|Adult and Child Pornography: Drawing the Line|
Pornography, it seems, has always been a problem in American culture. Many Americans would disagree that it’s a problem, seeing as how more than 70 percent of men in America aged 18 to 34 visit a porn website in a typical month[i]. However, there seems to be a universal condemnation of child pornography. This is good, of course, but the real question is - what’s the difference between adult and child pornography? Once you dig into the issue, you may find that the boundaries are not all that clear.
Child pornography is generally defined as any image, video, or other media form that shows children in sexual acts or positions. Anyone caught producing, distributing or possessing it will face serious jail time.
The blurred lines begin to appear when you define the word “child”.
Legally, that means anyone from birth through age 17, but there‘s something strange about this. It’s as if society has drawn some arbitrary line in the sand saying that up to that point, it is a horrible, disgusting and illegal action for a person to appear in pornography; but then right after that point, it’s a free for all. For example, there‘s a huge market for the “barely 18“ kind of porn.
Is there such a huge difference between a 17 year old and an 18 year old that one is more mentally and emotionally capable than the other to engage in the dangerous and exploitive world of porn? Of course not, but no one really wants to deal with this. The reason why is because that would mean facing the possibility that adult pornography is just as bad as child pornography.
In the Bible, we see that all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). While there are obviously many differences between children and adults, all human beings possess this intrinsic value of being an image bearer of God, regardless of age. Pornography turns human beings into sex objects for the pleasure of the paying customers, much in the same way prostitution does. Sadly, as teenagers are viewed in a more sexually explicit context in popular media[ii], the line that separates adult and child porn will continue to blur.
[i] Wilkerson, Mike. Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry. Crossway Publishing 2011, pg. 23.
. December 2010. http://www.parentstv.org/FemaleSexualization/Study.htm