‘cybersex’

When Adults Fail Children—For Life

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of 18-year-old Jorge Canal, who complied with a 14-year-old friend’s request for a photo of his penis. The young man is now forced to register as a sex offender, meaning his chances of getting a college degree, job, or livable apartment are pretty much ended. According to the court, the girl “generally hung out with teenagers older than herself;” was “only friends” with Canal; thought the picture was sent “only as a joke;” and was not “a means to excite any feelings.” Nevertheless, Canal was convicted of “knowingly disseminating obscene material to…

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Anti-Porn Leaders Lie to U.S. Attorney General

A whole lot of Conservative bigshots wrote a letter last week to Attorney General Eric Holder. They lied and lied and lied about pornography, then asked to meet with Holder as soon as possible so they could tell him how to rewrite Justice Department policies in response to these lies. Here are some of their specific lies: * “Pornography addiction is now common among men, women, and even many children.” Even among therapists who believe in “pornography addiction,” virtually no one believes that it is common among women or children. * “Hotels, cable TV, and satellite companies are making tremendous…

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Can A Book Be Burned At the Stake—Literally?

I’m back from Chicago, speaking at the annual conference of the ALA—American Library Association. 20,000 librarians under one roof—totally inspiring. In addition to their deeper-funded and better–staffed cousins from the big cities, they came from towns I’d never heard of, in states I’d never been in: like Clarksdale, Mississippi; Rock Springs, Wyoming; and Keene, New Hampshire. As disparate as they were, they all had this in common: * They support reading; * They support access to information; * They’re under pressure from dozens of directions to restrict that access; * They’re concerned about the sexual themes, words, and pictures in…

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Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign—Their Hypocrisy, Or Ours?

Two more “family values” politicians recently bit the dust, as Nevada Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford both admitted to extramarital affairs. Prior to that, both men were known as vociferous critics of “immoral,” commercial, and non-traditional sexual expression. Each one had, for example, used the power of the government to punish President Clinton for cheating on his wife. Of course, the media jackals immediately descended on the two, as did their self-righteous former allies. America loves a sex scandal, and it delights in seeing the mighty fall. Add hypocrisy and you have a made-for-TV jackpot. The…

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One Pervert Does Not Equal “Danger”

When it comes to America’s panic about sex, respect for fact is in short supply. Blogs, CNN & Fox, well-intentioned family advocates, right-wing “decency” groups, and the whole machinery of the Sexual Disaster Industry continually pour out a single message: there’s sexual danger out there waiting for every child, woman, and man. In reality, many facts of life are pretty encouraging: the FBI says that rape, child sexual exploitation, suicide, and domestic violence have all declined this past decade. But if you have ears, eyes, or a computer, you’d never know it. Sexual violence and exploitation are what pass for…

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“Sexting” Can’t—Repeat, Can’t—Kill Anyone

We’re told there’s an epidemic of teens sending nude photos of themselves to a friend or lover, who then sends it to every other teen on the planet. The original kid then responds with naive surprise and deeply hurt feelings. Adults typically respond with predictions of the end of civilization as we know it. In Ohio, 18-year-old Jesse Logan’s peers took the routine pretty far. After seeing her nude photo they taunted her and made her life miserable, as only teens can do to one another. But Jesse went way, way too far in reaction. She killed herself. It’s tragic,…

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