Wednesday, January 27, 2010

ALA Establishes Library Relief Fund to Help Rebuild Libraries and Archives in Cuba

Contact: Michael Dowling
ALA International Relations Office
312-280-3200
mdowling@ala.org
NEWS
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2010


CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA), acting on a resolution adopted by its Council on Jan. 19 during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, has created the “[Cuba] Library Relief Fund”  to collect monetary donations to help rebuild libraries and archives that were destroyed or damaged during the devastating [political purges, book burnings, and librarian beatings and jailings].  Donations can be made by credit card or check through www.ala.org/[cuba].

“ALA has always been receptive to helping after a natural disaster [but not political book burnings].  This fund provides the avenue for our members to do that.  It is one way that we can help the [Cuban] people rebuild their libraries,” said ALA President Camila Alire.

Libraries and archives are especially vital to all societies in helping citizens recover in time of crisis.  ALA members and other library supporters have a long history of helping those in need, whether at home or abroad, [except for librarians in Cuba].  ALA collected $500,000 in donations to distribute to libraries in the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and worked with other U.S. library associations to raise $25,000 to rebuild libraries in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.  ALA will be providing updates through its Web site on the condition of libraries in [Cuba] and will be coordinating relief and rebuilding efforts with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (USCBS) http://www.uscbs.org/ ,the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) www.ifla.org and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) http://portal.unesco.org


ALA is also urging the U.S. government, foundations and others to also provide funding for rebuilding libraries and other cultural institutions in [Cuba].

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The above is parody.  It consists only of exchanging Cuba for Haiti and of a few other truthful edits, all indicted with square brackets (except in the blog title).  In reality, the ALA wishes it could "drown" the issue of Cuban librarians beaten and jailed and their libraries and books burned.  This from the ALA's so-called Office for Intellectual Freedom.

For more on the ALA's minimal support for Cubans, see my Cuban Librarian Delicious links or read my other blog posts on the ALA refusal to support Cuban librarians

I see the ALA rushing to Haiti's aid by creating a Haiti Library Relief Fund.  I find it ironic the ALA will never create a Cuba Library Relief Fund, especially in a country where intellectual freedom has truly been extinguished and books like those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have truly been burned by the government of Cuba.

For more information, please see Friends of Cuban Libraries at www.FriendsOfCubanLibraries.org.  And yes, support the Haiti Library Relief Fund.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Volusia Co. Officials Block Internet Porn At Libraries; Permanent Filters In Place

"Volusia Co. Officials Block Internet Porn At Libraries; Permanent Filters In Place," WESH.com, 21 January 2010:

Volusia County officials are cracking down on internet porn at county libraries.
....
While all library computers have filters, adults have been able to disable them easily.  Some library-goers expressed concern that permanent filters could block access to legitimate sites.  Officials said county staff will look at individual cases and decide whether a site is pornographic or not before it is unblocked.
....
Officials said they will make exceptions for "bona fide research."
....

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Flavored Condoms for Kids in Libraries

Flavored condoms for children in public libraries?  False medical advice that will result in diseased and dead children, and taxpayer supported, no less?  You decide.  I'm not saying what to do—I'm just showing you the following:

"Interrupted By a Magazine Rack," by Gina Diorio,
CWA-NJ Conservatives with Attitude!, 20 January 2010


Wanting a change of scenery, this morning I decided to head to a local library to do some work.  I picked an out-of-the-way desk and started to settle in for what I hoped would be several hours of uninterrupted concentration.

I soon realized I’d inadvertently chosen a seat right next to the “Young Adult Magazine” rack, and clearly stacked on the bottom two shelves of the rack were copies of the “Sex, Etc.” newsletter.

Blast.

Being familiar with the Sex, Etc. project (which is self-described as “Sex Education by Teens for Teens – and which, incidentally, is a project of taxpayer-funded Rutgers University) and having blogged about it before, I knew I’d have to see what the newsletter is telling our kids.

So much for uninterrupted concentration.

I walked over and picked up a random issue – Winter 2004 – and began to browse.

The cover article, “Thinking Twice about Having Sex,” was written by a 17-year-old staff writer.  Her advice?  After discussing several wrong reasons teens have sex, she counsels, “it’s important to remember that you don’t have to please anyone but yourself.”

Hmm.  So much for any standards of personal conduct – be they socially constructed or religiously based.  If all we have to do is please ourselves, then “&$*@& the torpedoes, full speed ahead” – we’ve become our own god.

Apparently, when it comes to sex, that’s the point.

Ok, moving on.

Flipping through the newsletter, I came to an article on “Condom Shopping”, also written by a 17-year-old staff writer.  This piece I only scanned as far as the section on buying flavored condoms.  Sheesh, TMI.

Seeing that this newsletter was a few years old – although it’s still readily available to YOUR kids as they walk into the library (hmm, didn’t think about that, did you?), I thought I’d see if there were a more recent issue.

Returning to the rack, I realized I’d been wrong:  it wasn’t the bottom two shelves that were stacked with the newsletter.  It was the bottom three.

I shuffled through the stacks a bit and landed on the Winter 2006 edition.

Another condom article headlined the front page.  This one on debunking condom myths.
Myth #2: “Condoms don’t really protect you from STDs.”
FALSE: Condoms DO protect from the spread of HIV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis and any other STDs that are spread through the exchange of fluids.  An Advocates for Youth publication on condom effectiveness reports that in a study done on couples in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative, the virus was not transmitted during vaginal or anal sex when condoms were used correctly and consistently.
Condoms do not, however, protect users completely from STDs like herpes and HPV because they can be spread through skin-to-skin contact….
Sound advice from the 18-year-old author?

Unfortunately, no.

The truth – as provided by the Medical Institute for Sexual Health and reviewed by Jennifer A. Shuford, MD, MPH (who I imagine is a bit more qualified to give advice than an 18-year old) – is:
By far the most extensive research on condom effectiveness has been done for HIV.  A number of authors have performed meta-analyses (summaries) of other studies.  These meta-analyses show that with 100% consistent condom use, condoms reduce the risk of HIV transmission by about 85%.  Condom effectiveness against transmission of bacterial diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis is significantly lower than for HIV.
Conclusive evidence is lacking for condom effectiveness against transmission of several other specific STIs, such as HPV and trichomoniasis, which each affect over 5 million people annually.  Finally effectiveness is seriously limited for the many STIs which are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, since condoms do not cover all the areas of the body which may be the source of transmission.
Yeah, better watch out for those “myths” used to debunk the “myth”.

On a positive note, the Sex , Etc. newsletter did print a letter from a reader who spoke of her “moment” of unprotected sex leading to HPV (which, by the way, is the leading cause of cervical cancer).

But what’s the solution?  Well, if we’re to believe the Winter 2004 article, “all you have to do is please yourself.”  (Not sure how this relates, but hey, we can’t actually tell a girl she made a wrong choice in having sex, now can we?)  Oh, but the editors did direct readers to the National HPV and Cervical Cancer prevention Resource Center.

I hurriedly skimmed the “If Only Harry Potter Were Gay” article but decided I’d had enough.
Enough to be alarmed again (though far from surprised) that this is what our kids are reading – yes, unless you’re careful, this is what your kids are reading.  This “advice” is the counsel they’re getting.  (And don’t be fooled.  If you’re “not sure” if they’re reading it, chances are they are – or something very similar.)

