Busting Patriarchal Booby Traps: Why Feminists Fear Minor Distinctions in Child Porn Cases: An Analysis of Social Deviance with in Gender, Family, or the Home (Etudes 4)
Carmen M. Cusack, Busting Patriarchal Booby Traps: Why Feminists Fear Minor Distinctions in Child Porn Cases, An Analysis of Social Deviance with in Gender, Family, or the Home (Etudes 4), 39 S. L. U. Rev. 43 (2011)
28 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2013
Date Written: August 01, 2011
Feminism requires courts to confine the application of child pornography statutes to images that depict the actual sexual exploitation of a child. When courts broadly interpret child pornography statutes to include images of adults that would otherwise be protected by the First Amendment, they risk analyzing or ruling in favor of anti-women policies. Feminists fear that courts will undertake analyses that imply that petite breasts correlate to childhood more strongly than full breasts. Regardless of the courts’ conclusions, the analyses, would in-and-of-themselves, bolster patriarchy. This paper reviews the most current child pornography cases that analyze virtual pornography (i.e., computer-generated images that are nearly identical to real depictions of children), cartoons, or morphed images (i.e., composite hybrids of two or more images). Even though courts have held that the images did not actually depict children suffering sexual exploitation, in some cases, courts have held the images to be criminal. This paper uses feminist theory to explain how those holdings, which expand the definition of child pornography to include cartoons and composite photos, run a great risk of degrading women without furthering a compelling governmental interest.
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