Dear Editor, Name Title
We have a huge problem with sexual violence in this country. It is being perpetrated
against women and children at alarming rates. Numerous respected studies confirm the link of hard-core pornography
to such violence.
Victims of Pornography Month is aimed at drawing attention to this problem and
encouraging Americans to give thought to the harmful effects of pornography not only on our society but on our citizens.
Pornography is not a victimless crime. It is the most vulnerable of our population who are most at risk from pornography's effects. UNICEF reports that one million children each year are forced into
prostitution and used to make pornography. Alarmingly, we lead the world in our consumption of pornography and our participation in child sexual exploitation.
Most Americans abhor child pornography and support strong laws against it. However, what some people don't realize is that in many cases, it is soft-core pornography that is used to seduce a child into
posing for pornography or succumbing to a sexual encounter. Investigators, therapists and others who work with child victims as well as sex offenders consistently report that pedophiles and child
molesters use both adult and child pornography to 1) stimulate themselves; 2) to lower the inhibitions of the child; and 3) to teach the child how to act during their sexual encounter with the abuser.
Furthermore, pornography is not harmless entertainment. According to the reports of the 1970 and 1986 Attorney General Commissions on Pornography, youngsters between ages 12 and 17 are among the largest
consumers of pornography. They not only receive enormous sexual misinformation at a formative stage when they are least likely to discern the truth but also they tend to model what they see and hear.
Our society is experiencing a frightening rise in juvenile offenders--some of whom are committing very "adult" crimes like rape. There are documented cases of youngsters who say they learned
about how to force a weaker person to have sex by listening to dial-a-porn or watching a hard-core pornographic movie or reading a pornographic magazine.
Finally, contrary to what pornographers would have us think, all pornography is NOT protected by the First Amendment. Obscenity and child pornography are not now and have never been free speech protected
under the First Amendment. Like most Constitutional amendments, the First Amendment's free speech and free press clauses were designed specifically to prevent political oppression. Furthermore, the First
Amendment also does not protect many less offensive forms of expression including libel, slander, false advertising and perjury. Repeatedly, the U.S. Supreme Court has emphatically confirmed that
obscenity, child pornography and materials harmful to minors do not receive First Amendment protection.
These laws were passed and upheld for good reasons. A civilized society must treat her people with justice and dignity. We must for the sake of intellectual integrity seek to better understand the root
causes and contributing factors to the problems of sexual exploitation and violence in our country.
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