hall' started by #HBC | Mac, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. #HBC | Mac

    #HBC | Mac Nobody loves me

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    http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/

    To clarify, should the possession and redistribution of Child Pornography be re-legalized?

    The author gives 3 main reasons:
    1. The ban prevents catching/jailing child molesters.
      If you come across a child being raped and you inadvertently obtain footage of it (via some sort of livestreaming/taking pics or video on an iphone/etc), legally you can be prosecuted for it. Having this footage carries stronger punishments than the actual act of child molestation, so the person you see raping a child will suffer less penalties than you would. You would also be branded as a child molester for life. Footage that can help incriminate the molester can no longer be used as evidence because of fear of repercussions against the videotaper
    2. The laws brand a whole generation as sex offenders.
      You are a criminal if you take and keep any naked pictures of yourself under the age of 18. Studies show that 28% of teenagers text fully naked pictures of themselves. Millions of children could be labeled as sex offenders under current child pornography laws.
      The author argues that conflating child molestation with child-porn distribution or consensual teen on teen sex isn't legitimate and they should be covered under separate laws.
    3. The free speech war is won/lost at the battle of child porn.
      The author argues that current child porn redistribution laws give certain groups, such as the copyright industry or religious groups, an excuse to censor the internet and other forms of communication for their own personal gain. He argues that this sets a precedence for censorship and electronic book burning which goes against our constitutional rights of free speech and expression.

    To summarize:
    The article really captures the brunt of his argument, and you should definitely read it instead of just going off my flawed and brief restatement of the authors arguments.
  2. _Keno_

    _Keno_ Smash Debater

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    While this is actually a pretty interesting viewpoint, not all parents (or the kids themselves) like pictures/videoes as such floating around the internet for anyone to see. I mean, that's the case with anyone over 17 as well, and I suspect it can be mentally traumatizing.

    The author is entirely correct in the point that the major crime is in the actual act and not related to anything virtual.

    Also, my knowledge of porn laws are a little fuzzy, is REAL **** porn illegal in America?
  3. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    Interesting argument. The thing is, by making it legal to possess and distribute child porn, it could potentially cause a support and potential rise in children being abused, seeing as it would be "okay" to share it wherever. What they need to do, is find a way to decriminalize it in a somewhat similar way Massachusetts did for marijuana, so that in the case of scenarios where someone managed to record an abuse in action, the person who recorded it wouldn't be tried in the same manner as the actual abuser. There is a good reason why child porn is illegal to begin with though, so to actually legalize possession and distribution is something I feel shouldn't happen. I suppose making it a misdemeanor without having to be labeled a sex offender could work in theory, but there's a chance that wouldn't suffice.

    To my knowledge, it is legal in the U.S..
  4. Ussi

    Ussi Smash Legend

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  5. theeboredone

    theeboredone Brawl Backroom Member

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    So if I'm understanding this correctly, the argument is to allow distribution of child porn? While it is illegal right now, and there are heavy consequences for it...wouldn't a person in possession of child pornography (I'm talking about the original pedophile) be inclined to not share it anyways if he knows he will get punished for it? Let alone will any website allow a live stream or upload of a video if they themselves can get in trouble for basically "assisting" and allowing others to view the content?

    The talk about happening to come across a child being raped, having footage of it, and possibly being in the light of being prosecuted sounds a bit jankie. I figure that would come down to intent wouldn't it? If you report it to the cops, use said footage as "evidence", then there is no harm right? Compared to keeping it for yourself...that's another story.
  6. Jockmaster

    Jockmaster Smash Ace

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    The topic of child pornography is one that I have always found interesting (albeit very touchy and depressing). I always comes down to the consistency of law and the effects prohibition has on criminal activity.

    On this subject, I lean towards agreeing with the side that legalizes child pornography. This is ESPECIALLY because of the comparison to filming murder. The thing is, the pornography itself is not a victim-based crime. It is the sexual acts that are performed with the child and the sexualization of the child itself. Think about it this way: by adding a camera to an act of sexual abuse of a child, you are not adding a victim or otherwise making them a victim in any way that they are not being made by the sexual act itself. It is the same as the murder; while there is a victim being created in the act DEPICTED in the film, the act of observation does not make them "more" of a victim.

    Another point I like to make is that legalization of child pornography could help lead to the freedom of the children involved. Child pornography would not become any more safe to produce simply because you are putting evidence of child abuse on film on the internet.

