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It is important for every person to know the law before engaging in sexual activities. These activities range in anything from sexual intercourse with another person to looking at pornography (both on the World Wide Web or elsewhere), to sexual harassment on the job or in academia. Child Pornography The viewing, distribution, and/or making of child pornography, or “kiddie porn,” are ILLEGAL. There are 7 states where the possession of child porn is not illegal, but it is illegal to produce or distribute such material in these states. Child pornography is a big problem in the United States because it exploits innocent children who might not understand why they are being photographed naked. Children in this situation can become emotionally traumatized, resulting in distress that is difficult to remedy. The Internet is making the problem even worse, for it is now easier for men who enjoy child pornography to view it. But viewers in the 43 states where it is illegal are committing a crime, one that has serious consequences for those who get caught. Internet Porn The World Wide Web has become the information and communication tool of choice in the past decade. With this boom came an explosion of pornography on the Web, making it is easily accessible from the privacy of one’s computer terminal. There is nothing illegal about adults viewing sexual material, but who is stopping children from doing the same? Websites with nude people and/or sexual interactions generally have the disclaimer that “no one under 18 may enter.” They also say that the viewer is responsible for his or her own actions and must be aware of the laws in their community regarding the viewing of such material. While this may relinquish any legal responsibilities the website has regarding illegal viewing, it does not stop young people from viewing porn. Programs such as Net Nanny and others allow parents to block their children from reaching these sites, but parents often don’t use them.
It is important to know that in the United States it is illegal for anyone under 18 to view pornographic material, on the Web or elsewhere. The government is trying desperately to find ways of patrolling the Internet to curb illegal activities; but many obstacles lie in their path, and a solution does not seem near. The Web can be a great informational and learning tool, but it can also be a place for illegal activity
Mobile Porn In many nations pornography is one of the most controversial forms of media. It is present in many aspects of media, from the internet to movies and magazines. There is a new mode of pornography that is expected to emerge from a surprising location—the Apple iPhone. According to Time Magazine, the new iPhone 2.0, which is expected to come out in summer 2009, will bring about a new, mobile form of pornography. With better video and graphics, the updated cell phone will allow for easy and convenient porn for those on-the-goes. There are even hundreds of websites that have been created especially for future iPhone users. Apple claims that there will be parental controls for the internet on the iPhone 2.0, but there are a number of critics who are quite worried. Opponents of this new outlet for pornography are concerned for the possibilities of exposure to young children. The iPhone 2.0 is expected to be released in over 75 different countries around the world, making the issue a global one. It will be fascinating to see how much of an impact the iPhone has among pornography fans, and what new types of porn will emerge next! Obscenity In determining whether sexual pictures are appropriate in our society, the word “obscene” has become a favorite among legislators. Factual pictures are OK, but obscene images are not. The problem is, nobody knows how define the word obscene, especially in relation to pornographic material. “I know it when I see it” is Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition, but feminist activist Gloria Steinham has a completely different one. The fact is, something may seem obscene to one person that is aesthetically acceptable to another. So is there any objective way to determine if pornography is obscene or not? The most modern view is based on sexual criteria. If the work comes across as clearly offensive to the community as a whole, it may be considered obscene. However, a work may not be considered obscene if it has any artistic or literary value, maybe even political or scientific value. Finally, to be obscene the material as a whole must
incite lustful interest in sex. These three guidelines are the ones used by the U.S. Supreme Court when it tries to determine whether or not something is obscene. But as we saw already, sometimes it is hard for even the Justices to follow these rules, as ever case is unique.
