I’ve posted before about the ethical questions surrounding “virtual” pornography, (especially virtual child pornography). That is, artificial representations of people (or animals) having sex. No real person was having sex, or in any way abused or humiliated.
I can see arguments on both sides, and I don’t know what the shrinks say (if they say anything). That is, would this be a way for pedophiles and others to satisfy their urges without hurting anyone, or would it make them want the real thing even more, thereby putting innocent people at risk? I don’t know.
In Australia, an appellate court has upheld the conviction of a guy for possession of child pornography on his computer. The porn in question? An animation of Simpsons characters having sex.
The judge felt that, even though Simpsons characters aren’t human-like in most ways (skin color, fingers, hair, etc.), and even though no real children or adults were actually exploited in any way, this kind of video could “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children.”
I haven’t read the brief, or seen the video. I haven’t heard the arguments on either side. But from the very little that I know, I think that this ruling is absolutely insane.
I’d like to know what the judge bases this ruling on. Are there psychologists out there who think that pedophiles start with dirty Simpsons videos before moving on to the real thing? Where does this “fuel” argument come from?
If this were a cartoon of life-like children then I could see it, but this is the Simpsons, for crying out loud. It’s hard to believe that Bart and Lisa are really titillating enough to fuel a market in live children. Am I wrong here?