The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-19-2002, 02:39 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Non Nude Teen Web Sites

Should web sites like this :

www.teenplanet.org

be illegal? Are they immoral, or otherwise just bad?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-19-2002, 04:25 PM
Novus Opiate Novus Opiate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Should web sites like this :
www.teenplanet.org
be illegal?
Yes

Quote:
Are they immoral, or otherwise just bad?
I think it's pretty scummy and immoral to present minors in such a sexual way. Just because they're not nude doesn't mean it's right. I'm not a prude, but I don't think people should be posting pics of minors on the net for nefarious purposes.

Novus
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-19-2002, 05:03 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
What if the site is run by teenagers and is geared towards teenagers? Does this make these websites OK?

Check out this one: NNtalk

On this site there are like 4 girls who regularly post pictures of themselves and about 20 guys who oogle for their attention. It is a situation where if the proper information was released about one of these girls, it seems like it could be a dangerous situation.

However, I must admit that as a 23 year old there are some hottie late teens, early twenties women who are not supermodels.

Does the fact that the girls themselves are posting the picture mean anything?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-19-2002, 05:14 PM
Robb Robb is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Markus, do you really need to post links in order to ask whether pictures of scantily clad minors are illegal or immoral?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-19-2002, 07:26 PM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Illegal? On what basis?

Immoral? Depends on your morals.

Bad? Another judgement call.

Clearly, these sites prey on the prurient interests of society. This site appears to subsist on having the teen girls submit their own photos. Does that make the girls "bad"? Aren't they just trying to imitate the "grown-up" world they are about to enter, and strive to be? Are they to blame?

The point is that the problem is more societal than specific to these website operators or the girls posing for the pictures.

What about women's fashion magazines? Frankly, they are filled with underage girls in less attire, but there is no outrage. Why the double standard? Because they are [i]paid[/b] well?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-19-2002, 07:43 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
dont wanna see it?

Quote:
Markus, do you really need to post links in order to ask whether pictures of scantily clad minors are illegal or immoral?
yo Robb,

I never asked if scantily clad minors are illegal or immoral. I asked if web sites like this one: [link removed -- MEB]

There is no nudity and the link directly relates to my question. If you don't like the link, don't press it!

How about I change my question around a little bit:

How might these sites effect the future attitudes of teen girls and guys who partake in this activity. I mean, it is entirely possible that in 20 years I meet some girl who has pictures floating around on the internet of her half nude when she was 17. Or an employer may be able to do the same thing. Maybe this belongs in the IMHO section, cause I just want to know what other people think about this stuff.;j

Last edited by MEBuckner; 03-19-2002 at 11:54 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-19-2002, 10:17 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Um, excuse me, but I was under the impression that posting porn links on this board was, um, illegal?


BTW, how do we know for sure these girls aren't actually 18 and over and just look really young? I'm 23, but some people think I'm as young as 17.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-19-2002, 10:42 PM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Guinastasia said:
Um, excuse me, but I was under the impression that posting porn links on this board was, um, illegal?
I don't know about illegal, but certainly against the rules. However, not one of the links have any nudity, which would normally be a prerequisite for "pornography". Or maybe not, if you are of the "I'll know it when I see it" type of person.

If they were 18 or over, I suspect they would be nekkid, otherwise, they wouldn't be getting any hits! And after all, the sites are making money through advertising.

Disgusting? Sure. Illegal? I would love to hear someone explain how.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-19-2002, 11:07 PM
capacitor capacitor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Wait a minute. Teens are supposed to be never seen and never heard? Then ban the teens from participating in pro sports. Have everyone be over 18 to be in any sport on TV. Figure skating, gymnastics, anything.

And the women magazines are much worse in showing teens being scantily clad. Ban them too. Or is it that the teens in the site in question are not selling some cologne or sneakers or dancewear. Probably that's the reason for the angst: they aren't being used as commodity.

Jeez. Some kids will show off. That's how they are.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-19-2002, 11:10 PM
capacitor capacitor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Ok, I'd admit: some of the photos are tasteless.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-19-2002, 11:29 PM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
I'll leave it to the mods to decide whether the links violate board policy. For myself, I found the cites linked to be very obviously capitalizing upon the sexualization of underaged girls. I find that very disturbing.

