‘online safety’

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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What Do We Actually Know About Sex?

I’m returning from New York, where I keynoted a big Planned Parenthood event. It’s wonderful to speak to groups of people who support sexual rights. It always feels like visiting family. (The family that makes you feel welcome, not the family that wonders if you were switched with their “real” child at birth.) After I spoke, I saw an old friend, and the subject of pornography came up (I hardly go anywhere anymore that it doesn’t). An influential sex-positive researcher, she told me she favored full access to sexually explicit materials—“except, of course, snuff films,” she said. That brought me…

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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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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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