Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Is a fascination with sexy 12-yr olds a threat to real 12 yr-old girls?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) October 19th, 2012

A troll on reddit set up numerous pornographic sub-boards. One of them was called Jailbait and according to Salon and Anderson Cooper, it was devoted to pictures of 12 yr-old girls in sexy poses. These pictures drove huge amounts of traffic to Reddit, and the troll got an award—a gold plated alien bobble head doll—for his efforts.

Somehow, this reminds me of Lolita—and the fascination that some middle aged men have with prepubescent girls. But it makes me wonder whether this website was a threat (it has been taken down), and if so, to whom? Does it hurt the college aged boys who made it so popular? Does it foster misogyny? Does it encourage men to prey on these girls?

It makes me wonder what Humbert Humbert would do today. Would he even need Lolita with Jailbait out there? Or do his concerns somehow give us insight into the concerns of this modern day troll and his college boy audience?

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24 Answers

deni's avatar

Well this just sounds terrible on many levels. First, no one, aside from fellow twelve year olds, should have any interest sexually in girls that age. That is way too young for anything good to come of it. I also don’t think twelve year olds need to be put on display like that. Just seems like a breeding ground for rape, also makes me lose faith in older guys who still take the time to look at this. Even college age. What do you need with a 12 year old girl!!!!! Ugh, people.

Seek's avatar

I’m a very pro-pornography person. What consenting adults do in front of a video camera is totally up to them.

That said, I’m also firmly against harming someone without their consent.

At 12 years old, a girl is incapable of consenting to become a sex object, whether in a fantasy universe (as I would term the provocative poses) or in a full fledged porno. There is no way she can possibly understand the ramifications of her actions. I think Jodie Foster’s portrayal of a 12 year old prostitute in Taxi Driver was pushing it. Big time.

Some people are going to desire young girls. It’s always been so, and will likely always be so, simply because it is society that has determined that age of consent is 16–18 years old, and biology says age of maturity is about 11–16. My main issue is with the exploitation of specific girls who cannot make an informed decision about whether they want to be exploited.

Blackberry's avatar

I guess one can look at it a few ways.

Maybe these people use the pictures to fulfill what they need instead of doing it in real life.

Maybe some already do it in real life, which makes the pics irrelevant.

Also, Reddit is already home to a lot of teenagers. It’s not a site composed of mainly 40 year old men. The difference between 13–18 year olds looking and anything above makes a big difference.

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Valid point, but I just have to say that it could be argued that many 22 year olds cannot make informed decisions either.

Seek's avatar

@jerv Very, very true. However, we have to draw the line somewhere, unless of course there are extreme circumstances such as a mental disability.

Shippy's avatar

The mere fact that these girls were underage and posing in a sexual manner? Makes it illegal. It’s disgusting, I can hardly reply to this question I am so incensed. The site should be reported.

wundayatta's avatar

@Shippy The site was reported and the the sub-board where these pictures resided was removed. It was reported on a major national news show. Read the link I provided if you get a chance to understand more about the story.

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I could go on ad nauseum about inconsistent standards, or about how the demarcation between childhood and adulthood has been pushed later and later in industrialized nations as educational needs increase (24 is the new 18), or how we used to marry pre-teen girls here in the US a couple of centuries ago, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that cultures vary, both by location and time, and that standards of what is/isn’t acceptable vary accordingly.

@Shippy Spoken as a true member of industrialized Western society. However, legality also varies, and the internet doesn’t serve just the Western world. I would never eat dog meat our forbid my wife from sitting in the front seat of a car, but that doesn’t mean that other places don’t consider that okay, both morally and legally.

ragingloli's avatar

Don’t worry. They are already too old for me lol :P.

ucme's avatar

There’s no such thing as a sexy 12yr old girl.

Only138's avatar

“12 year old girl” and “Sexy” should never be spoken in the same sentence if you ask my opinion.

Only138's avatar

@ucme Yes. Exactly right.

bookish1's avatar

@jerv: As someone whose childhood abuse was explained away and enabled by appeals to cultural relativism, I feel compelled to interject that it’s pretty Western of you to insist on cultural relativism for its own sake.

Coloma's avatar

Some people will justify any behavior if it is in line with their desires, healthy or otherwise. I won’t comment any further, I can’t stand perverts that will grasp pun intended at the flimsiest of straws to rationalize their sicknesses. I think @Only138 said it best,
I will say that I do not think porn or anything else is the cause of sexually unhealthy behaviors, however, for those vulnerable to whatever their deviate issues are, yes, I think it is possible for someone to be pushed over the fine line from fantasy to acting out their shit.

I mean c’mon…we all know how easy it can be to rationalize what we want at times.
Exposing pedophiles to arousing sexual material of children is like leaving a fat man in a bakery overnight or an alcoholic in a liquer store.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma Still not sure I buy it. Porn is virtual. Having access to porn is in no way equivalent to gaining access to and seducing a person. I would be very surprised if most people whose obsession is with porn ever get involved with real people. Indeed, that’s the main part of the problem.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta

Regular porn yeah, maybe, but pedophiles are not in your run o’ the mill porn crowd. I dunno, who knows for sure, but it’s a slope thats slip is far more slippery than I’d care to have gambled with.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta That type of porn I am sure, feeds the viewers notion that it could be possible for them? Also porn is known to create unrealistic expectations in partners, variables above included. That said, any normal human sexual encounter is therefore less than, after looking at that. Ugh I still get mad I need to leave this thread lolll.

Blondesjon's avatar

If you have to ask it means you probably already know.

Patton's avatar

Unchecked fascination, like what used to be on reddit, might be a real threat. One of the things that the outed troll liked to do was encourage people to go out and snap their own pictures to add to the subreddits he created. That seems like it could get real bad, real fast.