Is it illegal? I couldn't say. Certainly they seem to be trying to "live in the cracks" of child pornography definitions.

Is it immoral? Maybe(assuming that the girls pictured actually are underaged). While the cut-and-dried legal distinction between a protected minor and an emancipated adult is little more than a societal fiction, the principal that adolescents in general lack the experience, maturity, and perspevtive to inform their decisions is not. While these girls might feel in control and insulated from any repercussions of these photos, I fear that they are not.

Whether my fear is correct, I hope never to learn. In fact, I hope that I am wrong and that none of these girls is ever troubled by the actions they are taking or by the actions of others upon seeing these photographs. These are the types of risks that adults must be allowed to take in a free society. They are also the types of risks that we try to guard our children against.

Without knowing the specifics of each individual case I cannot say for certain that moral bounds have been violated, but I am deeply suspicious that such cites could exist and prosper without an adult presence willing to encourage/cajole/manipulate the girls' participation. And I doubt very seriously that such a person is acting under a moral code which I would find acceptable.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-19-2002, 11:40 PM
Tsubaki Tsubaki is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
I'd like to think that by the time my daughter hits puberty, I would have taught her something about respecting her body and herself.

I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, these girls are MINORS, and although they aren't naked, their pictures are certainly suggestive. Guys aren't looking at these pics thinking "Aaww, isn't she cute?". So I think they shouldn't be allowed.

But basically I think the parents of these girls are pretty slack in their parenting.

Oh, and if these kind of sites aren't nefarious, then why aren't their sites of half-naked teen boys catering to teen girls?

I can't help thinking that some of these girls are going to be pretty embarrassed in five or ten years time.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-19-2002, 11:54 PM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 10,205
Moderator's Note: We have enough links at this point to sustain a debate--possibly too many links, and I have in fact removed one link which seemed to really be pushing the line.

Please proceed with the debate. Do not proceed with posting links to websites featuring ever-more prurient pictures of teenage girls.

Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-20-2002, 12:11 AM
erislover erislover is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
After scrolling through the main link in the OP I must comment... perhaps we should ban Hooters, too, den of iniquity that it is.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-20-2002, 12:12 AM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Ah, I love it! Moderate moderators moderating in moderation!

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-20-2002, 12:22 AM
even sven even sven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
I don't think these sites should be illegal.

Heck, I've got plenty of picturesof myself in my teen years that fit the content of these sites. All from my everyday life. The difference here is the context. And try as I might, I can't see perfectly legal speech rendered illegal by context.

Yeah, it probably isn't the best thing for these girls, but the world is full of bad things. It doesn't seem like the conceivable harm that these sites present are pressing enough to make major exceptions to protected speech.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:18 AM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Mother of three here, two teenagers and one pre-teen.

"Free speech" considerations aside, yes, I think sites such as teenplanet.org border dangerously on kiddie porn, because the whole point of the website is, "Underage Girls!!" It's plastered all over the page, with a big red arrow no less, pointing to a teen in a bikini, "She's under 16!"

If not actually "kiddie porn", still it's deliberately catering to KP tastes, and yup, I'd say "ban it".
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:20 AM
Robb Robb is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
originally posted by MarkusGoneAwry
If you don't like the link, don't press it!
Given the brevity of your OP, how would I know what the link is without seeing where it goes?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:23 AM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
You can have pictures of pretty girls in bikinis posted on a Website without making an issue of their extreme youth, their "underage-ness", their "jailbait" qualifications, their "forbidden-ness". That's the thing that I object to.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:30 AM
D_Odds D_Odds is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Queens
Posts: 9,843
Quote:
Originally posted by Spiritus Mundi
I'll leave it to the mods to decide whether the links violate board policy. For myself, I found the cites linked to be very obviously capitalizing upon the sexualization of underaged girls. I find that very disturbing.

Is it illegal? I couldn't say. Certainly they seem to be trying to "live in the cracks" of child pornography definitions.