Friends, adults have become cowards, refusing to challenge our kids to standards of modesty, purity, restraint, and respect – apparently believing them incapable of such traits.

I, for one, think better than that of our kids.  I, for one, think they can make good choices if we’ll only have the guts to tell them the truth and expect more of them than succumbing to the urges of today at the expense of their emotional, physical, and psychological health tomorrow.  And I, for one, think one of the greatest ways to empower kids is not to teach them to “do what feels good” but to inspire and encourage them to do what’s ultimately good for them.

If this blog post has bothered you in any way, good.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to return to my uninterrupted concentration….

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

ALA Chills Free Exercise of Democracy by Publicly Attacking Mom and Pop Groups Who Dare to Oppose ALA Influence That Endangers Children

The American Library Association [ALA] is on the attack to silence the few moms and pops who speak out against it.  I did not know how to put it into words until I read yesterday's Wall Street Journal.  Now I do.


ALA On the Attack Against Mom and Pop Groups

The top ranking member of the ALA's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" [OIF] recently attacked me (SafeLibraries) and numerous other mom and pop groups who have spoken out about how ALA policy has negatively affected their community and others.  The attack was made to the public of West Bend, WI, in a crowded gymnasium and was based on a written attack that was distributed widely by the ALA.  It was made by the then Acting Director of the ALA's OIF, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, pictured top right.  It was filled with misinformation intended to undermine the credibility of the mom and pops so as to muffle their findings of how the ALA has been directly involved in misleading the members of that community.  Indeed, the ALA was successful in its efforts and the children in that community remain exposed to harms it is legal to block.


Wall Street Journal Article on Shooting the Messenger

Before I provide the exact wording of the ALA's attack, let me first present the Wall Street Journal article that has finally enabled me to explain exactly what the ALA has done and why.  Afterwards, read the ALA's attack, keeping the Wall Street Journal article in mind.

In "Don't Shoot the Pollster; Attacks on Scott Rasmussen and Fox News Show a Disturbing Attitude Toward Dissent," by Patrick Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, Wall Street Journal, 15 January 2010, p.A17, we learn how powerful organizations use "political intimidation" and "increasingly virulent attacks" to "undermine ... credibility, and thus muffle ... findings."  If you are "willing to take on issues like ethics and corruption in ways no other[s] ... have been able to do" then "[t]he reaction against [you will be] strident and harsh."  "[T]he message [is] clear:  criticize the [powerful organization] at your peril."

The authors "view this unprecedented attempt to silence the media and to attack the credibility of unpopular polling as chilling to the free exercise of democracy."  They say, "[t]he thing most feared is independence."  They conclude by saying, "comments and recent attempts by the Democratic left to muzzle Scott Rasmussen reflect a disturbing trend in our politics:  a tendency to try to stifle legitimate feedback about political concerns—particularly if the feedback is negative to the incumbent administration."


Transcript of ALA Attack on Mom and Pop Groups

Now, keeping the above in mind, please read the following, after which I will describe exactly what is incorrect, at least with respect to myself.  This is part of a speech given by the ALA's Acting Director of the OIF, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, on 2 June 2009 in West Bend, WI:

In the past decade we have observed a more organized and more sophisticated efforts to remove books from schools and libraries.  Several Internet-based groups and organizations exist that believe that educational institutions, and even the public library, should support particular values and causes by denying a forum to competing values and causes, thereby limiting access to ideas, opinion opinions, and information.  These groups have made use of websites, blogs, and other Internet tools to identify so-called bad books and then to encourage and assist individuals who want to remove books from schools and libraries.

One such group is called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, or PABBIS.  PABBIS has campaigned for over a decade now to remove books from the Fairfax County schools in Virginia.  It maintains a particular website that has nothing but lists and excerpts of books that they believe should not be shown to children.  Ah, they provide this information to other groups to help them organize their own efforts to challenge books.

Another active group is Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, or PFOX, whose website asks, quote, Tired of seeing only gay affirming books in your public library or your child's school library?  You can change this.  Ask your county, school, or city library to order books on unwanted same-sex attraction, the origins of homosexuality, or other ex-gay books.  There's nothing wrong with this.  Library patrons are entitled to ask their library to obtain books for their interests.  But what  we're also seeing is this group advocating for the removal or restriction of books that they view as pro-homosexual as well as adding these books to the collection.

Another Internet-based organization is SafeLibraries which argues that libraries are dangerous places for children unless the library censors access to so-called "bad books" and the Internet.  Operated by a single individual, this organizi organization identifies library controversies and provides assistance to the individuals challenging books in the community's libraries.  They have done this in over 25 communities that we have identified.  Most often, SafeLibraries helps the individual mount a public campaign aimed at removing books from libraries and requiring the use of Internet filters.  In full disclosure, SafeLibraries, as a matter of policy, opposes the intellectual freedom policies and privacy standards developed by the AS ALA that are based on librarians' professional ethics and the First Amendment.

There are several other Internet-based library censorship advocates across the country.  These include Family Friendly Libraries; Library Patrons of Montgomery County, Texas; Grassroots American Values;  Pure Pioneers, and a group called Know Your Library.  Now, these groups appear to share information and tactics.  For example, Know Your Library, based in St. Louis County, Miz Missouri, just last year mounted a campaign that would ask the library to label all young adult novels as sexually explicit and to remove those books to the adult collection of the library.

Um, I'll be happy to take any questions if the Board has any for me at this point.


Listing of False Claims Made By the ALA to Undermine Credibility of Mom and Pop Groups; Office for Intellectual Freedom's Claim to Support Intellectual Freedom is Not Credible

Statement after statement in that report is either misleading or flatly false.  The irony of the "Office for Intellectual Freedom" using completely false information to fool a local populace into leaving children exposed to harm is unbelievable.  Let us go through this lie by lie:

"Several Internet-based groups and organizations exist that believe that educational institutions, and even the public library, should support particular values and causes by denying a forum to competing values and causes, thereby limiting access to ideas, opinion opinions, and information."  False.  Inappropriate material for children, almost always inappropriate for reasons of extreme sexuality such as graphic anal rape, has nothing to do with "denying a forum to competing values and causes" or "limiting access to ideas, ... opinions, and information."  Is anal rape an idea or an opinion?

In addition, the US Supreme Court recognizes, in US v. ALA, a case the ALA itself lost, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."  Legitimate, and even compelling.  Now unless the ALA wants to proclaim that the US Supreme Court is "denying a forum to competing values and causes" or "limiting access to ideas, ... opinions, and information," then the ALA cannot conclude that efforts to open the eyes of communities to the words of the US Supreme Court is wrong.  So the ALA's statement here is 100% false.

Another lie: "[PABBIS] maintains a particular website that has nothing but lists and excerpts of books that they believe should not be shown to children."  100% false.  A simple look at the web site will tell you that instantly.  There's more there than just lists and excerpts.  Further, PABBIS says:

Bad is not for us to determine. Bad is what you determine is bad. Bad is what you think is bad for your child. What each parent considers bad varies and depends on their unique situation, family and values. The main purpose of this webpage is to identify some books that might be considered bad and why someone might consider them bad.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, the ALA knows it, but the ALA instead chooses to say PABBIS lists "books that they believe should not be shown to children."  False.  The obvious effort is to undermine PABBIS's credibility.