    Basically, by ending prohibition, you will not see -more- children being abused. Production would still be just as dangerous. It would simply prevent the poor perverted souls that indulge in this scum from having to spend a dozen years in prison for a crime that didn't directly have any victims whatsoever.
  7. Yhii

    Yhii staggers these vagabonds

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    This wouldn't be considered obstruction?
  8. _Keno_

    _Keno_ Smash Debater

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    Wouldnt the legalization of CP create more foreign CP manufacturers (can't be prosecuted by US for what they "create" outside of US) but can sell it to US citizens if it's legal?
    If only money accounts for a rise in child abuse for the purpose of selling CP, wouldn't banning buying/selling CP (but not free/trading) work?

    And yeah, the laws regarding animated porn need to be repealed entirely.

    Really? So for most arguments I've heard, CP (non-****) encourages molestation or child ****, but apparently **** porn isn't supposed to encourage ****?
  9. rvkevin

    rvkevin Smash Debater

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    I still think the sale of CP would still be illegal to distribute. You are still using the image of another person without their permission for profit. The same applies for using someones image to sell a product in an Ad, be in a movie, etc.; they have to sign a release form to give consent for their image to be used. However, violation of this would be severely less of a penalty than what is currently on the books for CP. It might only be a civil offense, but it would still be a strong disincentive to distribute it since punitive damages alone would be fairly high given the emotional response to the activity. I don't see an argument against merely possession though.
  10. Vinyl.

    Vinyl. Bored.

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    If the majority dislikes it and says no with the loudest tone possible, I'm saying no.

    If they're fine with that, then this world is messed up and I'm still gonna say no.
  11. Battlecow

    Battlecow Play to Win

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    What the fuuuuuuu-

    Those of you arguing to legalize are not thinking clearly at all.

    That's a kid being raped. Whoever the kid is, he's being raped. He's incapable of consenting to sex, and he's also incapable of consenting to having a video of him being raped distributed to people everywhere. If you're in favor of that being legal, it should be legal to possess and distribute films of **** as well, films made without the actors and actress' consent, and that's ****ed up for really obvious reasons.

    What if that was your little brother? Scratch that, what if someone raped you and then posted videos of it? Should people be allowed to pay money for and jerk off to your anguish?

    I agree that if it's a consenting 17 year old it shouldn't be treated the same way. But the reforms necessary to correct that do not include legalizing actual child pornography, and lumping the two ideas together is disingenuous in the extreme.
  12. #HBC | Mac

    #HBC | Mac Nobody loves me

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    Show of hands, how many people actually read the article?
  13. Ussi

    Ussi Smash Legend

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    *raises hand*

    Basically it wants to prevent loopholes and change the age for sex
  14. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    The thing is, the child does not need to be performing any sex acts (let alone being raped) for the content to be considered child porn. If I remember correctly, even a picture of a child with clothing, albeit revealing, in a suggestive pose can be seen and treated as child porn.
    Personally, I don't condone legalizing child porn, for the obvious reason that it can and usually will encourage the abuse of children, consensual or otherwise. What I do believe they should do is create some system where the level of punishment varies with the content; if someone who isn't a pedophile has possession of say one "harmless" ("harmless" being used very loosely, by the way) pic, then they can be charged with a misdemeanor, and not be labeled a sex offender and jailed like an actual sex offender who has, say, an actual history of molesting children and/or a collection of CP ranging to even **** for his own sexual gratification.

    P.S. **** porn is legal in the U.S. if memory serves me well.

    This contradicts your argument to an extent, because 17-year-olds are still minors, and according to law, minors are unable to consent and have understanding of what they're getting themselves into. With your argument, it wold in theory be okay if a 15 or 13-year-old consented to whatever they're doing in the pic/video. The only way 17-year-olds in porn will be "okay" in the public eye is if the U.S. (as well as other countries) lower the age of consent to 17.
    I've read the article. Does my post imply I missed something? By the way it sounds, you seem to imply we all missed some sort of point.
  15. Vinyl.

    Vinyl. Bored.

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    Just looking if child porn legalized already makes me state that I'm denying this and will forever deny it.