Is it immoral? Maybe(assuming that the girls pictured actually are underaged). While the cut-and-dried legal distinction between a protected minor and an emancipated adult is little more than a societal fiction, the principal that adolescents in general lack the experience, maturity, and perspective to inform their decisions is not. While these girls might feel in control and insulated from any repercussions of these photos, I fear that they are not.

Whether my fear is correct, I hope never to learn. In fact, I hope that I am wrong and that none of these girls is ever troubled by the actions they are taking or by the actions of others upon seeing these photographs. These are the types of risks that adults must be allowed to take in a free society. They are also the types of risks that we try to guard our children against.

Without knowing the specifics of each individual case I cannot say for certain that moral bounds have been violated, but I am deeply suspicious that such cites could exist and prosper without an adult presence willing to encourage/cajole/manipulate the girls' participation. And I doubt very seriously that such a person is acting under a moral code which I would find acceptable.
Here Spiritus, I agree with you completely.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:52 AM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Heh. What were D_Odds of that happening.


*ouch* I'm sorry. I must be punished.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:57 AM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Duck Duck Goose,

Interesting perspective, but I find it a bit scary. Is it "almost" kiddie porn because it explicitly says "underage girls"? Again, what about fashion magazines? Just because they are selling a product, then that context is OK?

Also, you say "it deliberately caters to KP tastes." How so, exactly? At least the girls are already past puberty. As Guinastasia mentioned, perhaps they are actually 18 and over. I struggle to reconcile these two perspectives.

Society values youth in sexual partners. Should it be surprising that a market for this exists? Should either the teens or the website operator be held responsible for that market demand? If such sites weren't allowed to exist, would it push more eyeballs to the Candy Man style groups?

As for a teen in a bikini, I can go down to my neighborhood pool and see those all day long. When did that become dangerous? Last summer, there was one young girl, definitely in high school, probably sixteen (maybe seventeen), that showed up in a thong. She certainly got the attention she desired, most obviously from the teen boys, less obviously from the adult males. The adult females looked a bit stressed, but I wonder if they were simply jealous? Don't most women, and alot men, wish they still had the bodies they had at sixteen?

even sven seems to take a more reasonable perspective (the context perspective). Otherwise, where will you draw the line? Is it just the marketing you object to? Or do we simply deny that teens are also sexual beings?

BTW, father of two, one in kindergarten, one toddler.

I also agree with Spiritus Mundi's post, but I wonder if he/she meant to say:

Quote:
Spiritus Mundi said, except for the word in bold:
...but I am deeply suspicious that such cites could not exist and prosper without an adult presence willing to encourage/cajole/manipulate the girls' participation. And I doubt very seriously that such a person is acting under a moral code which I would find acceptable.
If not, I didn't follow that exact point.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-20-2002, 10:18 AM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
No.

I am suspicious that they could exist . . .
because I suspect that they could not exist . . .
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-20-2002, 10:24 AM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
OK. Then what does the phrase, "such a person" refer to in the second sentence of the portion I quoted? Are you referring to the teen there?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-20-2002, 10:53 AM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
even sven
Questions of free speech should always be evaluated in context, and certainly the legal standards of the US have long been such. The classic example is yelling fire in a crowded theater. The word "fire" is not the problem.

I cannot think of any way in which a word or phrase might be deemed objectionable/actionable/illegal which does not take context into account. Context is necessary to establish meaning. Without meaning, a word is simply a signifier (either a written structure or a sequence of phonemes or, in this case, a pattern of electronic bits). Extending "speech" to "visual representations" does not change this fact. Meaning is still derived from context. Artists have been using that fact to great (or not-so-great) effect for a number of years.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-20-2002, 11:04 AM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
The antecedent of "such a person" is "an adult presence".
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 03-20-2002, 12:40 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Do you people think that it makes any difference that the web site is being created and run by teens, and guys in their early 20's? Also, if you feel inclined, take a look at the website's policy on nudity and child pornography. Many people involved are way against child pornography. Hell, often the people running the sights are children. Also, what role do you think web-cams have in this whole thing. Undoubtedly a huge portion of pictures on these websites come from webcams that girls in college use to create these pics.

Also, to whom was interested, these sites also exist with pics young men on them. However, they are more geared towards gay guys than women.

markus
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 03-20-2002, 06:41 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Oh crap-I meant it was against the rules!

