‘sex offenders’

Fantasy On Trial (Again)

I’m on my way home from Denver, where I testified as an expert witness at a deeply troubling trial—a trial that’s become way too common in America. Here’s the situation: The defendant “Mr. Jones” goes into a Yahoo adult chat-room, and makes it clear he wants to have conversations about sexually dominating a young person. A person responds—let’s call her “Missy”—who says she’s a teen who would gladly chat with a wiser, older man about the ins and outs of sexual things. “Missy” says she’s 14, and she and “Mr. Jones” proceed to exchange hundreds and hundreds of emails, IMs,…

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Florida Criminalizes Arts & Crafts

Remember playing with photos and scissors as a young teen? You’d make collages: your scrawny face on a caveman’s body, your friend’s body with the head of a dog, you and a movie star on a beach in Hawaii. Silly adolescent stuff, harmless. Now what about putting your head on a movie star’s nude body? Or your neighbor kid’s face on your body? Still harmless, right? When does this kind of stuff become illegal? John Stelmack of Lakeland, FL found out the hard way. He allegedly cut out a Xerox copy of a girl’s head, taped it to a printout…

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International Human Rights Day MUST Include Sexual Rights

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day. On such a day, we think of journalists and political activists who are jailed, tortured or killed; people so poor they have no toilets or clean water; people forced to live under brutal religious or political regimes; and children deprived of school, sold into heavy labor, or forced into rebel militias. That’s all so far away, though, isn’t it? So let’s talk about America. Let’s discuss the systematic government oppression of our human rights—our sexual human rights. EVERY human being has the fundamental right to: * accurate information about sexuality * local access to…

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Gay Priests? No, Confused Priests

Social scientists at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice have been researching the causes of the Catholic Church’s modern tradition of priests sexualizing boys. In releasing their initial findings, researchers said they can not attribute it to gay priests or seminaries for teenagers. “We do not have data to support those assertions,” said Karen Terry, lead researcher for the $2 million study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She believes that the priests had sex primarily with boys mainly because they had access to boys. “Even though there was sexual abuse of many boys, that doesn’t…

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Protecting Kids On-Line: A Growth Industry

I was privileged to be part of this year’s annual meeting of FOSI, the Family On-Line Safety Institute. This was the first year they invited a sex expert. So it was 400 public policy people and one sex guy—me. The lineup of speakers was extraordinary: a Senator; senior executives from companies like Verizon and Comcast; several state Attorneys General; President Obama’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer; and dozens of heavy hitters like Adam Thierer (Progress & Freedom Foundation) and Larry Magid (ConnectSafely). The complexity of the internet, broadband, and mobile-connected world of kids and teens which they discussed for two days…

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Scariest Halloween Goblin: Jillions of Sex Offenders

In the never-ending quest to boost their “tough on crime” and “family values” credentials, politicians and police departments across America have turned this year’s Halloween into the scariest one yet. What could be scarier than a vampire, zombie, or Michael Jackson? A Registered Sex Offender. Yes, whether someone’s on the registry for consensual teen-teen sex, for exposing himself from 10 feet away, for discussing sex online with an undercover cop, or for raping an actual kid (whether 5 years ago or 25 years ago), Registered Sex Offenders are being targeted as the Most Dangerous Thing around. Since virtually no one…

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