    Exactly what good will come out of this anyway when the bad overcomes it as well?
  16. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    Personally, I believe no real good can come out of this if made legal. There's no pros for the children involved and the only benefit is being able to tax it, which won't do much in the way of the economy as there are so many people (myself included) who will refuse to fund it for moral reasons (among other reasons). Legal porn makes enough money as is, and in terms of illegal things, marijuana - if made legal - will benefit the economy more than CP seeing as there are more marijuana supporters than CP supporters anyway, though I digress.
  17. #HBC | Mac

    #HBC | Mac Nobody loves me

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    There were just some posts containing points that seemed to have been addressed in the article. It was clear that you specifically read the article tho.

    I thought this at first to, but he covers this in the article.
    I think the fear for most rational people is that allowing distribution/possession will give CP manufacturers incentive to produce. However, the problem there really is the fact that an economic industry for child porn exists. In order to stop that, I think it'd make sense if we criminalized the buying/selling of child porn, and not simply sharing it with no monetary incentive. (Like you were saying) That along with obviously criminalizing production of CP and the actual act of molestation would seem to make the law have it's intended effect while avoiding some of the nasty issues with the current law.

    I think this important because it immediately removes the potential problem of having 30% of all US teenagers who send/receive scandalous photos of themselves (including me) legally sex offenders. It also stops the problem that he depicted in the article of **** footage not being able to be used as evidence to incriminate a sex criminal because the citizen who inadvertently taped it would be liable for more punishment than the actual rapist.

    Now of course, legalizing distribution and forcing the criminal law to focus on monetary exchanges for CP makes it harder for the law to charge 'enthusiasts' but it still strikes at the heart of the CP industry, the money.

    I would assume (and hope) that real **** porn is illegal.

    Battlecow, noone is trying to justify child **** or child pornography. The article and thread clearly states that it's goal as arguing for legalize the re-distribution and possession of child porn. The author gives multiple reasons for this (one being that legalizing it can actually help catch Rapists)

    Sol, my issue is all the bad things that result from keeping possession and redistribution illegal. (30% of teens legally being defined and charged as sex offenders, inhibiting the actual process of catching rapists, and it being used as a mechanism to rid people of their civil rights)

    I feel like noone is really addressing these issues, do you guys just not see these things as actual concerns?
  18. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    I get it. With the laws as they currently are, it makes those who aren't molesters, pedophiles, and actual perverts toward children labeled the very monsters that the law tries to prosecute. It potentially makes taking baby pictures of - say - one's own child illegal simply because when one thinks about it, how often do parents take pics of their bare-***ed baby? Even I have a baby pic of myself where I'm in a bathtub in my birthday suit. Again, to legalize child porn is something I don't like as an idea, though I can still see its merits. Personally, however, I'd say a better way to do this is to - at the very least - decriminalize it and make it a misdemeanor, so that those who aren't actually pedophiles, or those who have pics of minors won't be tried and labeled as registered sex offenders; ultimately ruining their lives so needlessly.
  19. Battlecow

    Battlecow Play to Win

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    And it's not OK to have that, either, because the kid is incapable of consenting to you getting off to him/her

    I agree with the first bit. punishment fitting the crime and so forth.

    I think you're a bit confused on the P.S. When people say "**** porn" they usually mean fictionalized porn depicting **** but in actuality filmed with consenting actresses, which is legal in some countries (like the US) and not in others. It's my understanding that actual **** porn is far from legal

    that said my google-fu is not strong enough to find evidence confirming or denying this. I'm working off of conversations I've had in the past.

    I think we need to draw different lines and instate different punishments depending on age. No system is going to be perfect, of course, but we could come up with something pretty reasonable. I don't see the contradiction.


    I'm well aware of what the argument's about, thank you. Reread my post. I'm obviously reacting to the idea of distributing and consuming. I say it a couple times.

    And yeah, I read the article. It was full of ****. We should re-legalize child porn because magic google glasses are going to make people accidentally record it and be sent to jail forever? That's the most fantastically convoluted **** I've ever seen. As if we couldn't draft new laws when that became a problem. Find me one case of someone bringing CP they found accidentally to the police and then being slapped in cuffs. Guess what? You won't. Yeah, it's a strict liability offense. But the cops don't put you in jail for running across a coke stash by the side of the road and calling it in.

    The bit about sexting or whatever is ridiculous and misleading as well. "Hey, it's ****ed-up that seventeen year olds get penalties that severe for taking pics of themselves" becomes "legalize the possession of brutal kiddie **** porn by grown-*** men." Great. There's no way we could legislate to differentiate between the two.

