Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hessick: “Disentangling Child Pornography from Child Sex Abuse”

Carissa Byrne Hessick (Arizona State, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law) has posted Disentangling Child Pornography from Child Sex Abuse, 88 Washington University Law Review__ (2010), on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the criminal penalties associated with possession of child pornography. The new severity appears to be premised on arguments that blur the distinction between those who possess images of child pornography and those who sexually abuse children. In particular, sentences have been increased based on arguments that possession of pornography is equivalent to or worse than child sex abuse, arguments that viewing child pornography increases the risk that an individual will sexually abuse a child, and arguments that those who possess child pornography are abusing children undetected. This Article identifies instances where possession of child pornography and child sex abuse have been conflated, critically evaluates the arguments that promote such conflation, and identifies independent concerns with conflation. Specifically, it argues that blurring the distinction between the two crimes allows us to continue to misperceive child sex abuse as a stranger-danger issue, and that when law enforcement statistics aggregate possession and child sex abuse, then the public may be misled into believing that law enforcement is successfully battling child sex abuse, when that is not the case. The Article concludes that the modern trend of increasing sentences for possession of child pornography ought to be reviewed, and it suggests several possible areas of reform.

MR   

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2010/04/hessick-disentangling-child-pornography-from-child-sex-abuse.html

Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef0133ec71769b970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hessick: “Disentangling Child Pornography from Child Sex Abuse”:

Comments

Post a comment