Snuff Films: Brutal Truth or Urban Myth? Since the first pornographic film was released in America the business has slowly evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. However, with the technological advances of the World Wide Web, DVD discs, and hand-held cameras, pornographic films are not only being created by production companies but also by amateurs and sexual deviants as well. This increased ability to produce and distribute pornography has brought a higher demand for certain viewers, which in many cases has led to the widespread circulation of unlawful or obscene material. Child pornography is easily the most frowned upon type of explicit pornography, however, the awareness behind a more mysterious and extreme type of pornography still remains relatively unseen—the underground art of the snuff film. By common definition a snuff film is a highly graphic and sadistic pornographic depiction in which an actor or actress in the film is sexually coerced and eventually murdered in the culminating sequence. The concept of the snuff film first received mainstream attention in the release of the horror film Snuff (1976). Filmmaker Allan Shackelton stirred heavy controversy with the film’s widespread release as it contained on-screen footage of a brutal murder in the closing scenes. The murderous depiction was so graphic that rumors began to be spread that the scenes were actual images of a filmed killing. In the midst of the Charles Manson serial murders and the growing publicity surrounding the film, Shackelton did little to dispel the outlandish rumors. In fact, historians believe that Shackelton was actually fueling the controversy by bribing women’s groups and actors in the industry to protest the films release. Since Snuff’s release in the mid 1970’s, the infamous motion picture has lead to over thirty years of belief, disbelief, and FBI/private investigations over the matter. Law enforcement has dealt with several elaborate hoaxes of snuff films; however, to this day the existence of such films in the underground world of commercial pornography has
yet to be validated. Although genuine evidence of snuff films has never been uncovered, there is still a strong fascination and belief in the subject. Many members of the public strongly believe that there is an extensive pool of snuff films in circulation. Common reasoning behind this belief comes from the fact that a market for murder and death does exist in society. Sequences of murder, assassination, and accidental death are a popular form of expression and entertainment across the globe. In the 1980’s the video series, Faces of Death, attracted many viewers with its explicit images of death caught on camera. This trend has continued as other television programs have capitalized on this general interest (i.e. specials on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and World’s Wildest Police Chases). In addition, the assassination of Saddam Hussein and other video footage deprived from world politics have all been viewed heavily from online resources. Consequently, the general belief in the snuff films persists because footage could potentially generate immense profits. On the other side of the spectrum, there is a belief that snuff films are nothing more than an urban myth. This opinion is derived from the concept of the snuff film itself. It was the brutality and mystery of the crime that created such an interest in Snuff and other related films, and one could state that the lucrative concept is what has inspired multiple snuff motion pictures over the last thirty years—not as tools to illustrate the reality of such crimes. Moreover, some theories claim that continued belief in snuff films is only a method of denouncing pornography as a whole. One could support this notion as the potential existence of snuff films only casts a darker shadow upon the already controversial topic of pornography in society. From the knowledge that has been gathered, there is no clear answer to the mystery behind snuff films. However, if underground production of such videos is a reality, it is astonishing to believe that no proof that snuff films involve actual deaths has surfaced over the last thirty plus years. In addition, if there is an underground market for snuff footage, the criminal risk one would need to take for the creation of the videos seems unnecessary, considering the advancements in special effects and make-up cinema has seen over the past several decades. In all, the answer behind the snuff debate is inconclusive; however, the universal awareness of such films is vital, especially in our everevolving sexual age.