    The last section--the freedom of speech part--is the only remotely reasonable argument there is to be made, and, therefore, the one I responded to. Read my previous post for my thoughts. You don't have the right to invade someone's privacy--to violate them in a fundamental way--by watching them be raped for your sick pleasure, and CP is always **** (actually, I hate the way that word gets thrown around. Let's just say that the kids can't consent.)
  20. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    I never did say it was okay. I just said that it doesn't need to be actual **** for it to be CP.
    With that logic, shouldn't lolicon be legal seeing as it's fictionalized children? I have read somewhere that **** porn is legal, fictional or otherwise, though I have no proof or source for this... yet.
    I can agree with this, though don't we have laws that already involve different age groups in content?
  21. _Keno_

    _Keno_ Smash Debater

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    I dont think you understand the definitions of child porn and just normal porn. CP includes drawings, naturism, and a bunch of other things not included in the normal porn category.

    I'm against **** porn either way, but actual **** and not "a 17 yo had sex with a 18 yo and it was legally ****" ****.

    And really Battlecow? Consent is required for you get off to someone? Why? I didn't know the government was allowed to control imagination and the like?
  22. rvkevin

    rvkevin Smash Debater

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    Food for thought. I'm curious how those favoring the criminalization of possession of CP would craft the laws in order to prevent situations like these, or if they are in agreement in the outcome of that case.
  23. Ussi

    Ussi Smash Legend

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    I bet the jury was thinking "we should set an example so sexting will stop!"
  24. rvkevin

    rvkevin Smash Debater

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    So you punish the receiver of the text? So, if there is anyone you don't like, you can simply make them commit a felony by sending them a text? I really hope that is not what they were thinking. Instead, I think they simply followed the law because that is what they are instructed to do by the judge, rather than evaluating the law before applying it.
  25. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    It's situations like this that makes me believe they should at least make it a misdemeanor, and also penalize the sender of the text, instead of punishing and demonizing the receiver only.
  26. rvkevin

    rvkevin Smash Debater

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    Punish the sender for what exactly? For possessing a picture she took of herself? It can't be for distribution of the picture since the receiver didn't distribute anything.
  27. Ussi

    Ussi Smash Legend

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    "she was being manipulated by him, we can't punish her for not knowing better"
  28. _Keno_

    _Keno_ Smash Debater

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    I dont think anyone is trying to allow "brutal kiddie **** porn." Especially the brutal part, and well, depending on your definition of **** (ability to give consent etc).

    Somehow this seems circular, as if the illegality of it causing it to be "****" supports the notion that it should be illegal.
  29. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    He wasn't the distributor. By definition, the girl was the distributor seeing as she was the one who sent it.
    Why is your post in quotes exactly? There wasn't exactly any proof that she was coerced into sending it, was there? If she was coerced, then it was the guy's fault. Otherwise, she should be at equal fault.
  30. Battlecow

    Battlecow Play to Win

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    1. I'd restructure the laws so that the possession of naked pictures of 17 year olds was a less serious offense (none of this year in jail stuff). If I had my druthers I might even make 16 or 17 the cut off age instead of 18... maybe not.

    2. I'm somewhat in agreement with the outcome. Note that it never says he didn't solicit the pictures. I'm frankly OK with the guy being punished for convincing a 17 year old to sext him. And since the jury was obviously convinced that he did know her real age...

    sure they are. The guy in the article was all about legalizing the possession of brutal kiddie **** porn. "Possession of information, any information, should be legal." He dressed it up real fancy with talk of magic google glasses and helping children, but that was very much what he meant.
  31. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    The problem is that this implies that children ages 13 and below could consent. While a perfect understanding for kids that young are very rare, the point is, kids generally can't consent and understand what it is they're consenting to, which is why it's generally called ****, albeit statutory. I could buy - say - someone like a 16-year-old, but for a 12 or 14-year-old? **** is ****, whether it's brutal or statutory. So to legalize child porn is also legalizing **** to a technical degree, hence why this whole "legalize the possession of CP" is a very touchy subject, and why you'll have many people against the idea.
  32. rvkevin

    rvkevin Smash Debater

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    Right, but you said that you would punish them both. I then asked with what? Were you proposing two different types of offenses had occurred? If it were the same offense, then it would be for possession, not distribution, so you would have made it illegal for her to take those pictures of herself.
    Whether he solicited it or not is irrelevant. The charge is based on possession, so he would be equally guilty under the law even if it was her idea alone.

