Child Pornography Law In The United States

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The treatment of children as sexual objects has existed through the ages, and so too has the production of erotic literature and drawings involving children. However, pornography in the modern sense began with the invention of the camera in the early nineteenth century. Almost immediately, sexualized images involving children were produced, traded, and collected.[1]Even so, child pornography remained a restricted activity through most of the twentieth century. Images were usually locally produced, of poor quality, expensive, and difficult to obtain. The relaxation of censorship standards in the 1960s led to an increase in the availability of child pornography, and, by 1977, some 250 child pornography magazines were circulating in the United States, many…show more content…
As late as the 1880s in the United States, the age of consent for girls was just 10 years.[5]In 1977, only two states had legislation specifically outlawing the use of children in obscene material. The first federal law concerning child pornography was passed in 1978, and the first laws that specifically referred to computers and child pornography were passed in 1988. Since that time, there has been a steady tightening of child pornography laws[6](see Table 1). Table 1: Development of child pornography law in the United States Date Legislation/Ruling [7] Comment 1978 Sexual Exploitation of Children Act First federal law specifically dealing with child pornography. Prohibited the manufacture and commercial distribution of obscene material involving minors under 16. 1982 New York v. Ferber Child pornography not protected by the First Amendment. Child pornography separated from obscenity laws, to be judged on a different standard. 1984 Child Protection Act Age of minor covered by child pornography legislation was raised to 18, and distinction between child pornography and obscenity

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