Sexual harassment issues first appeared in law in the 1970's, when women and their lawyers began arguing that various kinds of sexual behavior resulted in the exclusion of or discrimination against women. This was illegal because it violated the US Civil Rights Act of 1964. Courts began to rule in agreement with this position in the late 70's. In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared that sexual harassment was illegal because it discriminated against women. The EEOC also defined what constituted sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual conduct that occurs in the workplace or school. Sexual harassment can be divided into two basic types, harassment that creates an unpleasant environment, and 'quid pro quo' harassment. Quid pro quo refers to the practice of offering employment or advancement in exchange for sex or sexual favors. Harassment that creates an unpleasant environment can include behavior such as sexist jokes, repetitive requests for sex, inappropriate touching, continued staring, the displaying of pornographic materials, or anything else that can be proved to create a "hostile work environment." Sexual harassment suits target the complainant's employer, so there are concerns that the accuser will face retaliation for accusing her superiors. For this reason, there exist laws that protect the rights of an accusing employee. Employers cannot fire or demote an employee because of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Incest Incest is defined as sexual activity between close family members. It is looked down upon and forbidden in a large majority of cultures. In most Western societies, incest is illegal and punishable by law. There is some evidence that incest was controversial in ancient times, practiced by the Egyptians but frowned upon by the Romans. Incest sometimes appeared in royal dynasties, in order to keep wealth and political power within the royal families. Although there is some evidence of incest occurring in the past, it was by probably not too common. Incestuous marriages did occur, but they certainly were rare. Looking at the statistics today, it seems that incest is not as uncommon as people may believe. It is estimated that one in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Of sexually abused girls, over half are abused by their biological fathers. Uncles and stepfathers are the other leading offenders. Ninety nine percent of sexual abusers are men, and many of these men were themselves abused as children. Although most sexual abuse victims
are females, males account for at least a quarter of those abused (ICASA). Incest is often though of as sexual assault of children and can be a form of rape in many cases (RAINN, 2006). However, incest can also be consensual. In some cases, incest can occur between two consenting adults who may enjoy the act and their relationship. This is not often the case though, and incest can result in long-term negative consequences. Children who are victims of incest frequently experience the following:
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withdrawal depression sleeping and eating disorders anxiety guilt academic problems
Children and adults who are victims of incest may develop a fear of sex or other sexual disorders. They may have a difficult time trusting other people, especially if the offender was someone who was once trusted by and close to the victim
I. Ages for legal purposes Age of simple majority Under Singapore law, the legal age of majority for entering into contract is twenty-one (21) years. Age of consent for sexual activity The legal age of consent for sexual activity is sixteen (16) years. http://www.lawnet.com.sg/freeaccess/women.htm Age of consent for marriage The legal age of consent for marriage is eighteen (18) for female and male persons. Avoidance of marriages where either party is under minimum age for marriage Section 9. A marriage solemnized in Singapore or elsewhere between
persons either of whom is below the age of 18 years shall be void unless the solemnization of the marriage was authorized by a special marriage license granted by the Minister under section 21. [26/80]
II. Rape Section 375 of the Penal Code states 'A man is said to commit 'rape' who, except in the case hereinafter, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the five following descriptions: a) Against her will; b) Without her consent; c) With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death or hurt; d) with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and her consent is given because she believes herself to be lawfully married or to whom she would consent; e) With or without consent, when she is under fourteen (14) years of age.' Section 376 determines the punishment and states Subsection (1): 'Subject to subsection (2), whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty (20) years, and shall also be liable to fine or to caning.' Subsection (2): 'Whoever, in order to commit or to facilitate the commission of an offence of rape against any woman a) Voluntarily causes hurt to her or to any other person; Or; b) Puts her in fear of death or hurt to herself or any other person,
-and whoever commits rape by having sexual intercourse with a woman under fourteen (14) years of age without her consent, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than eight (8) years and not more than twenty (20) years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than twelve (12) strokes.' Article 90 defines consent and states 'Consent is not a consentas is intended by any section of this code a) if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequence of such fear or misconception; or b) If the consent is given by a person who, from unsoundness of mind or intoxication, is unable to understand the nature and the consequence of that to which he gives his consent; or c) Unless the contrary appears from the context, if the consent is given by a person who is under twelve (12) years of age.'