Quote:
Originally posted by AZCowboy

I don't know about illegal, but certainly against the rules. However, not one of the links have any nudity, which would normally be a prerequisite for "pornography". Or maybe not, if you are of the "I'll know it when I see it" type of person.
D'oh!

I'm sorry-I meant it was against the rules! I'm sorry!

You're right, it's not illegal, but prohibited on this board.

I guess I saw all the "illegals" mentioned above, and typed it without thinking. Nevermind. I am so freaking STUPID!!!


Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 03-20-2002, 06:57 PM
Tsubaki Tsubaki is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by MarkusGoneAwry
Do you people think that it makes any difference that the web site is being created and run by teens, and guys in their early 20's?
No, I think it makes no difference. Because the target audience (ie. randy men) is the same.

Currently, Japan has a real problem with child prostitution. The problem is the children are PROSTITUTING THEMSELVES. Girls are having sex with older men for money, clothes and other brand-name goods, and they see nothing wrong with it.

Should we excuse this because the girls are doing it of their own free will?
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 03-20-2002, 07:20 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Posts: 31,246
I have to admit that I'm quite amazed at the number of SDMB posters who want to restrict free speech by banning something that doesn't meet any conceivable legal definition of pornography. I find the willingness to ban things you don't like more disturbing than the teenie booty sites, which are, I freely admit, tasteless as all hell.

Are these sites tasteless? Yes. Should they be banned? Good Lord, no. If these people want to look at tasteless pictures they should be free to do so.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 03-20-2002, 08:58 PM
Duck Duck Goose Duck Duck Goose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
The Supreme Court definition of obscenity:

) A thing must be prurient in nature
2) A thing must be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value
3) A thing must violate the local community standards

If it meets all three of these things, it is obscenity.


IMO:

1. Yes, the website in question is definitely prurient in nature.
2. Yes, the website in question is completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value.
3. As far as "community standards" go, I will repeat my point, which is that it's not the pix of the teen girls in bikinis as such that I find offensive. It's the studied appeal to the needs of those who get their jollies from looking specifically at underage girls. I understand that there are probably millions of teen girls out there who are busy posting bikini-clad pix of themselves on their websites. I don't have any problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the way this particular website is organized so as to feed the needs of "hubba hubba Lolita lovers".

And in the community where I live, community standards do not permit "hubba hubba Lolita lovers" to have their needs fed.

If they were just pix of girls in bikinis without any particular big deal made of their being underage, I wouldn't give the website much more than a big " ". Eh, so it's Pinup City, BFD.



BTW, I'd like to warn everybody that if you put DotCom after teenplanet instead of DotOrg, you get a definite porn website, so be careful when you're typing it into the Address window, as happened to us. When the Better Half came home from work, I told him to go look at the OP's website and see what he thought, and not listening to instructions, he typed in DotCom instead of DotOrg, and we both got a nice closeup look at a (presumably over-18) teen girl's mons veneris as she pulled down her bikini bottom for our viewing pleasure.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 03-20-2002, 09:19 PM
D_Odds D_Odds is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Queens
Posts: 9,843
For anyone who might be under the impression that this is simply a website created and run by late teens-early twenties without a clue:

teenplanet.org is an affiliate of teenbeauties.net and teenplanetnude.com. Teenplanet is an atomic frog production and part of the atomic frog network. 1999-2002 atomic frog / Teen Planet, Teen Beauties, Teen Planet Nude - All Rights Reserved. Atomic Frog Media, INC. 1999-2002.

These are porn providers in search of a different customer base.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03-20-2002, 11:18 PM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I wonder how many of the people who want to ban the sites like in the OP also want to shut down the kiddie beauty pagents?

That being said, there seems to be an under-current of "Its a gateway thing." Like how pot is supposedly a gateway drug which leads users down a slippery slope to crack, heroin, and other things. The thinking is that by looking at underage girls scantily clad, you'll soon switch to looking at them totally nekkid (and worse).

There are worse things in the world than these sites. Anybody see the pro-anorexia sites? Those are truly disgusting and vile things.

