- Hardcover: 260 pages
- Publisher: NYU Press (1 Aug. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814742629
- ISBN-13: 978-0814742624
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,630,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Beyond Tolerance: Child Pornography on the Internet: Child Pornography Online Hardcover – 1 Aug 2001
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"A detailed yet engaging account. . . . Engrossing"
"This is a troubling book that exposes how child pornography has found a safe haven on the Internet. Philip Jenkins's innovative research methods let him explore and map the secret electronic networks that link individuals whose deviance seems not just outrageous, but incomprehensible. Jenkins shows how culture and social structure emerge in a virtual--and decidedly not virtuous--world. This book raises profound questions about the nature of deviance in an electronic future."
-Joel Best, University of Delaware
"A useful introduction to the methods that the kiddie-porn community uses to hide its activities"
-The Washington Monthly(Nov. 2001)
"There is much of value in Jenkins' work. He manages to discuss CP calmly, while at the same time making clear his personal revulsion, an achievement in itself in an area characterized by so much hysteria."
-The Journal of Sex Research
"Magnificently readable social science on a widely misunderstood subject."
“A detailed yet engaging account. . . . Engrossing”
“This is a troubling book that exposes how child pornography has found a safe haven on the Internet. Philip Jenkins’s innovative research methods let him explore and map the secret electronic networks that link individuals whose deviance seems not just outrageous, but incomprehensible. Jenkins shows how culture and social structure emerge in a virtual―and decidedly not virtuous―world. This book raises profound questions about the nature of deviance in an electronic future.”
-Joel Best,University of Delaware
“A useful introduction to the methods that the kiddie-porn community uses to hide its activities”
-The Washington Monthly(Nov. 2001)
“Magnificently readable social science on a widely misunderstood subject.”
“There is much of value in Jenkins’ work. He manages to discuss CP calmly, while at the same time making clear his personal revulsion, an achievement in itself in an area characterized by so much hysteria.”
-The Journal of Sex Research
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One point that many people might be unaware of is the fact that child pornography often involves children under five, as Jenkins suggests. Clearly this flies in the face of 'normal' sexual and reproductive urges, whereby males are only supposed to respond to females who are in the throes of puberty and beyond.
While it is certainly true to say that mere child nudity does not equate to child pornography, a common tactic of borderline sites is to place 'trigger' pictures in with legitimate 'lolita-esque' nude photos, which then lead to screens or sites that appear to offer a portal to an actual child pornography site, rather than plunging people straight into one.
The problem with writing books of this nature is that the Law is often in a state of flux. One of biggest 'gray' areas in terms of legality is the use of artificially generated/cgi child pornography. The 'pro' arguments suggest that as no children are being harmed or exploited, it doesn't qualify as child pornography. The 'contra' arguments suggest that it still involves images of adults having sex with children. At the time of writing this review, I believe it is still techincally legal.
Some years ago, a man was arrested for some sketches he made of naked adults and children embracing, without any specific suggestion of sexual contact. The counter argument to the prosecution stance made the point that drawing a sexual fantasy (or now, creating it with a computer graphics package) rather than merely thinking the same thoughts, should not be illegal, unless any attempt was being made to circulate it/them. The point being that this transition from a thought image to a cgi image, borders on the question of the Thought Crime of George Orwell's 1984, and the Inquisition logic of 'If she floats she's a witch and if she drowns, she's innocent'.
Jenkins has some solid ideas, such as monitoring message boards and the infrastructure by which the sub-net is able to operate, rather than setting up fake sites to lure in Joe Idiot who's just had a few beers, and thinking that such actions will ever impact the industry.
One of the biggest factors in the quantum growth of the 'CP' industry is the availability of white, Eastern European child victims. Previously, white children were never available in such numbers, which seems to have been a natural limiter on certain areas of this darkest of growth industries.
Sadly, where ever there is poverty, there will always be exploitation, and the online CP industry is just one part of a bigger picture - of a World and a people gone wrong, and the failure of the human race to love each other in the face of all our differences.
Yes, read this and be concerned about the sexual exploitation of children, but never forget that the greater obscenity is that 34,000 children DIE every day throughout the same world in which some rich people have gold-plated bath taps.
Because viewing child porn is illegal in America, he blocked all images on his computer and researched through the Internet chat rooms devoted to promotion of child pornography. That’s problematic from a research standpoint, and he can’t provide data (stats or numbers or anything provable), but he admits that, given the laws of this country, he couldn’t do otherwise.
The excerpts from the chat rooms are graphic, though. The offenders describe the contents of the images they’ve downloaded and tell their fellow offenders about. So it’s not hard to imagine what horrible abuses are shown.
Jenkins details the problem facing law enforcement agencies: how to catch the offenders and take down the images but maintain internet freedom and individual privacy. It’s a complex issue.
At the end, he offers several ideas to help combat child porn. The one I found most intriguing was this: make it legal for journalists and social scientists to access child porn for research purposes. Obviously, this would be problematic; the privilege would be abused, and it would be almost impossible to convince lawmakers to loosen the laws around child porn rather than tighten them. But if research could be done, we’d know what we’re dealing with. We wouldn’t be relying on law enforcement agencies for information. More solid research could be performed, with quantifiable data to back up the conclusions (rather than random numbers guessed at by child porn opponents, etc.). It’s an idea worth considering.
Quick warning. This is not a book for everyone. Jenkins includes transcripts and snippets of conversation from child porn chat rooms, and they are often graphic and always revolting. I had to read this book slowly and put it down often, and frequently my stomach was churning. If you can’t handle that because of past abuse, don’t read this book. Everyone else, wake up and realize that ignoring evil doesn’t eradicate it. You may not agree with Jenkins’ ideas or libertarian stance, but it’s worth the effort to look beyond surface differences and consider what should be done to stop child porn.