These lies are not mistakes.  The ALA has been monitoring groups like PABBIS for a very long time.  It has thoroughly reviewed their web sites.  Yet it makes statements that are 100% false, but that are effective in misleading local communities.  The ALA and its "Office for Intellectual Freedom" clearly do not practice intellectual freedom, unless that means lying to fool people.  And the lies continue—let's go on, this time the Eye of Mordor turns to SafeLibraries:

"Another Internet-based organization is SafeLibraries which argues that libraries are dangerous places for children unless the library censors access to so-called 'bad books' and the Internet."  First, I oppose censorship—recommending communities read US v. ALA is not censorship, and neither is using Internet filters in compliance with US v. ALA.  So why the "censor" reference if it is false?

Second, my concern is not with "bad books," rather it is with advising communities that the ALA recommends books containing inappropriate material for children without providing adequate notice to the very parents the ALA claims should be responsible for their own children.  Let them be responsible by consulting ALA lists or awards and their children still get exposed to inappropriate material.  In one case, for example, I got the author of an ALA award winning book to admit he would not give his own book to his own 12 year old if he had one, yet the ALA recommended it for 12 year olds with no notice that it contained oral sex and was otherwise pervasively vulgar.

And the claim that I oppose "bad books" is false for another reason.  See how the ALA references "so called 'bad books'"?  That statement means I called the books "bad books."  I have never said that and I never will.  In all my years of writing on this topic I have done that not once.  Go ahead.  Search for the phrase "bad books" on my up-to-the-minute Safelibraries blog (search the blog here), Safelibraries.org (search the web site here), or my much older and outdated Plan2Succeed.org (search the old web site here).  You will find hits only referencing the PABBIS name spelled out or the title of a radio broadcast on which I appeared.  Not a single time do I talk about "bad books."  Not once.  I challenge the ALA to show me and Google where I reference "bad books."

The next statement burns me up the most.  "Operated by a single individual, this ... organization identifies library controversies and provides assistance to the individuals challenging books in the community's libraries."  A single individual?  I used to have a partner, Mark Decker, RIP.  He died in a tragic car accident.  He tried to stop the library in Oak Lawn, IL, from making Playboy magazine available to children.  I helped him.  We launched SafeLibraries.org.  He came up with the name, for example.  He did so much to protect the children, culminating in his village government asking the library to drop the Playboy subscription.  The ALA's OIF rode to the rescue to ensure the magazine remained available to children, yet here it is commenting that I'm the only member of SafeLibraries.  That really burns me up.  What total disrespect for Mark Decker.  The ALA does not have to laud Mark Decker, but to leave him out as it did in this circumstance is particularly cold and cruel.  And I am the bad guy for having "done this in over 25 communities that we have identified."  I guess the goal of undermining my credibility trumps respect for the dead.

Next stop, the First Amendment lie: "In full disclosure, SafeLibraries, as a matter of policy, opposes the intellectual freedom policies and privacy standards developed by the AS ALA that are based on librarians' professional ethics and the First Amendment."  That is false, but cleverly so.  It is false because of the tying together of "librarians' professional ethics" with "the First Amendment," as if they were equivalent.  Is it wrong to point out that library privacy policies should not trump national security?  Am I not allowed to point out the New York Times article were the de facto leader of the ALA wished a Delray Beach, FL, librarian had followed library privacy laws instead of turning in a 9/11 terrorist's library activities to the police days after 9/11?  Does that oppose intellectual freedom policies but lying about me doesn't?  Doesn't a statement such as that "undermine [my] credibility, and thus muffle [my] findings"?  Of course.  It is false, but the ALA's OIF doesn't let truth stand in the way of getting what it wants.

Now after besmirching me, PABBIS, and PFOX, the ALA goes on to pile on others, obviously to say they are just as bad—after all, they are "library censorship advocates," aren't they? "There are several other Internet-based library censorship advocates across the country.  These include Family Friendly Libraries; Library Patrons of Montgomery County, Texas; Grassroots American Values;  Pure Pioneers, and a group called Know Your Library.  Now, these groups appear to share information and tactics."  Share tactics?  The ALA holds seminars on sharing tactics but refused to allow me to attend!  And a few mom and pops around the country are evil for "sharing information and tactics"?  Did the "Office for Intellectual Freedom" really say that? Is the OIF's interest in intellectual freedom credible?  No.

Watch this lie—this one is the cleverest of all:  "For example, Know Your Library, based in St. Louis County, ... Missouri, just last year mounted a campaign that would ask the library to label all young adult novels as sexually explicit and to remove those books to the adult collection of the library."  Not only is that 100% false, but the ALA does not reveal that as a result of the actual activity, the library itself moved one book on its own, then two more were moved as requesting by the group.  Why?  Because it was the right thing to do!  I know because I spoke with one of the authors of one of the books that were moved.  Yet here the ALA misleads people about the truth then leaves out the full story that would have shown the group to be successful.


The ALA Lies Were Intentional; The Propaganda Fooled the Public

These lies are not mere misstatements made off the top of someone's head while giving a speech.  The speech was based on years of experience by the experienced Deputy/Acting Director of the ALA's OIF, was placed in written form, distributed widely, then personally read with limited variation from the script at a public meeting in a packed gymnasium.  There is no mistake.  The ALA flat out lied, knowingly and purposefully, with intent to deceive.  Further, since the library board voted in accordance with the ALA's guidance, ignored the "library censorship advocates," and many in the community believed the ALA's misinformation, the ALA's propaganda worked and worked well.


Conclusion Based On the Wall Street Journal Article

Now let's go back to the Wall Street Journal article.  Like what Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen reported about how Scott Rasmussen is being besmirched, isn't the ALA using "intimidation" and "increasingly virulent attacks" (calling people "censors" and First Amendment opposers) to "undermine ... credibility, and thus muffle ... findings"?

I have been "willing to take on issues and corruption in ways no other[s] ... have been able to do."  (Like my exposing of the $2.5M fraud at the Brooklyn Public Library, the $.5M Fraud at the Brownsville Public Library, the whitewashing of rape by the ALA that resulted in the ALA correcting the title and text of an article in its monthly magazine, or the ALA's ignoring Afro-Cuban civil rights, etc.)  Here are my blog posts about West Bend, WI.  Has not the ALA's reaction been "harsh and strident."  100% false lies is harsh and strident, is it not?  Clearly the message is "criticize the [ALA] at your peril," is it not?

And here's the worst part.  The Office for Intellectual Freedom's "comments and recent attempts ... to muzzle [me and numerous moms and pops] reflect[s] a disturbing trend ...  a tendency to try to stifle legitimate feedback ...—particularly if the feedback is negative to the [ALA]."  That the OIF would muzzle anyone is astounding.  How it continues to get away with this again and again is beyond my pay grade.

One thing is clear.  "[T]his unprecedented attempt to silence the ['library censorship advocates'] and to attack the credibility of unpopular [views is] chilling to the free exercise of democracy."


The ALA's OIF is Chilling the Free Exercise of Democracy

The ALA's OIF is chilling the free exercise of democracy.  Communities have a right to hear opposing viewpoints or file complaints under existing materials reconsideration policies without those people being labeled as "censors" or otherwise besmirched.  I thank Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen for indirectly helping me to understand what the ALA is doing and why.  How ironic the "Office for Intellectual Freedom" is the offending party.