As for why the sites are making a big deal out of the fact that the girls are underage (and I do believe that there are sites of underage boys as well), let's not forget that old saying, "Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest."
__________________
***Don't ask me, I don't post here any more, and I'm probably not even reading this now.***
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 03-20-2002, 11:46 PM
Tabris Tabris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
I've actually wondered about these sites myself on occasion. I stumbled onto one some time back--a rather more tasteful one than some other people seem to have encountered, as well; it played up the "non-nude" aspect more than the "under 18". I will admit freely that I browsed the site and it didn't even occur to me until later the dubious nature of it. But then, I'm not that far beyond the age of the girls on the site myself, so they were still mostly perceived as being in my general age range.

There's no dispute these sites are aiming for a perceived loophole, and it's quite plausible they really AREN'T doing anything technically illegal.

But the main thing that strikes me aside from that is, with a few exceptions, all the pictures on the website are either:

a) Taken from everyday context--bikini photos, etc.

or

b) Taken and provided by the girl in the photo

IOW--nobody was being forced into this. And they ARE all past puberty as well, so the sexualization is if nothing else biologically unsurprising. These girls have reached the age where they ARE sexual, as much as some people like to pretend teenagers aren't.

I do find the idea of horny 50 year old guys getting off to these sites disturbing. OTOH, I wouldn't give a damn if some horny 15 year old guy was drooling over them. But what are you gonna do, implement some sort of reverse age-check system? Yeah, sure.

So, given that the pictures are volutary or from everyday context, I see no reason to ban these sites just because the idea of SOME people viewing it makes me uncomfortable.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03-21-2002, 10:42 AM
erislover erislover is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Duck Duck Goose
1) A thing must be prurient in nature
2) A thing must be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value
3) A thing must violate the local community standards
  • prurient: marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire; especially : marked by, arousing, or appealing to unusual sexual desire
Pardon me, but does that seem to anyone else like a little question-begging?
2) Meet Conan the Barbarian.
3) Um, huh? No community ever wants something like a legal pornography shop in it. Does this mean we should ban pornography shops? They certainly contribute to what many would consider to be (1).

I think this definition is just vague enough to apply to whatever anyone wants to stretch it to be.
Quote:
I understand that there are probably millions of teen girls out there who are busy posting bikini-clad pix of themselves on their websites. I don't have any problem with that.
I can't see why you don't, seeing as it meets the same qualifications above. You'll note that the above definition of obscenity has little to do with who it caters to.
Quote:
If they were just pix of girls in bikinis without any particular big deal made of their being underage, I wouldn't give the website much more than a big " ". Eh, so it's Pinup City, BFD.
This makes no sense to me. The content doesn't change when we remove the words. The audience would doubtfully change. It being SCOTUS-defined "obscenity" wouldn't change.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 03-21-2002, 12:02 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Tabris

But the main thing that strikes me aside from that is, with a few exceptions, all the pictures on the website are either:

a) Taken from everyday context--bikini photos, etc.

or

b) Taken and provided by the girl in the photo

IOW--nobody was being forced into this.
I don't see how this makes much of a difference. If there were a site that featured graphic nude photos of underaged girls, would it be given a pass if all the photos were submitted by the girls themselves? Of course not.

The claim that "nobody was being forced into this" would be important in a case involving adults, but it is difficult to determine the truth of this when the participants are underaged. A seventeen year old may be as capable of making an informed decision about what to do with her body or pictures of her body as an eighteen year old, but what about a fourteen year old? A twelve year old? Even if it were proven that the girls were not coerced in any way, they are still too young to be able to make these sorts of decisions on their own. They can't understand all the implications and potential consequences.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 03-21-2002, 01:15 PM
MrAndrewV MrAndrewV is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
To those who feel that the original web site SHOULD be made illegal:

I think that we need to pause to see why it is that we have such a strong reaction to the idea of young girls/boys having sex or being seen in sexual poses.

See I was under the impressoin that the reason why having sex with minors was bad was because it would cause grievous psychological harm to them and not because it SEEMS to be 'just wrong'.

