Following on from Monkey’s post a while back, it seems there’s quite a disturbing trend going on back in my homeland. Teenagers who take naked pictures of themselves are being prosecuted as child pornographers. When they text them to their friends, they’re charged with distribution, and the friends are charged with receiving child porn. I’m not surprised, on reflection, that the images they make are classified as porn. It’s harder than I’d initially imagined to find ways to exclude these images from a porn definition. (Intent? Well they intend to share them and they intend to sexually arouse. The fact that no money changes hands? Quite rightly, this doesn’t matter in other child porn cases. Content? No reason to think that’s any different. Who’s taking the pictures? Well, a paedophile could get a child to take the pictures.) But it seems really obvious nonetheless that the kids shouldn’t be prosecuted. As noted in the comments to Monkey’s post, one of the things about child porn is that the kids are legally unable to consent. Surely that also means they are legally unable to blamed for the act.
Hmm.. I’m having doubts now… Teenagers who shoot people are rightly held responsible. Any philosophers of law out there want to help out?
Maybe a better fix would be to define ‘child pornographer’ and ‘recipient of child porn’ in such a way that only adults could fill this roles?