NOTE ADDED 25 MAY 2012:

This blog post of mine was cited and figures prominently here:


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Adult Porn Adversely Affects Children; Morality in Media Report Reminds Libraries Why They Should Not Allow Legal Porn

Morality in Media [MIM] is reporting that adult porn adversely affects children.  This report is needed since, among other reasons, many public libraries need to be reminded why they should not allow legal porn on the Internet computers.  Besides, as US v. ALA points out, it is perfectly legal to block legal pornography from public libraries.  Yes, that case is about libraries that accept certain federal funding, but the principles remain true even if funding is not at issue.

Here is a MIM press release about the report, then possibly related links of my own authorship, then the full article referenced in the press release.


MIM Press Release



NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, INC.
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1264, New York, NY 10115

Contact: Robert Peters 1-212-870-3210




MIM paper shows that online exposure to adult pornography adversely affects children’s sexual behavior and attitudes

NEW YORK (January 13, 2010) – Morality in Media has published a 10-page paper reporting evidence that exposure to hardcore adult pornography on the Internet can adversely affect children’s sexual behavior and attitudes about sex. The evidence includes published observations of clinical psychologists, police and prosecutors, educators, rape crisis professionals, social workers and others, as well as social science research.

The paper is the second MIM publication in recent months exposing the connection between adult pornography and harm to children. The paper is a complement to “How Adult Pornography Contributes to Sexual Exploitation of Children,” a 215-page report published in September 2009. Both the paper and report are posted at www.obscenitycrimes.org (“Porn Problem & Solutions” and “Help for Parents” pages).

The January paper, “Harm to Children from Online Exposure to Hardcore Adult Pornography,” asserts that when it comes to the Internet in the United States there are “at present NO legal safeguards to protect children from exposure to pornography, and in large measure we can thank the Supreme Court itself for this tragic state of affairs.”

The paper continues, “In 1997, the Supreme Court invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to content that is ‘indecent.’ In 2009, the Court also refused to review a lower court decision which had invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to sexual content that is ‘harmful to minors.’ Today, if a child were to walk into an ‘adult bookstore,’ he would normally be told to leave...But if that same child were to ‘click’ to most commercial websites that distribute adult pornography, he could view hardcore adult pornography free of charge and without restriction, because when it comes to cyberspace, the courts think parental use of filters is an adequate solution to the problem.”

The January paper adds, “But it isn’t just the Courts who are to blame for the failure to protect children from exposure to Internet pornography. Congress, the U.S. Justice Department and FBI also share responsibility...Under the Bush administration there were successful prosecutions against online commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography, proving that obscenity laws can be enforced. But these prosecutions were too few and far between to effectively deter online distribution of hardcore adult pornography. Since the 2008 presidential election, the Justice Department (including the FBI) has not initiated any new adult obscenity cases. Furthermore, Congress hasn’t uttered a peep about the lack of enforcement.”

MIM’s January paper addresses this question:

“What then are the consequences of our nation’s failure to protect children from online exposure to hardcore adult pornography? Common sense should inform us that when children are exposed to graphic depictions of adultery, bestiality, bondage, excretory activities, group sex, incest, prostitution, pseudo child porn, rape, sexual murders, teen sex, torture, and unsafe sex galore, their attitudes about sex, their sexual desires and their sexual behavior can be influenced for the worst. The evidence compiled in this paper supports that assessment...”

Published reports cited in the January paper ran under such headlines as these:

In the general press

Five-Year Olds ‘Are Imitating Net Porn’
This is your kid’s brain on Internet porn; it can disrupt normal thought processes…
Mothers urge action on child-against-child sex abuse
The Pornification of a Generation
Web is blamed for 20% leap in sex attacks by children
Young rape offenders on the rise
Psychiatrists consider impact of Internet pornography
Violent Pornography blamed for turning boy aged 14 into a rapist
Teenage Rape: The hidden story
Porn gave kids know how to assault their friends
Net helps children start sex attacks
Many sex offenders begin young
Web skews sex education, U.S. psychiatrist warns

In academic and professional publications

Pornography use as a marker for an aggressive pattern of behavior among sexually
     reactive children & adolescents
The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth
Adolescent pornographic Internet site use: A multivariate regression analysis of the
     predictive factors of use and psychosocial implications
Early Sexual Experiences: The Role of Internet Access and Sexually Explicit Material
Web Pornography’s Effect on Children
Characteristics of young children with sexual behavior problems: A pilot study

The January paper concludes:

“It has been said that exposing children to hardcore adult pornography is a form of child abuse. There is truth in that...Those responsible for this abuse include Internet pornographers that allow children to view hardcore adult pornography free of charge and without proof of age. Those responsible also include prosecutors and law enforcement agents who have turned a blind eye to the proliferation of obscene materials on the Internet, and Congress for failing to hold the Justice Department and FBI accountable for their failure to...enforce federal Internet obscenity laws.”

Morality in Media, Inc.
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1264
New York, NY 10115
1-212-870-3222 Phone
1-212-870-2765 Fax
mim@moralityinmedia.org
http://www.moralityinmedia.org
http://www.obscenitycrimes.org

MORALITY IN MEDIA, INC is a national, [501(c)(3)], interfaith organization established in 1962 to combat obscenity and uphold decency standards in the media. It maintains the National Obscenity Law Center, a clearinghouse of legal materials on obscenity law. MIM operates the ObscenityCrimes.org Web site, where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws to Federal prosecutors. Donations are tax-deductible.



Possibly Related Blog Posts

See also these blog posts of mine:


Republication of MIM's Research on Porn's Harm to Children

For convenience, here is a republication of the paper named in the press release above:

Harm to Children from Online Exposure to
Hardcore Adult Pornography

By Robert Peters
President of Morality in Media January 2010

Introduction

In Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 57 (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court held that there are “legitimate [governmental] interests at stake in stemming the tide of commercialized obscenity, even assuming it is feasible to enforce effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles.”  [Italics added]  In other words, even if we were to succeed in shielding children from exposure to hardcore adult pornography on the Internet and elsewhere, the federal and state governments would still be justified in enforcing obscenity laws.

When it comes to the Internet, however, in the United States there are at present NO legal safeguards to protect children from exposure to pornography, and in large measure we can thank the Supreme Court itself for this tragic state of affairs.  In 1997, the Supreme Court invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to content that is “indecent.”  In 2009, the Court also refused to review a lower court decision which had invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to sexual content that is “harmful to minors.”  

Today, if a child were to walk into an “adult bookstore,” he would normally be told to leave, because it is against the law to sell pornography to children in real space.  But if that same child were to “click” to most commercial websites that distribute adult pornography, he could view hardcore adult pornography free of charge and without restriction, because when it comes to cyberspace, the courts think parental use of filters is an adequate solution to the problem. 

Parents are indeed the “first line of defense” when it comes to protecting children from harmful Internet content, but no matter how hard the government tries to educate and motivate parents, many will not install and use filter technology on computers under their control.  The reasons include the cost and difficulty of installing filters, the problem of over-blocking, parental language barriers, illiteracy & disabilities, and parental naivetĂ©, indifference & neglect. 

Moreover, most children can access the Internet outside the home at a school, library, friend or relative’s house, at a job or via a mobile device (e.g., laptop or cell phone); and all it takes is one child in a group of friends to have unrestricted access to the Internet for all to have access.
But it isn’t just the Courts who are to blame for the failure to protect children from exposure to Internet pornography.  Congress, the U.S. Justice Department and FBI also share responsibility.