ETpro's avatar

Sounds like a way bad idea to me. I know little girls, and little boys as well, can be incredibly cute, but what sexual attraction grown men and women feel toward them escapes me. There are a whole slew of changes that only begin at puberty that make for a competent adult sexual animal.

I am sure that sexual predators have prayed on our youth since the beginning of time. I only ran into one instance of it when I was a teen. I was 15 at the time and driving over to see my girlfriend. My dad’s car suddenly died on my in a distinctly bad neighborhood. A seemingly kind gentleman stopped as I was peering under the hood, and asked me if I needed some help. I explained where I’d been going, and that the ignition system had cut out on me.

The man, perhaps mid forties, said he could give me a ride over to my girlfriends house where I could call for roadside assistance or a tow. I accepted and jumped in his car with him. We’d only gone a short way when he mentioned that we would be passing right by a vacant apartment he owned, and asked if I would mind if he stopped there briefly to see what shape the previous tenants had left it in. I didn’t sense anything wrong, and said sure. He invited me into a two story house and made a show of checking each room, but as he did so he began to quiz me on increasingly intimate details of my relationship with my girlfriend. When he got off into whether I liked to have my cock sucked, I knew I was stuck on his turf with a nut case.

When he turned to investigate another room, I hung back and suddenly made a dash for the front door. I was worried he might have a weapon hidden somewhere in his place. The screen door was latched so I crashed straight through it and ran the mile to my girl’s place. I must have looked quite a state when I got there, because her mom and dad instantly asked, “What happened to you?”.

I explained the whole sordid affair. Her dad, a sheet metal worker who was a veritable mountain of a man, got so angry he packed me in his car with him, and we went back looking for my would-be abuser. We easily found the house he’d taken me into, screen door still hanging in tatters. Of course, his car was gone, but we did rendezvous with the police there and I showed them the home he had taken me into.

Apparently, mine was not the first complaint. They already had him on their radar screen. Since he hadn’t actually done anything illegal to me, they just took a report and thanked me for further confirming the guy had a problem keeping his hands off underage boys. I hope they nailed him before he nailed too many other hapless kids.

Coloma's avatar

@ETpro Wow, lucky you! Maybe he was a Jeffrey Dahmer type. Aaaaagh!
ET may have never phoned home again. ;-(

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma Yes I did get off with nothing injured but my pride.

Jenniehowell's avatar

My answer to your “But it makes me wonder whether this website was a threat (it has been taken down), and if so, to whom? Does it hurt the college aged boys who made it so popular? Does it foster misogyny? Does it encourage men to prey on these girls?”

Is Yes, Yes & Yes.

Yes it hurts the college aged boys who made it so popular because it puts them on watch lists etc. as potential predators; it has the potential to ruin their future careers because the internet is permanent to many extents; it perpetuates the patriarchal leaning toward making males more privileged and less accountable in many respects than females when it comes to sexuality & has the potential to reward negative behavior to a point that removes the responsibilities of men/boys everywhere to control their actions despite what their hormones may or may not be doing. Next thing you know these unpunished, spoiled, privileged and hormone filled boys who can’t control themselves and have no respect for women will be CEO’s and managers and Congressmen and then where will we be…. oh wait….

Yes it fosters misogyny. There is a level of respect for women that all people should have and that respect should include consent. If a woman wants to do something that is her choice but if it is done without her consent or if she is manipulated, tricked, seduced etc. then that’s not so good. There’s a long list of how this could foster misogyny but consent alone is enough for me. There needs to be a negative consequence for anyone posting pics of anyone else online without their consent in cases where those pics are being made to be sexual in nature whether they be revealing or not.

Yes it encourages men to prey on these young girls. Sites like this encourage other college age boys to do the same, it attracts older than college age predators, it encourages high school and middle school boys to do the same. It motivates perverts to take advantage of loopholes that will benefit them in similar ways to this site. No matter the age there is someone already a predator who is encouraged to take advantage of the site and what it has to offer and/or there is someone younger who is taught/nurtured/prompted into eventually becoming one of these predators. Anyone who thinks that site was purely made up of college age and young boys (as if that matters) is mistaken – predators are sneaky & it doesn’t take much to trick a site etc. to get yourself on there to check out the posts and those doing the posting if you’re the right kind of predator it’s like a virtual buffet

I don’t see how that site isn’t something that would create an automatic yes for all those 3 questions. Not to mention that it may perhaps have the potential to produce violence in some manner as well. There was a response site that was posting personal info of those guys who were acting as predators to these young girls – that is dangerous on a different level for those boys posting the pics. I know for myself if I were a parent of a young girl who was on that site without her consent and I knew the name and location of the boy – who knows what may happen but I’m assuming it wouldn’t result in anything positive for me, the boy or either of our families. Similarly the same goes for the owners of the site. Parents who find their kid’s pics on that site may have a mental snap for a “time to kill” sort of scenario. Not good all around if you ask me. Not condoning violence but…..

Coloma's avatar

Well, the fact is that porn addiction/ sex addiction like any addiction is a progressive condition and often escalates to more and more risk taking behaviors. For vulnerable people or pedophiles the progression can easily go from visual stimulation via printed, online and video materials to strip clubs, prostitution, affairs etc. Again, while I do not believe that occasional use of porn is unhealthy for healthy people, it IS very unhealthy for unhealthy people and there has been much written on the subject.
It’s bad enough and sad enough for “normal” people that end up with these issues, but for a person with pedophile tendencies it very well could be a ticking time bomb that will ultimately explode in acting out.

The notion that porn is a victimless and harmless past time is simply not true for many.

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