Pedophilia in the media

In 1996 the law about the distribution and the possession of child pornography were changed.

A prison sentence between 5 and 30 years is now the punishment for the production of child pornography made by computer or any visual simulation in which we can see minor engaged in sexual activity. This law was changed because of the creation of a new technique called «Morphing». Thanks to this recent technic we have the ability to put any face on any body. So «Morphing» give limitless possibilities to pedophiles.

Even if we have a big legislation punishing the possession and the use of child porn, some people pretend that nowadays the society tolerates pedophilia. It’s only since the murder of JonBenét Patricia Ramsey, an American child beauty pageant queen who had been hit on the head and strangled in 1996 that Beauty pageants for children are more controlled. According to Mr Moens a sociology teacher in the Brussels university, these “beauty shows” seem to exploit the bodies of little girls since they are 6. They have to wear high heels shoes, have lipstick, false eyelashes and an elaborate haircut. They have to follow an hard training to parade down a stage. A lot of people say that this kind of show contains strong sexual connotations. What is ironic here it is that the «beauty shows» for children are financing by adults including the parents of the participating children.

According to Jean-François Raskin, a teacher of history of media at IHECS (a belgian communication school), Hollywood had also been crticized because the presence of children exposed as sex objects in some movies. The dark comedy «Lolita» by Stanley Kubrick tells the story of an adult’s obsession with his girlfriend’s teen-aged daughter.

The film comes from a novel by Vladimir Nabokov and is more or less about the same story. The professor Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he starts having sex after he becomes her stepfather. In private nickname he names Dolores, Lolita. The author of the book «Lolita» was considered by pedophilian as their flag, although the novel was never written for that purpose. Nonetheless, the novel received expanded attention. “By the time Americans read the teasing tale of Nabokov’s preadolescent Lolita in 1958 and watched it on the screen, the sexual possibilities of young girls found fertile soil amid the many baby dolls of the American imagination” said the author Paula Fass in the book «Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America».

The actress Brooke Shields played the main role in Pretty Baby from the director Louis Malle. The movie was about teen-aged prostitution and attracted a lot of attention.

At the time of this release Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver was trully criticized because the actress Jodie Foster played a part of a child prostitute in it.

It is unknown to what end or what effect salacious depictions of children have upon the public. But most people abhor the glorification of sex with children in any manner.

Every parents are afraid of child abduction. In the eighties, some people with good intentions published important figures about child abductions. The famous criminologist Edwin Sutherland once wrote : «The hysteria produced by child murders is due in part to the fact that the ordinary citizen cannot understand a sex attack on a child . . . Fear is greater because the behavior is so incomprehensible». But the fact that pedophilia is now making common place in the media is certainly not a good thing.

The idea of sex between Young people and an adult seems to be accepted now or at least tolerated and simply concidered as another life style.

Or is it, as some say, a destruction of youth, a perturbation in society that is driven by a psychological disorder, which think about children as opportunities for sexual conquest?

By Evgeny Dmitrievskiy, Sébastien Desprez and Louise Vankueken

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