In 1996, Congress amended two sections of the criminal obscenity laws [18 USC 1462 & 1465]
to clarify that distribution of obscene matter is prohibited on the Internet.  The Congressionally created COPA Commission also included the following Recommendation in its 2000 Final Report (available at http://www.copacommission.org/report/recommendations.shtml):

Witnesses appearing before the COPA Commission testified that distribution over the Internet of obscene material…and harmful to minors material continues to grow in a troubling manner.  Law enforcement resources at the state and federal level have been focused nearly exclusively on child pornography and child stalking…

Specifically, the Commission recommends that Government at all levels fund aggressive programs to investigate and prosecute violations of obscenity laws…This investigation and prosecution program should supplement the Government's existing effort to investigate and prosecute child sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, and child pornography…Such a program should be of sufficient magnitude to deter effectively illegal activity on the Internet.  

Despite this recommendation, the U.S. Justice Department and FBI continue to focus almost exclusively on child pornography and child stalking.  Under the Bush administration there were successful prosecutions against online commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography, proving that obscenity laws can be enforced.  But these prosecutions were too few and far between to effectively deter online distribution of hardcore adult pornography.  Since the 2008 presidential election, the Justice Department and FBI have not initiated any new adult obscenity cases.  Furthermore, Congress hasn’t uttered a peep about the lack of enforcement.

What then are the consequences of our nation’s failure to protect children from online exposure to hardcore adult pornography?  Common sense should inform us that when children are exposed to graphic depictions of adultery, bestiality, bondage, excretory activities, group sex, incest, prostitution, pseudo child porn, rape, sexual murders, teen sex, torture, and unsafe sex galore, their attitudes about sex, their sexual desires and their sexual behavior can be influenced for the worst.  The evidence compiled in this paper supports that assessment; and make no mistake about it, many, many children are being exposed to this vile material on the Internet.

Statements from experts

Staff reporter, “Five-Year Olds ‘Are Imitating Net Porn,’” Daily Mail (London), 11/20/09 (“Children as young as 5 are imitating sex acts at school because they are being allowed to stay up late and watch pornography, a senior MP has warned… Barry Sheerman, chairman of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee…blamed… pornography that could easily be watched by children on satellite channels and over the Internet.  He said…‘You go to infant schools now and teachers say to me: “Children come here at 5 and 6 simulating sexual behavior that they should know nothing about.’”...Earlier this year a survey warned that teenagers said they had learned about sex from pornography.  Nearly nine out of ten 14 to 17-year olds had looked at graphic images and nearly one in five viewed them more than once a week, according to research for Channel 4's The Sex Education Show Vs Pornography.”).

P. Marshall, “Generation sexting,” Daily Mail (London), 3/18/09 (“Like a real porn star, Becky is heavily made up and lying naked on the bed as the camera flashes. She could be just another glamorous model as she poses provocatively with practiced moves. But she isn't. Shockingly, Becky is just 17...She's filming herself in a friend's bedroom… Becky has not been coerced into this degrading behavior. She is posing on her own, taking photographs of herself not for profit -- but for attention. Welcome to the deeply alarming new world of privileged British teenagers who have a growing obsession with pornography...As a mother of three daughters aged 15, 14 and 12, I am well aware of the pressures children face online... My guide into this disturbing universe was a pretty A-level student. I'd come to talk to her and a group of sixthformers -- boys as well as girls -- at their prestigious school about the impact that watching pornography may be having on today's youngsters.  I certainly was not prepared to hear they were also producing it... Even taking into account the obvious fact that teenagers are prone to exaggeration, it became alarmingly clear to me that most of these teenagers were not exaggerating their involvement with pornography. ‘Everyone makes porn -- more people than you would expect,’ an articulate sixth-former told me matter-of-factly...”).

J. Sullivan, “This is your kid’s brain on Internet porn; it can disrupt normal thought processes…”  Oregonian, 12/12/08 (“‘A lot of parents are still clueless and don't appear to understand one of the primary uses of the Internet is pornography access,’ says Eric M. Johnson, a clinical psychologist and full-time forensic evaluator…The problem is that some kids confronted with pornography are captured by the images…Johnson said.  Half his caseload consists of kids in trouble for sexual behavior who mainly use the Internet to view pornography.  ‘For them it becomes something very different, and they become obsessed. They think about it all the time and they do it, and so it begins to dominate their lives.’”).

S. Garfield, “Porn addicts, sex offenders, rapists, pedophiles…,” Observer (London), 11/23/08 (“Increasingly, perversion is not just a problem for adults.  In a basement room [of London’s Portman Clinic] I met John Woods, a specialist in young people’s perversions…When he trained as a psychotherapist he began working with boys who had committed sexual offenses…His patients range in age from 9 to 21, and the majority are male…The clinic’s most recent survey of adolescent referrals showed that ‘sexually inappropriate behaviour’ dominated the caseload, with more than 50 percent of patients committing some form of sexual assault… [I]ncreasingly, Woods has found that Internet pornography is almost as serious a problem for adolescents as for adults.  ‘I do think it has profoundly corrupting effect on youngsters, and leads them into all sorts of wrong thinking, sex is instantly available, all these glamorous people…’”).

G. Lower, “Mothers urge action on child-against-child sex abuse.” Weekend Australian, 10/18/08 (“Dianne thought she was doing the right thing when she picked up the phone to report what had happened at school to her little boy…Dianne’s son had been confronted improperly by a fellow 5-year-old in a school toilet.  The case has triggered impassioned debate over what is to be done about so-called ‘sexualized’ intrusions on children, committed not by adults but by other youngsters.  Such incidents are becoming increasingly common, according to Freda Briggs, one of the nation’s top experts on child protection…Professor Briggs attributed the sexualisation of children to ‘a more highly explicit society than 10 years ago.’  ‘There’s much more sex on TV, (Children are) accessing the Internet...,’ she said. ‘What we are seeing is the replication of pornography, sex abuse or where they (children) have seen sex.  We’re paying a high price for sexual freedom; our children are being damaged.’”).

J. Bennett, “The Pornification of a Generation,” Newsweek, 10/7/08 (“Last year, the American Psychological Association put out a compelling report that described the sexualization of young girls… ‘It's not as if we get our ideas straight from porn about what a kiss should be or what sex should be,’ says Sharon Lamb, a psychologist…and a coauthor of the APA report. ‘But you do see imitation of sex that was once found only in porn. It's a kind of education to kids about what sex is like before they have a real education of it.’  That education involves seeing thousands of explicit sexual images by the time a person reaches his teenage years...”).

E. Landau, “When sex becomes an addiction,” www.cnn.com, 9/5/08 (“A lot of teenagers develop their sexuality with pornography and then discover that relational sex isn’t as satisfying, Doug Weiss [therapist and executive director of the Heart to Heart Counseling Center] said.  Pornography gives them a ‘very strong chemical hit,’ and alters ways of thinking about sex…”). 

H. Neill, “Male sex addict cases ‘increase,’” BBC Radio, 1/10/08 (“Christine Lacy, Relate Sex therapy consultant, said those with sex addiction problems felt their lives were: ‘spiraling out of control.’  She said…‘Relate counselors working with teenagers have reported that the instant availability of pornographic images on the internet and mobile phones has worrying implications for their ability to have normal sexual relationships as they grow up.’”).