Sexual violence International Prevalence of Childhood Sexual Abuse The sexual abuse of children is a widespread problem in virtually all societies. Sexual abuse in childhood refers to sexual relations that occur between a child and an immediate family member, any other adult, or a peer. These interactions can range from touching to other forced sexual behaviors, such as vaginal or anal penetration. While only a few studies have been successfully conducted (due to the hesitancy of children to discuss this taboo subject), statistics indicate that surprisingly large percentages of children all over the world have been subjected to sexual abuse. In a study conducted of Costa Rican college students in 1992, thirtytwo percent of women and thirteen percent of men reported unwanted sexual activity while growing up. In 1993, thirty percent of sampled women in Barbados reported undesired sexual contact with a relative or someone more than five years older than them before age sixteen. Yet the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact is not limited to foreign countries. In a 1997 study conducted in the United States, a startling
twenty-three percent of girls surveyed in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades reported having experienced uninvited and unwanted touching in sexual ways.1 Mental and Physical Affects Sexual assaults on children can result in many mental and physical side effects that have the potential to place the victim in a lifethreatening situation. Both women and men can be affected by sexual abuse that they experienced during childhood, but women tend to report more profound trauma than men. Regardless of the sex of the victim, researchers have found one of the most traumatic experiences is the act of being penetrated. Studies also show that the majority of sexual abuse crimes are committed by men that the victim knows. Some evidence indicates a connection between abusers and a history of having been sexually abused in childhood themselves.2 The aftermath of sexual abuse is not limited to psychological healing, however. As with any instance of unwanted sexual contact, physical concerns about pregnancy and disease arise, and children are especially ill equipped to deal with these issues. If a child has been sexually molested, he or she will often not feel comfortable turning to relatives, since the perpetrator is often a family member or family friend. In some countries, there are few institutional places for a child to turn, leaving him or her without adequate emotional and physical assistance. Sexual abuse of both male and female children poses a serious risk for the spread of disease, especially in developing nations, countries with high rates of HIV infection, and areas with inadequate access to protection (such as condoms). Often times, sexual perpetrators victimize children while engaging in other risky sexual behaviors and not using condoms, thereby increasing the risk of the spread of disease. Non-monogamous sexual contact without protection is risky regardless of the context, but when large numbers of the population have sexually transmitted diseases, spreading them to children only exacerbates burgeoning epidemic situations. For girls who have been sexually assaulted, pregnancy is also a major physical concern. Since many girls who are raped were not previously engaging in sexual relations, they often are not already on birth control. This places them, if they have had their first period, at risk for pregnancy. Statistics indicate a substantial number of sexual violations occur when girls are in their teens and have probably already gotten their period.1 Similar to the situation with sexually transmitted
diseases, many girls do not have anyone to turn to, since their relatives or family friends may have been involved. Domestic Violence Domestic and dating violence consist of actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological, or economic abuse of an individual by someone with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship with. It is usually a pattern of behavior that deals not only with violence, but also with power, control, and fear. This type of violence can include threats and actual physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It is especially damaging because the perpetrator is someone whom you trust or once trusted. It is often hard to leave a situation like this because of the emotions or family ties that are involved. The most important thing to realize is that the abuse is not the victim’s fault. It is also important to realize that no one deserves to be treated this way and that nothing you did provoked it. Staying in the relationship will not stop the abuse. Even if he says it won’t happen again, you cannot be certain that it won’t. Domestic violence tends to be a pattern of behavior that often increases over time. Not only is the victim affected, there may also be children and other family members who become involved and affected. It is important to get out of an abusive relationship for your safety and theirs. Many communities offer shelters and 24-hour hotlines to help victims deal with leaving their partners. It is important to contact these professionals to help you through this situation. Sexual Predators in Cyber Space With the technological advances in our current society, the internet has become a prime place where sexual predators can lure children and teens into dangerous situations. Using chat rooms, email, and instant messaging can put a child at risk to encounter a sexual predator. The internet also allows for a shroud of secrecy, in which predators can lie about who they are to pacify a child or teen into a false sense of security, quickly building trust. Parents and their children need to work together to protect against online predators.
How Can Parents Protect Their Kids from Online Predators?
Talk to your kids about potential online dangers. Just as you would tell a child not to give out personal information to a
stranger on the street, tell them that they should never give out personal information online. Use parental control software that monitors your child’s online activity and allows you to choose what they can view on the internet. Monitor your children’s use of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Regularly check their profile to make sure no personal information is posted and to assure they are talking to people they know. If your children use chat rooms, make sure you know which ones they are using and who they are talking to. Check the content of the conversations in those chat rooms to make sure it is appropriate. Keep the home computer in a common area of the house, so the computer screen is easily visible. A predator trying to lure a child will have a much more difficult time with a parent watching the comments on the computer screen. Tell your kids never to respond to instant messaging or emails from strangers. If your children use computers at friend’s houses, the public library, their school, or other areas find out what the safety guards are on those computers. Make sure there are established rules if your children decide they want to meet someone from online in person. Tell your children that you have to accompany them and that the meeting place must be a very public area.