Cause the thing is that if it can be shown that none of the girls in the photos have been psychologically scared by their actions would you then be happy to let the site go on? Of course not. It would still offend your morals and make you feel uncomfortable. That is of course the problem: somewhere along the line we stopped worrying about the kids and instead started worrying about how WE feel.

There was a really great art exhibition at the Grahamstown Art Festival a few years back that almost got the artist arrested. Basically it was a series of photos os very young boys and girls doing normal boy and girl things in playgrounds, on the beach etc. None of the photos were posed or staged they were just snaps of the kids playing. The problem? All the kids were completly naked. Naturally there was an outcry. People were braying for the guys head, screaming that it was pornography and they completely missed the point.

The artists point was that the in order to be pornography there would have to be a sexual angle to the art correct? Well kids weren't doing anything sexual. They were just being kids. If anyone found the photos to be sexual in any way then that element of sexuality did not come from the childern and it did not come from the photos, it came from THEM the viewer and THAT is where the problem lay.

Nowadays people are so stirred up against kiddie porn (and rightly so!) that they seem to want to perceive any image of a young person as being porn. Now I know that the web site featured above is clearly aimed with a sexual angle but none of the girls who submited the photos has been harmed by them.

With this in mind I feel that there is nothing wrong with the web site at all.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 03-21-2002, 01:33 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by MrAndrewV
Now I know that the web site featured above is clearly aimed with a sexual angle but none of the girls who submited the photos has been harmed by them.
I don't see how you could possibly know that.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 03-21-2002, 01:42 PM
Tabris Tabris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Lamia pontificated:

Quote:
I don't see how this makes much of a difference. If there were a site that featured graphic nude photos of underaged girls, would it be given a pass if all the photos were submitted by the girls themselves? Of course not.
Legally? No. But who ever said the law was necessarily right? I wasn't arguing the law, but what I would consider ethical. And if the person in the photo is submitting the photo willingly, I don't care WHAT the photo is, nude or otherwise.

Quote:
The claim that "nobody was being forced into this" would be important in a case involving adults, but it is difficult to determine the truth of this when the participants are underaged. A seventeen year old may be as capable of making an informed decision about what to do with her body or pictures of her body as an eighteen year old, but what about a fourteen year old? A twelve year old? Even if it were proven that the girls were not coerced in any way, they are still too young to be able to make these sorts of decisions on their own. They can't understand all the implications and potential consequences.
The problem is the chronological age has about diddly squat to do with any of it, I'm afraid. The magic number 18 is wishful thinking. I'm sure there are plenty of under-18 year olds with the mental maturity to know what they're doing; there are also "adults" in the world who don't have the mental maturity to manage their own lives, nevermind anything else.

Bottom line, if the person is mature enough to decide and is willing, I have no qualms whatsoever, regardless of age. Unfortunately, there's no good way to measure mental maturity that I'm aware of. But the magic 18 number seems utterly stupid to me.

Furthermore, I'll also agree with what MrAndrewV had to say, as well as noting that overreaction to sexualized pictures of kids who have passed puberty smacks of self-delusion. Once those hormones kick in these teenagers ARE sexual beings. Deal with it.

(Deliberately sexualized pictures of pre-pubescent children, OTOH, is disturbing because the sexualization must have come from OUTSIDE, implying coercion and potential harm.)
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 03-21-2002, 01:52 PM
Tabris Tabris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Lamia objected:

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by MrAndrewV
Now I know that the web site featured above is clearly aimed with a sexual angle but none of the girls who submited the photos has been harmed by them.
I don't see how you could possibly know that.
I don't see how you could possibly know otherwise.

The question, I suppose, is which is more likely, or which should be the default assumption.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 03-21-2002, 02:16 PM
Spiritus Mundi Spiritus Mundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
How curious, MrAndrewV is apparently able to not only read minds but perceive how people *would* think in a given hypothetical situation.

Here's a test for you: imagine what I am thinking now.

The increased sexualization of teenagers is an issue with very real social and individula costs. Confusing the onset of puberty with the mental and emotional maturity to engage in sex is a common mistake--usually it is made by teenagers. Neither you nor I have any grounds to argue that any model on these sites has or has not been harmed by their participation. Now, I do not argue that the sites should be baneed, but I do argue that they are ethically suspect and potentially harmful. Your insulting and inaccurate assessment that such an opinion is based upon "how [I] feel" rather than "worrying about the kids" notwithstanding.