“Web is blamed for 20 per cent leap in sex attacks by children,” Evening Standard (“This is London,” UK), 3/3/07 (“Internet pornography was blamed yesterday for a dramatic rise in the number of sex offences committed by children…Experts said the behavior of youngsters was being changed by ready access to sexual imagery…A shocking 143 cases involved 12-year-olds... Kevin Gibbs, co-chair of the charity's sexually harmful behaviour group, said the Internet had let everybody access pornography more easily...He added: ‘Five or ten years ago it would have been time-consuming and involved...money. But these days it's easy to access pornography online and it's also often free.  A child can get at these images within five minutes...’”).

T. Sheehan, “Young rape offenders on the rise,” Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), 7/12/06 (“An apparent jump in the number of youngsters accused of raping other children is concerning local authorities.  Three boys ages 11, 12 and 14 were in...Juvenile Court this week facing delinquency rape counts in separate cases involving children who are all younger than 10.   Last year, juvenile authorities handled 33 rape cases, with 12 involving defendants between 11 and 13 years old…Assistant County Prosecutor Melinda Seeds thinks easy access to pornography through the Internet and elsewhere is a factor in the number of youthful offenders.  The average age for juvenile rape offenders has been 14 or 15, she said.  ‘I think we are going to see it get worse. What we are seeing is pornography. Some parents have it in their homes. Everybody with a computer has it’ available, Seeds said.”).

M. Chalmers, “Juvenile sex offenders treated same as adults,” News-Journal (Wilmington,
DE), 4/22/06 (“Juveniles make up a third of people charged with child sexual abuse in Delaware and nationwide…About 60 percent of juvenile sex offenders have been abused and are acting out what happened to them, [Marc] Felizzi [who counsels juvenile sex offenders at the nonprofit Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth], said.  Others may be exposed to pornographic pictures or videos, while some may have seen adults having sex, he said…‘Sex to them is an object they see on TV or in a picture.’”).

R. Jenkins, “Violent Pornography blamed for turning boy aged 14 into a rapist,” Times
(London), 3/24/06 (“Susan Baily, professor of Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health..., believes that it is important for parents to monitor what images their children are exposed to, especially with the increasing number of TV and computer screens in most homes. She said: ‘The work I have done on children who have killed, committed sexual offenses or other crimes suggest that exposure to pornography is a factor.  It is certainly well documented in the literature.  You find that they model themselves on what they’ve seen…’”).

Staff Reporter, “Teenage Rape: The hidden story,” Irish Times, 7/9/05 (“When a children’s support agency revealed this week that it had been asked to help deal with ‘many cases’ of gang rape among teenagers during the past year, even rape crisis professionals were taken by surprise...‘We are very concerned that more and more boys are accessing their sex education from pornography,’ says Fiona Neary, [Rape Crisis Network of Ireland] executive director.  ‘Yet there are no programs to combat these messages from pornography, and other media, which are now very powerful…’  Teenage Tolerance, a survey of 14- to 19-year-olds conducted by Women’s Aid, found that 94% of teenage boys and 68% of teenage girls have seen pornography, mostly at friends’ homes...Young men in particular see pornography a major source of information about sex,’ states the report. One teen interviewed confessed to having sexually abused a younger child as a direct consequence of viewing pornography, while another said that pornography had taught him how ‘to have better sex.’”).

P. Paul, Pornified, Henry Holt & Co., 2005, p. 188 (“Watching pornography, kids learn that women always want sex and that sex is divorced from relationships.  They learn that men can have whomever they want and that women respond the way men want them to.  They learn that anal sex is the norm and instant female orgasm is to be expected.  ‘Kids today are going to run into pornography online...,’ explains [psychologist and sex therapist] Aline Zolbrod...‘They’re getting a very bad model.  Pornography doesn’t show how a real couple negotiates conflict and intimacy.’  For girls especially, Zolbrod believes pornography, particularly online, is a ‘brutal way to be introduced to sexuality,’ since much of it she deems ‘rape-like’ in its use of violence.”)

Testimony of M.A. Layden, Hearing on the Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction, Subcommittee on Science, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, U.S. Senate, 11/18/04 (“Pornography…is an equal opportunity toxin…It is more toxic the more you consume, the ‘harder’ the variety you consume, and the younger...the consumer.”).

S. Clairmont, “Porn gave kids know how to assault their friends,” Hamilton Spectator (Canada), 3/25/04 (“They were children, acting out the pornography they had seen.  One boy was 12.  He learned it from watching cable TV and clicking on pornographic ‘pop-ups’ on the Internet. Another boy was 13.  He watched it on cable and the Net.  The girl was about the same age.  She saw it on TV.  All imitated the pornography they had witnessed, engaging in acts that police say went far beyond any normal sexual experimentation that might occur at that age... Since last summer, Hamilton police have conducted three investigations into children who have been exposed to porn and then used their newfound knowledge to sexually assault other children...The actions of these three youths is more likely the result of misguided experimentation and imitation than deep-rooted deviance, says Dr. Steven Hucker, head of forensic psychiatry at McMaster University and an expert in sexual psychopathology.  Children with ‘growing minds’ who are on the cusp of puberty and are exposed to pornography might become desensitized to it and begin to think that is normal behavior, said Hucker.”).

J. Johnston, “The boy rapists...,” Mirror (London), 3/10/04 (“The youngest member of this group is just 6 – barely capable of tying his own shoe laces, yet somehow old enough to have committed the most serious of sexual offenses…All are here for a reason most will be unable to fathom: they have raped.  One of the 7-year-olds raped his 3-year-old cousin.  Another forced himself on a neighbor, barely more than a baby.  Another sodomised a fellow pupil in school...Shaheda Omar is…a psychologist, an expert in child sex abuse.  The courts turned to her when they realized the number of pre-pubescent rapists, too young to be prosecuted, was reaching terrifying proportions…‘Look, this is happening,’ she says firmly…She adds: ‘It is happening every day, in every part of South Africa.  Boys are raping, and they are not waiting until they are 18 to start.  They are getting younger and younger...‘What we are seeing is new,’ she says.  ‘We are in the middle of an epidemic’…‘Children are seeing explicit sex on TV, and without parental control to explain and put it in context’...‘A lot of children make references to pornography and this is deeply worrying. Some are obviously simply copying what they see.’”).

C. Kim, “From fantasy to reality: The link between viewing child pornography and molesting children,” Child Sexual Exploitation UPDATE, American Prosecutors Research Institute, Vol. 1, No.3, 2004 (“Sexual predators frequently use pornography as a tool to assist them in the grooming process. ‘Grooming’ is the term used to describe the process by which child molesters build trust with the child to transition from a nonsexual relationship to a sexual relationship in a manner that seems natural and nonthreatening…Ultimately, the seemingly healthy relationship is only a farce used to take sexual advantage of a vulnerable child.  Child molesters use both adult pornography and child pornography in the grooming process, albeit for different purposes…. Repeated exposure to both adult and child pornography is intended to diminish the child's inhibitions and give the impression that sex between adults and children is normal, acceptable and enjoyable….”). 

N. Wallace, “Net helps children start sex attacks,” Sydney Morning Herald, 11/26/03 (“Internet pornography was helping to spawn a new generation of sexual predators as young as six, child protection experts warned…There had been an alarming increase in children under 10 sexually abusing other children over the past few years, most of whom had used the Internet specifically to browse porn sites, the Child At Risk Assessment Unit based at Canberra Hospital said.  Cassandra Tinning, a social worker at the unit, said abusive behaviour by children included ‘oral sex and forced intercourse with other children or forced intercourse with... animals.’”).