How Can Kids Protect Themselves from Online Predators? Give your children the following rules:
• • •
Never download images from an unknown source or someone you have met online. Tell an adult immediately if anything occurs online that makes you feel frightened or uncomfortable. Never reveal personal information about yourself or your family online. Don’t include personal information on your profile for social networking sites. Stop all communication with any online stranger who starts asking questions which are personal or sexually suggestive. Never agree to meet someone you have met online in person, without choosing a very public meeting place and having a parent or guardian accompany you.
Definition: Rape is defined as “nonconsensual oral, anal, or vaginal penetration, obtained by force, by threat of bodily harm or when the victim is unable of giving consent” Disclaimer: While men can also be victims of rape, the majority of rape victims are women. Hence, we will refer to the rapist as he and the victim as she. This helps simplify the writing but it does not mean that men cannot be victims. Rape is a crime of violence--not passion. It is a traumatic and lifethreatening experience--one that cannot be forgotten easily. It leaves a victim full of fear, doubt, and anger. Not only does it affect the victim, the pain ripples through her family and friends. Rape can take years to get over, if victims are ever able to fully recover. The most important thing to remember is that survivors are not to blame for the crime. Date Rape Although most people imagine rape to be committed by strangers in dark alleys at night, it is actually true that the majority of rapes are committed by someone that you know. Date rape and acquaintance rape are forced or unwanted intercourse with someone that you know. Both are acts of violence, violations of your body and rights, and are crimes. Rape is an attempt to exert power and anger over another person. Most rapists are sexually aggressive to make up for their insecurities. Forcing sex makes them feel stronger and feeds their egos. Gang Rape While acquaintance rape and date rape, which are commonly referred to as the same thing, are the most common types of rape, there are also several other types of rape that occur. The first is gang rape, occurring when a victim is sexually assaulted by more than one person. This type of rape tends to take place where there are pre-existing male bonds, such as on athletic teams, in fraternities, and within military units. According to a study done in 1991 by Boeringer, Shehan, and Akers, gang rapes tend to include more alcohol and drug use, fewer weapons, more night attacks, less victim resistance, and more severe psychological outcomes than individual rapes. Marital Rape The next kind of rape is marital rape, which is probably underreported and takes place in our society more often than most people think. This occurs anytime a wife is forced to have sex with her husband when she
does not want to. Women who are victims of marital rape also tend to be victims of verbal and physical abuse from their spouses. Some others may believe the abuse was the fault of the victim because for not eagerly providing sex to their husbands as they “should”. Until recently, there was no legal basis in the United States for a victim to claim marital rape. Defining and making martial rape illegal is a positive step in reducing its occurrence and empowering its victims. As in all instances of rape, it is important that the victim is not blamed for her rape, or expected to have sex with her husband just because she is married to him. Prison Rape A third type of rape is prison rape. This type of rape usually involves male on male forcible contact. It is believed that this type of rape may occur for several reasons, which are to assert dominance, to “prove their manhood,” to satisfy sexual needs, and to exert power over other inmates. In most cases the assailant considers himself to be heterosexual, and is usually not prosecuted for the offence. Wartime Rape Another type of rape is wartime rape. Since ancient times it has been a common military war tactic for an attacking army to invade a village or city and rape the women there to establish dominance over and to humiliate their enemy. Nearly every war has had a history of women being raped by opposing soldiers. In most countries, it is now a punishable offence to carry out acts of rape on enemies as a means of gaining a militant advantage. Motivations for Rape While it is unclear what motivates a person to commit an act of rape, there are certain motives that have been classified. The first is power. Power rape is basically being motivated by the desire to control and dominate the victim. Most often the intent in these kind of rapes are not to injure the victim, but more to gain control by using just enough force to get a victim to comply with the rapist’s wishes, but not enough force to actually hurt a victim. The next motivation for rape is anger. Anger rape is generally very spontaneous, as emotions take over the rapist and make him do things he normally wouldn’t do if he had a chance to think about it. Sexual gratification is typically never sought by the rapist; instead the rapist is consumed by a resentment towards women that makes him feel as though something should be done to punish them and achieve some