Your example of the Grahamstown Art Festival is, of course, off point unless you wish to deny that teh sites in question create a specific context of sexuality in their presentations of these images. Nice herring though, brilliant scarlett and all the right scales.

Tabris
The age of maturity, as I noted originally, is nothing more than a social and legal fiction, but it symbolizes a truth about human development. Magic 18 may be "stupid" to you, but you have pointedly failed to provide any alternative measure by which society can judge individual competence. Physical capacity is a non-starter. A 5 year old can pull a trigger. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to hand one a revolver.

I will note, BTW, that we have in this country something known as an "emancipated minor". If the girls on these sites have all gone through the process to have a court certify their competence to form adult judgments and determine their own course, then my objections would diminish accordingly.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 03-21-2002, 02:18 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Tabris


I don't see how you could possibly know otherwise.

Ah, but I haven't claimed to know otherwise.

MrAndrewV has claimed that there is nothing wrong with such sites because the girls involved were not harmed at all in any way. As he is in no position to know this, his argument falls apart.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 03-21-2002, 06:53 PM
TwistofFate TwistofFate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
The thinking is that by looking at underage girls scantily clad, you'll soon switch to looking at them totally nekkid (and worse).
That isn't a fashion site. Its not a teen interest site. It is a site for people with internet access to look at explicitly stated underage girls in a sexual manner, regardless of clothes or not.

And Fashion and Modelling magazines do have rules concerning the ages of models used, and the manner in which they are portrayed.

these websites do not.

The people who run these sites are no better than child pornographers. They are not paedophiles, but Morally they are destitute and corrupt.

legally, we cannot touch them as they do not display underage nude pictures, but morally these people aren't fit to lick Milosovic's scrote.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 03-21-2002, 07:21 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
The people who run these sites are no better than child pornographers
If this is the case, then child/teen actresses like the Olson Twins, whose parents who allow their children to dress the way they dress would be considered child pornographers as well.

or no?
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 03-21-2002, 09:08 PM
Tabris Tabris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Spiritus Mundi pointed out:
Quote:
The age of maturity, as I noted originally, is nothing more than a social and legal fiction, but it symbolizes a truth about human development. Magic 18 may be "stupid" to you, but you have pointedly failed to provide any alternative measure by which society can judge individual competence. Physical capacity is a non-starter. A 5 year old can pull a trigger. That doesn't mean it's a good idea to hand one a revolver.
Point taken. But just because, off the top of my head, I can't think of a better measure of individual competence does not mean one cannot exist. It doesn't seem like a good idea to keep a fairly arbitrary, absolute threshhold without even bothering to attempt to concoct a better one.

Quote:
I will note, BTW, that we have in this country something known as an "emancipated minor". If the girls on these sites have all gone through the process to have a court certify their competence to form adult judgments and determine their own course, then my objections would diminish accordingly.
So why not replace the magic 18 with something similar? Some standardized method of determining said competence. It'd seem to make more sense than an arbitrary number.

This is diverging somewhat from the issue at hand, though--if you're interested, it might be better to take this issue up in a different thread, if you'd be interested.

Lamia remarked:
Quote:
Ah, but I haven't claimed to know otherwise.

MrAndrewV has claimed that there is nothing wrong with such sites because the girls involved were not harmed at all in any way. As he is in no position to know this, his argument falls apart.
Strictly correct, yes; but the exact same failure would befall an argument that the sites must be shut down because the girls ARE being harmed in some unspecified way. Chances are, neither is completely true. The question is, which takes precendence? The girls there who do know what they're doing, or the girls who are harming themselves?

Unless the potential harm can be demonstrated as fairly severe, I'm inclined to say the former, personally.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 03-21-2002, 09:27 PM
buckyogi buckyogi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
The OP asks if these sites should be illegal. This raises the question: "illegal where?" teenplanet.org's Web server is in Ontario, Canada. Even if they were outlawed in the U.S. it wouldn't affect this site in the least. Of course, that brings us to the thorny question of U.S. citizens accessing such a site...
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 03-21-2002, 10:20 PM
AZCowboy AZCowboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
TwistofFate said:
And Fashion and Modelling magazines do have rules concerning the ages of models used, and the manner in which they are portrayed.

these websites do not.