R. Benson, “Will glut of online porn create more young sex offenders?” Citizen Magazine, 11/02 (“Although law enforcement and mental health professionals are reluctant to say that pornography causes sex crimes, most seem to name it as one of numerous, complex, related factors that serve as precursors to sexual offending… ‘The Internet just scares us to death,’ said David Flowers concerning the flood of online porn.  Flowers is a 28 year veteran with the Utah Division of Youth Corrections…Flowers, who has focused his work on juvenile sex offenders...says he is already beginning to see the edge of a disturbing trend with more teenagers regularly talking about such perversions as necrophilia, bestiality, ritualistic mutilation.  Pornography that features such obscenities is easily found on the Internet…A specialist in the treatment of adolescents who commit sex offenses, Dr. Jacqueline Page [University of Tennessee Special Problems Unit in Memphis], also sees the Internet as an important emerging issue in dealing with child-on-child sex offenses.  Particularly disturbing to her is the high probability of adolescents accidentally encountering porn while surfing the Internet.  ‘It sends the message of acceptability,’ she says, which could desensitize a teen towards sexual violence…”).

M. Becker, “School sex attacks frighten kids, parents,” N.Y. Daily News, 10/14/02 (“A kindergartner is beaten and sodomized by a gang of boys in the bathroom of his Bronx school.  Two weeks later, a 12-year-old boy is jumped by 4 other boys as he crosses the playground of a Brooklyn middle school. He escapes after they try to violate him with a wooden stick… Fondling is the most common assault.  ‘You have guys walking down the hall and grabbing girls' breasts,’ said Dr. Elissa Brown, a child and adolescent psychologist at the NYU Child Study Center.  Experts agree that most sexual abusers learn the behavior at home…Kids who commit sexual attacks often can watch anything they want on TV, have easy access to pornography, or have been repeatedly exposed to their parents' sex lives, Brown said.”).

J. Henley, “Pornography forms French children’s views on sex…,” Guardian (London), 5/25/02 (“Concern that French children’s attitude to sex is being warped by early exposure to pornography was exacerbated yesterday when eight adolescent boys were placed under formal judicial investigation for the rape of a 15-year-old classmate.  Details of the alleged crime...
emerged the day after the publication of a survey estimating that nearly half of France’s children
had seen an adults-only film by the time they were 11…Most of the teenagers said they watched pornography ‘to find out about sex,’ and nearly 40% said the films – almost invariably watched at home or at friends’ houses while parents were out or asleep – had taught them something useful. Benoit Felix, who runs an AIDS hotline for teenagers…said, it had become ‘patently obvious’ that the majority of questions adolescents asked the hotline’s staff were inspired by the pornography they are watching.  ‘They want to talk about sodomy, threesomes, group sex, gang rape, bondage,’ he said.  ‘The language they use is that of the porn world’...Michela Marzano, a philosopher and psychologist, said it was becoming increasingly difficult not to relate French children’s increasing exposure to pornography to the recent surge in cases of teenage collective rape… ‘Porn does not recognize that the other person might have a different urge to yours.’”).

K. Kelleher, “Birds and Bees; With teens and Internet sex, curiosity can become compulsion,” L.A. Times, 4/15/02 (“I had a boy who was 16 and he would be looking at pornography with his 12-year-old sister and he would turn to her and say, ‘Let’s try this,’ said [Chris] Kraft [a psychologist at the John Hopkins University Center for Marital and Sexual Health, Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit].  ‘Adolescents aren’t always ready to deal with such things.  Being exposed to explicit information can speed up sexuality of adolescents who, we know, are sexually active earlier and earlier.’”).

S. Gilbert, “A Conversation with Lynn Ponton: An Expert’s Eye on Teenage Sex, Risk & Abuse,” N.Y. Times, 01/15/02 (“Teenagers open up to Dr. Ponton, a professor of psychiatry...‘I see boys who are addicted to sex sites on the Internet that show sadistic behavior toward women. It affects those boys' sexual lives...’”).

J. McConnaughey, “Psychiatrists consider impact of Internet pornography,” AP, 5/9/01 (“Do Internet porn sites warp adolescents?  There’s no data to tell but the question needs study, said psychiatrists on an American Psychiatric Association panel titled ‘Voyeurism in the New Millennium: A Prime-Time Obsession?’  ‘The potential of seeing hundreds of thousands of such images during adolescence – I have no idea what that could do.  But I can imagine it must be profound,’ said Dr. Norman E. Alessi, a University of Michigan psychiatry professor.”).

H. Marcovitz, “Many sex offenders begin young,” Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 4/26/01 (“For weeks, a boy constantly nagged his female classmates.  His desire was for oral sex.  He was in first grade.  Two girls tied up a classmate, removed her clothes and threatened to sodomize her.  One girl is 6, the other 7.  Those cases didn’t cross the police blotter... But social workers got involved, which means the files landed on the desk of Robert Cosner, executive director of the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency...In each of the cases Cosner cited, evidence showed the children got their behavior from various media.  The boy seeking oral sex had been exposed to pornographic videotapes, he said; in the case of the two girls who tied up their classmate, social workers believe pornography also was involved...Clearly, he said, the children shouldn’t have been exposed to pornography.”).

Dr. Victor B. Cline, “Pornography’s effects on adults and children,” Morality in Media, 2001 (“Some of my porn addict patients inform me that the Internet has three major advantages in feeding their...sexual illnesses.  They call them the three ‘A's’: It's easily Accessible, Affordable, and Anonymous...I have had boys in their early teens getting into this wasteland with disastrous consequences. They told me they actively search for porn on the Internet, keying in on such words as sex, nudity, obscenity, pornography, etc. Then, once they have found how to access it they go back again and again, just like drug addicts.”).

M. Conlon, “Web skews sex education, U.S. psychiatrist warns,” Reuters, 5/16/2000 (“‘I’m very concerned about children,’ Donna Woods of the Univ. of Michigan said, adding that easily accessed pornography was portraying sex as a public event, disconnected from commitment.  It also offers a smorgasbord of aberrant behavior...‘There is going to be a big public health issue…,’ Woods told a session at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.  She said she had treated a teen-age boy who had become a zoophile through various websites that caused him to spend 16 hours a day on the Internet without eating or bathing…”).

Social science research

E.M. Alexy, et al., “Pornography use as a marker for an aggressive pattern of behavior among sexually reactive children & adolescents,” J. Am. Psychiatr. Nurses Assoc., 14, 442-453, 2009 (“Moreover…few studies investigate pornography use among sexually reactive children and adolescents (SRCAs), sometimes referred to as juvenile sex offenders...The purpose of this study was to examine pornography use among SRCAs as a possible risk marker for the development of an aggressive pattern of behavior…Specifically, we found that SRCAs who used pornography compared to those who did not use pornography were more likely…to engage in coerced vaginal penetration and forced sexual acts such as oral or digital penetration, to express sexually aggressive remarks (obscenities) and to engage in sex with animals.”).

A. Tsitsika, et al., “Adolescent pornographic Internet site use: A multivariate regression analysis of the predictive factors of use and psychosocial implications,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12, 1-6, 2009 (“The present study assessed emotional and psychosocial characteristics related to [pornographic Internet sites] PIS...In contrast, frequent PIS use, which reflects the adoption of PIS as an information source for sexual role models and behaviors, was associated with significant maladjustment regarding [Greek] adolescent conduct and social behavior.”

