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Incensed about censorship

By Melinda Tankard Reist - posted Friday, 5 December 2008


The Ninth Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in November 2003 was told by staff from the Child at Risk Assessment Unit at the Canberra Hospital that exposure to X-rated pornography was a significant factor in children younger than 10-years-old sexually abusing other children.

In the first six months of 2003, 48 children under 10 were identified as having engaged in sexually abusive acts. Access to graphic sexual images had shaped the trend. (J. Stanley, C. Tinning and K. Kovacs, Ninth Australasian conference on child abuse and neglect, 2003).

In the UK, the number of cases in which children received court orders or warnings for sex offences has jumped by 20 per cent in the past three years; experts blame the Internet, saying that the youth behaviour has been changed by ready access to sexual imagery. ("Web is blamed for 20 per cent leap in sex attacks by children", This is London, March 3, 2007.)

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The Eros Association claims to care about child protection. Yet its secretary David Watt imports adult sex magazines that glorify sex with young girls, rape and incest.

Watt is named variously as General Manager of Namda (the company name under which applications to the Classification Board were made) and, more recently on the Eros Association website as associated with Windsor Wholesale.

The titles imported by Namda/Windsor have been supplied to milkbars, supermarkets and petrol stations. The publishers claim the girls are 18+ years but the content and images deliberately make them appear younger.

Words like "tiny", "tight" and "tender" are used to describe body parts. The girls are often in pigtails and wearing braces. How many 18-year-olds are wearing braces? Headlines include "Pigtail Perverts", "Captive Virgins".

One young girl is shown exposing her sexual parts, with the words "I'm ready for my first time". She is holding a pink hand puppet. "Cute" girls known as "Little Miss Mischief", "frolic" on their beds with stuffed animals, depicted as fantasising about sex with older men.

Readers express their lust for the girls - and thank the editors for finding them so young. One is a 71-year-old man who urges editors to ensure the girls look as innocent as possible because that arouses him most.

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If that's not sinister enough, there are headings like: "Virgin Violations, forced entries". Advertisements inside the magazines promote videos including "Helpless Girls - tantalizing videos of sexual extremes". Sounds like rape to me.

Some issues advertise what sounds like incest: "Disobedient daughter XXX DVD's ... Don't tell mom!" and "Like mother like daughter", "Daddy's big xxxx" and "All in the family".

All these examples are from a magazine titled Live Young Girls and Purely 18, imported by companies linked to the secretary of the Eros Association.

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First published in ABC's Unleashed on November 25, 2008.



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About the Author

Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. Melinda is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief after Abortion (Duffy & Snellgrove, 2000), Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics (Spinifex Press, 2006) and editor of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009). Melinda is a founder of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation (www.collectiveshout.org). Melinda blogs at www.melindatankardreist.com.

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