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March 29, 2010

"Disentangling Child Pornography from Child Sex Abuse"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new paper now on SSRN from Carissa Byrne Hessick. Here is the abstract:

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the criminal penalties associated with possession of child pornography.  The new severity appears to be premised on arguments that blur the distinction between those who possess images of child pornography and those who sexually abuse children.  In particular, sentences have been increased based on arguments that possession of pornography is equivalent to or worse than child sex abuse, arguments that viewing child pornography increases the risk that an individual will sexually abuse a child, and arguments that those who possess child pornography are abusing children undetected.

This Article identifies instances where possession of child pornography and child sex abuse have been conflated, critically evaluates the arguments that promote such conflation, and identifies independent concerns with conflation. Specifically, it argues that blurring the distinction between the two crimes allows us to continue to misperceive child sex abuse as a stranger-danger issue, and that when law enforcement statistics aggregate possession and child sex abuse, then the public may be misled into believing that law enforcement is successfully battling child sex abuse, when that is not the case.  The Article concludes that the modern trend of increasing sentences for possession of child pornography ought to be reviewed, and it suggests several possible areas of reform.

March 29, 2010 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

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Comments

as an advocate. cr sex abuse is simple as doing drugs with a minor to pshycologially imbalance them to perform a sex act. or get a minor drunk then have consentual behaviors alike. you cant make nobody dont do something there going to do whether your there or not. but you can always at least not frighten them out of it. its like a dad talking about the birds and bees with his thirteen yr old. some of the best things learned in life is by experiencing your curiosities with limits and good decisions.

Posted by: jermel chambers | Mar 29, 2010 9:14:15 PM

jermel needs to learn to spell.

Posted by: mpb | Mar 31, 2010 4:38:04 AM

Jermel: "can't make nobody don't do" is an illegal phrase in 30 states.

Posted by: mike | Mar 31, 2010 5:40:17 PM

I wonder how they manage to do that. I mean child pornography is really not good.

Posted by: penis extensions | Sep 2, 2010 11:26:58 AM

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