The teen "child" pornography madness, which has been a subject of great mainstream media coverage over a number of months, has been getting out of hand. I'm not referring to child pornography itself (a practice which is very despicable), but to the allegations of "child pornography" that have been popping up in the courtrooms and the mainstream media within the last number of months. I'm specifically referring to today's Generation Y a.k.a. adolescents (teenagers), who used to be called "the youth," and are being prosecuted left and right simply for doffing their clothes and taking nude pics of themselves with their camera phones or just posting them on their social networking accounts like Myspace. Let's not forget that there have been cases of teenage males having been prosecuted for filming their girlfriends in the nude (or while they're having sex with one another) and taking naked pics of them.
Just this week a 14-year-old teenage girl from New Jersey was arrested for posting 30 nude pics of herself on her Myspace account. Why did she do this, you might be asking? Because she wanted her boyfriend to see them. According to media accounts, if the poor girl is convicted, under Megan's Law, she would have to register as a sex offender and serve 17 years in prison. Currently, she's been remanded to her mother's custody for the time being. A court date hasn't been set as well.
What started this brouhaha was that someone tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which then contacted the police. The authorities began a month-long investigation into the matter, sex stinging the girl until they came to the conclusion that she did this for her boyfriend.
An even more interesting fact is that many parents and pundits have lambasted the local law enforcement officials and the district attorney's office, including Maureen Kanka (the mother of the late Megan Kanka whose murder led to her mom lobbying for the passage of Megan's Law) who publicly condemned the arrest, saying that the police should "be ashamed of themselves" for charging the youth. University of Pennsylvania constitutional law professor Seth Kreimer even believes the arrest was insane as well:
To deploy the nuclear weapon of child pornography charges shows almost as bad judgment as posting the nude photos themselves.
Another case involving another 14-year-old teen girl from Pennsylvania provides a disturbing picture of the out-of-control government's obsession with prosecuting and persecuting adolescent women and men for taking sexually-explicit pictures and filming themselves engaging in explicit sexual activity. It also shows that the state is infantilizing (more correctly, "childifying") our youth and treating them like children, while imposing government-mandated "sex education" in the public "government" schools (which is encouraging kids to have sex). Let's also not forget that most parents do not educate their children about sex, because of their uncomfortability with the subject and their irrational fear that, if they did so, their kids would pursue that kind of activity. Yet it is common knowledge that, once the young children enter their adolescent years, they will learn about sex from either their peers or watch porn (and get the wrong ideas about sex and love) or both. And, because of that, it drives them to have sex, especially when they are not emotionally, mentally, and financially ready for that responsibility. After all, teen pregnancy, while having declined somewhat over the years, is still at an all-time high and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) is very prevalent as well.
Moreover, the state doesn't get that, as long as it continues to raise teens as little children, Generation Y'ers will act out as children and not as young adults. Once they are childified, it's almost impossible for them to snap out of it and it sticks with them for the rest of their lives.
As long as the state proceeds to prevent teens from learning responsibility and behaving like adults, they will be immature, irresponsible, and insecure. This is what the state is doing to the adolescent population: it's shielding teens from growing up and learning from the consequences of their actions. If teens were allowed to marry, sign contracts, have children, take control of their education, vote, join the military, drink, emancipate themselves from their abusive parents and families, etc., they would be more likely to wait until they were ready to handle those responsibilities. While the state deserves the lion's share of the blame here, the parents deserve it just as much.
Moreover, the sex registry system creates a new criminal class, which sticks with the convicted sex offenders for life. It's almost impossible for them to lose that label. Since there are no victims and the teens who are infantilized by their parents and the state are said to be victims of "statutory rape" (used to be called "jail bait"), the state will accuse the offenders of engaging in these "rapes," considering teen women voluntarily choose to be sexually active with their male lovers (who are usually older than them) and do not cry out rape. Not only that, the offenders are required to re-register with the state whenever they move and find it difficult to land jobs, considering employers tend to be leery about hiring them to begin with.
It's time for the state to get out of this business of protecting teens. It's also time for parents to assume the role of protecting and raising their kids and teaching them about sex, so they can wait until they are ready to deal with all and any adult responsibilities.
[Cross-posted at The Freeman Chronicles.]