While the sexual and moral compass here in the U.S. generally points toward 'porn is bad', demand and access to pornography has grown to unprecedented levels. Journalist Debbie Nathan takes an objective view on the social issues surrounding it. Thoroughly researched and written in friendly language for a young audience, Nathan's "Pornography" explores how young people take a critical approach toward this medium. Step out for a lively and important discussion, 'cause we ask, we tell, right?
Debbie Nathan has another great Sex Angst Roundup. This one spotlights stories on the impact of early teen sexual activity, the decline in teens' visits to online porn sites, the continuing legal struggles over 2257, the continuing debacle that is abstinence-only sex ed, the issues posed by child porn that doesn't include real children, and the unhelpful ways we attempt to deal with sex offenders while not really making kids safer.
Meanwhile, Tristan Taormino attended the annual conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and wrote about her experience in the Village Voice. One strong reaction: There are lots of studies of sexual dysfunction but not nearly enough about sexual diversity. Below is her list of the top 5 research projects she'd love to see (anybody out there looking for a dissertation topic?):
In "See no evil, see it everywhere: The cloak of invisibility renders child pornography more terrifying and harder to do anything about," I wrote in support of journalist Debbie Nathan's call for journalists and researchers and the like to have examine exisiting child pornography for the purpose of investigating government claims about the scope of the problem and also for the purpose of examining evidence in criminal cases.
Nathan will be interviewed on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC tomorrow, November 16, at about 11:40. If you're in the New York City area, tune in to 93.9 FM or AM 820. You can also listen live online at WNYC.org, or click here for a link to the show's web site, where you can hear podcasts of the latest shows.
See no evil, see it everywhere: The cloak of invisibility renders child porn more terrifying and harder to do anything aboutSubmitted by Elizabeth on 21 October 2007 - 1:16pm
Debbie Nathan raises a taboo but important point yesterday morning: We must be allowed to see the child pornography that exists. Why? Because we can't accurately report on that which we can't see. It's a simple and obvious observation, really, and profound in its implications.
She is writing specifically about her investigation of the Kurt Eichenwald/Justin Berry story (PDF from Counterpunch), but the point applies broadly and it deserves to be amplified.
Debbie Nathan's Sex Angst Roundup ranges from the Washinton Post's look at the sex trafficking panic to an update on the Kurt Eichenwald/Justin Berry story and from Nan Goldin's artwork being yet again the focus of a censorious police investigation to the Human Rights Watch report that clearly lays out the ways that the US sex offender registries as currently administered violate human rights without protecting children. It's a "must read" -- go, check it out now. Really.
My nomination for best passage from the roundup?
Debbie Nathan, super-smart journalist documenting issues of gender and international politics, notes an interesting discrepency between the print and Internet versions of a New York Times story about a collection of porn novels based on the notion that there was a secret sex slave block in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
the Times quotes Israeli holocaust researcher Na’ama Shik saying, K. Tzetnik’s tales of sex slavery are myth. “It was fiction. Block 24 didn’t exist,” she comments.
Actually, Shik says a little more in the version that appears online today at the Times web site. “There were no Jewish whores in Auschwitz,” she adds there (click to see the onine article).