type of revenge. Anger rape is more violent than power rape, and more often than not, it occurs between two total strangers. Sadism rape is another motivation for rape. Sadistic rapes are usually preplanned and have a history of being the most brutal, with tactics such as torture, bondage, and sexual abuse involved. This is the least common type of rape, which is fortunate because it is the most gruesome, with the rapist getting pleasure from hurting and degrading his victim. Finally, there is rape as a means of sexual gratification. Most acquaintance rapes and date rapes fall into this category, where only enough force is used to compel the victim to comply; and where violence only occurs if the victim offers resistance of some sort. This is the most common type of rape. Common Rape Situations Rape usually occurs when a man and woman are alone together, but they do not need to be completely alone. Some rapes occur in bedrooms at parties or when roommates are in the other room. Complete isolation is not needed for a rape to occur. Alcohol and drugs are usually significant factors in date rape situations. These substances affect the judgment of both the rapist and the survivor. The man might not hear “No” and the woman might have difficulty expressing her negative feelings about the situation because she is too inebriated. Roofies are another drug that can make the victim pass out and put her at risk of rape. If a victim is under any type of influence and is not capable of giving consent, sexual encounters are actually rape. It is important to use moderation when using alcohol to reduce your chances of being raped, or raping someone else. Causes of Rape There are three main causes of rape: socialization, mixed signals (miscommunication), and changing times. Socialization explains how men and women are raised to have different gender roles. Some men are socialized to be aggressors and some women are socialized to be the nonassertive peacemakers. These roles often play out in date rapes if men become more aggressive and women become more passive-because that is their "role". Date rape sometimes results from mixed signals and miscommunication. This can occur if the woman does not know what she wants and changes her mind as she goes. Instead, women need to
set clear boundaries before the interaction begins. Men must also realize that "No" means "No." Some males think that they just need to persuade the woman if she says "No". This is not true. If a woman says “No”, she means “No” and he should stop there. Changing times have altered our ideas about sex in general. Women are beginning to engage in sexual activities at a younger age. More women are using birth control and having sex. These factors combined may cause men to have a general assumption that they are going to have sex on the first date. This assumption, when turned down, can cause the male to get upset. Some men may believe that they are entitled to sex after a certain number of dates. However, women always have the right to say “I don’t want to", “I don’t know you well enough", or “I don’t love you” to prevent an unwanted situation or event to happen.
Rape by Women Occurrence Although it is not commonly reported, or even discussed, females commit a significant number of rapes. It has been estimated that around 10,000 rapes committed each year in the United States are perpetrated by women. In fact, many experts believe that this number is an under representation, due to the fact that female rapes are very rarely reported. Characteristics Victims of female rape are usually older, weaker, or handicapped. Frequently, female rapists use objects to sodomize, rape, and overpower their victims. However, most females accused of rape are accomplices to male rapists and do not physically violate the victim. Children are the most frequent victims of female rape. This usually takes form in statutory rape, or sexual intercourse between an adult woman and a consenting minor. Studies have shown that women involved in these relations are frequently seeking a substitute lover because they are alone, have a low self-worth, or are in a bad or violent relationship. Female rape of children can also take the form of incest or child molestation. In both of these cases, victims are not likely to come forward because the perpetrator is female. Why Women Rape
Studies have shown that female rapists are driven by the same forces as their male counterparts: power, hostility, violence, alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, and opportunity. Many female rapists were themselves victims of rape, incest or molestation at some point in life. Also, female accomplices to male rapists are commonly forced by threat of bodily harm to help in the perpetration of the crime. Male Victims of Female Rape Female rapes of men go largely unreported by male victims, and few men seek counseling or support. Men who do talk about their experience show similar effects as female victims of rape: loss of selfesteem, self-blame, fear of intimacy, and depression. Because many states do not include women in their rape statutes, female rapists go largely unpunished. Men are also discouraged from bringing female rapists to trial for fear that a judge or jury will not believe their story.
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