The people who run these sites are no better than child pornographers.
Funny, I could agree with your conclusion, just not your arguments.

Perhaps the fashion and modeling magazines just overlooked their rules when the Calvin Klein campaign came out a few years ago featuring underage kids in underwear posed provocatively. Perhaps they just didn't know that Milla Jovovich (and many, many others) was underage when she appeared nude in their magazine pages, or practically nude on their catwalks.

You say these websites don't have rules. Isn't no nudity a rule? And isn't that rule more restrictive than even that great in loco parentis, Jack Valenti and the MPAA?

How else can you explain Pretty Baby, with a prepubescent Brooke Sheilds, nude, playing a character being raised to be a whore, and receiving an R rating?

And what about Lolita, a movie about pedophilia, also receiving an R rating?

This is mainstream stuff, at a theatre near you, and on the magazine racks at your local retailer.

But clearly this site crosses the line. Due to context. Right.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 03-21-2002, 11:10 PM
MarkusGoneAwry MarkusGoneAwry is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
The OP asks if these sites should be illegal. This raises the question: "illegal where?" teenplanet.org's Web server is in Ontario, Canada. Even if they were outlawed in the U.S. it wouldn't affect this site in the least. Of course, that brings us to the thorny question of U.S. citizens accessing such a site...
I wrote the OP and I was referring to Non Nude teen websites, not specifically teenplanet.org, although that site is a good exmple of a NN website.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 03-22-2002, 06:25 AM
TwistofFate TwistofFate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by AZCowboy
[B]Funny, I could agree with your conclusion, just not your arguments.

Perhaps the fashion and modeling magazines just overlooked their rules when the Calvin Klein campaign came out a few years ago featuring underage kids in underwear posed provocatively. Perhaps they just didn't know that Milla Jovovich (and many, many others) was underage when she appeared nude in their magazine pages, or practically nude on their catwalks.
AZ, thank you. I do believe that I was talking out of my ass. I was under the assumption that the Magazines had rules, but apparently not. Mea Cupla.

Quote:
You say these websites don't have rules. Isn't no nudity a rule? And isn't that rule more restrictive than even that great in loco parentis, Jack Valenti and the MPAA?
I see their No Nudity policy as being a way to present underage girls as objects of sexual gratification for older men. It is simply a means to an end.
I don't know enough about the Jack Valenti issue to comment at the moment, but I will do some research and get back to you.

Quote:
How else can you explain Pretty Baby, with a prepubescent Brooke Sheilds, nude, playing a character being raised to be a whore, and receiving an R rating?
I havent seen the movie, so I won't comment on what I don't know about.
Quote:
And what about Lolita, a movie about pedophilia, also receiving an R rating?
This one is murky water. Lolita is a study of a man who is at war with his own judgement. To me, and this is just my opinion, Lolita is the arguement between Passion and Morality, the interplay of a man at the mercy of his desire, and the torture of society's Morals.

Quote:
But clearly this site crosses the line. Due to context. Right.
Here is the difference, which I think is what you are saying also. Lolita does not say, "Check it out! Underage girls! not naked but scantily clad and damn hot!"
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 03-22-2002, 08:25 AM
buckyogi buckyogi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by MarkusGoneAwry


I wrote the OP and I was referring to Non Nude teen websites, not specifically teenplanet.org, although that site is a good exmple of a NN website.
I understand that, Markus, but just as your point can be inferred from a specific example, so can mine. If the Web server for a given site is physically outside the United States, it is unaffected by U.S. law. And if a type of site is outlawed in the U.S., what is to stop the Webmaster(s) from moving it to a server outside the U.S.? So my questions stands: illegal where?

It seems that I have read (I can't recall sources) that the rest of the civilized world does not have the taboos against teenage sexuality that we have in the U.S., and that teens tend to turn into well-adjusted adults anyway. Perhaps teenage sexuality is not the problem, but rather our puritan taboos against it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.