    Think of it this way, does a couple, who we can reasonably assume has seen each other naked already (correct me if there is a law against this), have the right to transfer the same experience to each other in photo form? I don't see how the presence of the photo makes the act so much worse.
  33. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    Isn't it already illegal to have a pic of oneself if said pic shows said self as a minor though? I'm not sure how the law deals with that. Anyway, I am proposing they charge her with distribution and him with possession.
  34. Ussi

    Ussi Smash Legend

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    quotes are used for two reason. The first reason is to actually someone. The second is sarcasm. I was sarcastically saying thats what people generally would say.
  35. Claire Diviner

    Claire Diviner Oerba Dia Diviner

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    "Actually" what?
    Yeah, I had a hunch that was the case, but wasn't totally sure.
  36. Battlecow

    Battlecow Play to Win

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    And yet, you'll never find a single case where a guy gets in trouble for randomly stumbling across or being sent kiddie porn against his will, contrary to what the author of macman's article suggests.

    this is a good point, and most of the reason why the laws surrounding 17-year-olds are iffy, why I said that I might legalize porn of them if I had my way. I guess the only argument is that that picture could be distributed to others, endures forever, etc., unlike the transitory and private experience that would have otherwise occurred. Regardless, the penalties, if they do exist, should be very light. I'm indifferent to laws surrounding pictures of 16 and 17 year olds, frankly. This argument, however, does NOT in any way affect the laws dealing with actual kids.
  37. Jam Stunna

    Jam Stunna Andorian Sex Fantasy

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    I only skimmed the article; the "what-if" scenario he posed was too absurd for me to take the rest of the article seriously ("The rapist notices you and laughs, knowing you can't do anything..."- come on).

    So correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see the author mention anything about legalizing the production of child pornography. So I don't understand why it makes sense to legalize the possession of a product that's illegal to make. How can it be okay to have something that's not supposed to exist?

    I do agree that sexting between teenagers shouldn't be criminalized the way it is, but that argument has been made more convincingly (and far less melodramatically) by others.

    :phone:
  38. Ussi

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    Actually quote*
  39. Mic_128

    Mic_128 MicNums. Gamngsta as eff

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    Not really. Whenever we hear about busts on the news about arresting groups relating to child porn, there's no real cash involved, they're child porn sharing rings. They film themselves doing it, then pass it on to everyone in the large group, who then film their own and share it around. No one makes any money out of it and they all get their video. Make sure there's nothing incriminating in the videos to show it was them that did it/filmed it, and they can go on without repercussions if it's not illegal to have. To clarify, this isn't a 'what if' this is something that's already happening now.

    The laws definitely need some tweaks if it's currently illegal to have nude photos of yourself when underage (heck, there's probably one or two baby photos of my own at my parents place buried in an album) or if you turn something in to the police, but that doesn't mean it should be made legal by any stretch of the imagination.
  40. Sucumbio

    Sucumbio The White

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    The Den of Inequity

    This.

    Now, I can see legalizing pictures of yourself that you yourself took. It's kinda dumb to brand teens as sex offenders if they're sending pictures of themselves. I also think the age of consent needs to be lessened. 18 was probably a good age several decades ago, but today's 15 years olds are yesterday's 20 year olds damn near. So to compensate the AOC should probably be 16.

    This would solve many issues. 16 year olds could star in porn, and not be breaking the law. Sophomores/juniors in high school could sext and not be breaking the law. There's probably other benefits to this, without much in the way of negatives. In some states in the US the AOC was as low as 14 until they were throttled up to 18.

    I think that in the end the only "child porn" that really should remain criminalized is that of true children... physically emotionally mentally young people. Toddlers, grade schoolers. Once puberty hits, it seems to me that sexuality is going to become something of a known to the individual anyway, so perhaps they can give informed consent. Perhaps it need not be ****. But pre-pubescent children can't ever actually engage in the making of child porn without themselves being a victim of a crime, so ... the making of it has to remain a crime, and therefore the possession of it has to also remain a crime.

    It'd be like any other illegal thing. If it's illegal to buy/sell a drug but not illegal to use it, then wtf. All that does is encourage drug users/seekers to be better at not getting caught buying/selling. At least if the whole process is illegal, then the prosecution of law can be dealt on all aspects of the crime, not just one half of the crime. Remember, it's our natural instinct to survive. If we're caught, we're gonna sing, 9 times out of 10. If you catch someone with child porn, chances are you'll catch the person they got it from, and you may actually save a child's life in the process.

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