Y.K. Fulbright, “FOXSexpert: How teens really feel about pornography,” FoxNews.com, 1/22/09 (“One study, conducted at Malmö University in Sweden and published in 2006, answers many of the questions parents have about youth porn consumption…While sizing up youth porn consumption, investigators found three main uses for it:… 2. It’s a ‘reliable’ information source. Youth learn new things from porn -- for example, tips on different positions... 3. It’s an inspiration for sexual excitement... Another 2006 study, which examined the porn perceptions of 1,776 Danish, Norwegian, and Fenno-Swedish 12- to 20-year-olds, had interesting findings as well… Half of the participants, mostly boys, thought that porn could improve their lives….”).

C. Sabina, J. Wolak & D. Finkelhor, “The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11, 691-693, 2008 (“Overall, 72% of participants (93.2% of boys, 61.1% of girls) had seen online pornography before age 18…Most exposure began when youth were ages 14 to 17, and boys were significantly more likely to view online pornography more often and to view more types of images...Girls were significantly more likely than boys (42.3% of girls; 6.8% of boys...) to report never looking for pornography on purpose...Some boys had repeated exposure to pictures of sexual violence.”).

S. W. Kraus & B. Russell, “Early Sexual Experiences: The Role of Internet Access and Sexually Explicit Material,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11, 162-168, 2008 (“Results discovered males with Internet access during the ages of 12 to17 reported significantly younger ages for first oral sex compared to males without Internet access.  In addition, male and female participants with Internet access, between the ages of 12 and 17, reported younger ages for first sexual intercourse compared to participants without internet access.”).

T. DeAngelis, “Web Pornography’s Effect on Children,” Monitor on Psychology, 38, No. 10, Nov. 2007 (“Because all published studies about the influence of Internet porn on teen attitudes are correlational, researchers can't say for sure whether access to Internet porn causes certain attitudes and behaviors, emphasizes Jochen Peter, PhD, a communications researcher at the University of Amsterdam. But he and colleague Patti M. Valkenburg, PhD, are finding some intriguing links.  In one study surveying 471 Dutch teens ages 13 to 18, the researchers found that the more often young people sought out online porn, the more likely they were to have a ‘recreational’ attitude toward sex -- specifically, to view sex as a purely physical function like eating or drinking...In the study...the team also found a relationship between porn use and the feeling that it wasn’t necessary to have affection for people to have sex with them...In a related study...the Dutch team found a link between the type and explicitness of sexual media the teens saw and their tendency to view women as sexual ‘play things.’ The more explicit the material viewed, the more likely young people were to see women in these ways -- and Internet movie porn was the only media type to show a statistically significant relationship, they found.”).
 
B. Betkowski, “Rural teen boys most likely to access pornography, study shows,” Express News (Univ. of Alberta, Canada), 2/23/07 (“Though being curious about sexually explicit images may seem a natural part of early adolescence, pornography is a major presence in the lives of youth, said [study author] Sonya Thompson, a masters graduate student at the University of Alberta …‘We don’t know how we are changing sexual behaviors, attitudes, values and beliefs by enabling this kind of exposure.’…Other study findings show that the majority of students [ages 13-14] surveyed, 74%, reported viewing pornography on the Internet…”).

V. Lo & R. Wei, “Exposure to Internet Pornography and Taiwanese Adolescents’ Sexual Attitudes and Behavior,” J. Broadcast. Electron., June 2005 (“This study examines use of Internet pornography by Taiwanese adolescents…The results also indicate that Taiwanese adolescents used Internet pornography more frequently than traditional pornographic sources…Further, the exposure to Internet pornography relates to greater acceptance of sexual permissiveness and the greater likelihood of engaging in sexually permissive behavior.”). 

J. F. Silvosky and L. Niec, “Characteristics of young children with sexual behavior problems: A pilot study,” Child Maltreatment, 7, 187-197, 2002 (“The present study was designed to systematically investigate the sexual behaviors, abuse history, adjustment, and social environment…of young children (ages 3 to 7 years) referred to treatment due to [sexual behavior problems]…17 (46%) children had seen naked adults on TV, 13 (35%) had seen sexual intercourse on TV, 10 (27%) had witnessed their parents in sexual intercourse, 17 (46%) had seen naked adults, 12 (32%) had bathed with an adult…”).

G.M. Wingwood et al., “Exposure to X-rated movies and adolescents’ sexual and contraceptive-related attitudes and behaviors,” Pediatrics, 107, 1116-1119, 2001 (“Between Dec. 1996 and Apr. 1999, 522 single, black females 14 to 18 years old participated in the study.  Exposure to X-rated movies was reported by 29.7% of adolescents…In this study, adolescents exposed to X-rated movies were more likely to have attitudes non-supportive of STD/HIV prevention, to engage in STD/HIV sexual risk behaviors, and to engage in contraceptive risk practices…These adolescents were more than twice as likely to have a strong desire to conceive and were more than one and a half times as likely to test positive for Chlamydia.”).

K. Kurtis, “Sex Offenders Younger, More Violent,” Associated Press, 6/9/07 (“Courts have seen the number of sex offense cases involving juvenile offenders rise dramatically in recent years…and treatment professionals say the offenders are getting younger and the crimes more violent…Experts say certain trends emerge among the cases of children charged with sex crimes against other children.  Many estimates range from 40% to 80% were molested themselves.  And 42% have been exposed to hardcore pornography, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a 2001 report.”).

E. Benedeck & C.F. Brown, “No excuses: Televised pornography harms children,” Harvard Rev. Psychiat., 7, 236-240 (1999) (“The main possible effects of TV pornography that must concern us as clinicians, educators, and parents are modeling and imitation of language heard and behaviors observed…; negative interference with children’s normal sexual development…; stimulation of premature sexual activity; development of unrealistic, misleading, and/or harmful attitudes toward sex and adult male-female relationships; and undermining family values with resultant conflict between parents and children.  Much more research is clearly needed on this topic.  Because of the ethical and procedural problems surrounding research on children exposed to pornography, ideal research designs may never be possible…”).

Conclusion


It has been said that exposing children to hardcore adult pornography is a form of child abuse.  There is much truth in that, especially when children are repeatedly exposed to pornography.  Those responsible for this abuse include Internet pornographers that allow children to view hardcore adult pornography free of charge and without proof of age.  Those responsible also include prosecutors and law enforcement agents who have turned a blind eye to the proliferation of obscene materials on the Internet, and Congress for failing to hold the Justice Department and FBI accountable for their failure to vigorously enforce federal Internet obscenity laws.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ALA Ignores Afro-Cuban Civil Rights; Keeps Refusing to Demand the Immediate Release of Cuba’s Imprisoned Independent Librarians; ALA Will Not Celebrate MLK Day

Nat Hentoff says:
Meanwhile, the American Library Association keeps refusing to demand the immediate release of Cuba’s imprisoned independent librarians. Can’t the ALA spare a few words of strong support for Afro-Cuban civil rights instead of gently admonishing Fidel and Raul?

Maybe during this year’s ALA Banned Books Week here, a charred copy of the “felonious” biography of Martin Luther King Jr. can be put on display.

"Castro Racism Gets its Due," by Nat Hentoff, The Trentonian, 12 January 2010.

The ALA will obviously not be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day since it does nothing while MLK books burn in Cuba and librarians remain jailed for having libraries.  If only the jailed Cuban librarians had given inappropriate material to children, then the ALA would have given a damn.

FYI:

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