It’s About Time

by Jason Stotts

Many people don’t know this, but it is a felony in most places for an underage person to send a nude picture of themselves to another person (manufacturing, possession, and distribution of child pornography) or for any person to receive such a picture (possession of child pornography).  This has landed more than one adolescent in jail and on sex offender lists for life.  This is really an affront to justice and an indication of how uncomfortable Americans are with adolescent sexuality.

Thankfully, now at least some states are starting to rectify this injustice, including Florida where they are working to put new, much less severe penalties in place for adolescent caught sexting.

It’s still illegal for Florida teenagers to send sexually explicit photos, but they can now avoid severe penalties under a new state law that takes effect Saturday.

Previously, a minor who sent or received an explicit photo could have been charged with a felony and been forced to register as a sex offender, said state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, a Democrat, who wrote the bill.

Under the new law, which passed in June, a first offense is noncriminal and is punishable by up to eight hours of community service or a $60 fine. The second offense is a misdemeanor and the third becomes a felony, carrying a maximum five-year prison sentence. (LA Times)

I laud this legislation and I hope other states follow suite so that we don’t turn a generation of adolescent learning about their sexuality into criminals.


Someone asked if this means that I support the laws against sexting.  I do not.  I do not support the criminalization of sexuality or punishing people for being their natural sexual selves and failing to adhere to the anti-life and anti-man philosophy of christianity that permeates our culture.  On the other hand, I see this as a step in the right direction and positive in that regard.

Truthfully, I find the whole subject distasteful and a violation of an individual’s right to determine the course of his own life.  Look at what the supporters of the bill think:

Florida state Sen. Charlie Dean, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said the law would help teens understand their responsibilities.

“I don’t want to make it a criminal issue; I want them to understand accountability,” Dean said. “If you step outside the given norm of society, then you will pay a price for that.” [emphasis added]

He thinks that if you don’t conform to society, then it ought to have a right to punish you for that.  That certainly sounds like it conforms to the principles of individual rights to me!  We need to be more aggressive about keeping church and state separate and not letting religion punish those who don’t conform to its irrationality with the law.

1 Response to “It’s About Time”

  1. Erosophia Podcast #12: Masturbation at Erosophia

    […] 2. The victims of child pornography: the children (See also: It’s about Time! and It’s about Time) […]