So we have 5th graders facing jail time for accessing porn on library computers and showing it to their classmates. We also have underage kids facing jail time and being forever labeled as sex offenders for sending racy pictures of themselves to their friends over the internet. Corruption of minors, indecent exposure and of course creation, possession and distribution of child pornography are some of the charges these kids face. They’re out of control I tell you.
By “they” I of course mean prosecutors. Seriously, the right way to address all this is to send these kids to jail? To possibly ruin their lives for something so ridiculous? Is it really the right way to address these problems by putting them into the same criminal category as child molesters?
And of course, let’s take a look at this problem which parents, legislators and prosecutors are trying to tackle, sexual curiosity, or more specifically, any attempts to satiate that curiosity. It’s the ridiculous attempts to keep children ignorant and “safe” which makes these things happen. There’s nothing more tantalizing than what’s forbidden, and the more hysterical the authorities doing the forbidding are about it, the more tantalizing it becomes.
Rather than hold these kids up as examples to discourage the behavior in other kids, why not instead use their actions as examples by which to educate? How about instead of laying some antiquated morality or religious rules and threats of consequences for their actions, you explain why something might be wrong, and what ACTUAL consequences there could be. The religiously inspired Abstinence only plans in this country in recent years have shown what a misguided combo ignorance and abstract threats are. Look at the massive increase in teen pregnancies and STDs. Palin’s daughter has spoken about how she wished she knew how having a child would change her life and wants to be a spokesperson for teens.
Look, sex is awesome. We’re driven to it and by it, and those facts are inescapable. It’s simply impossible to pretend that’s not so, that minors can somehow be talked into ignoring it, and/or that they can be sheltered from it. It’s also ridiculous to assume that if you punish more and more severely those who indulge their curiosities about it, that it’ll inspire or scare the rest back into the dark. That’s completely irrational.