Moderator note: participants in this Formal Debate are ancientregime and James R. For details of the rules of the debate, see the [thread=90786]Proposal[/thread] thread. If you'd like to discuss the debate, please use the [thread=90940]Discussion[/thread] thread. --- I decided only to focus on the legal aspect of the argument. I think this will be enough to argue. If you want me to keep the psychiatric side, I will, only because I did say I would. I myself would rather argue it separately, with you or someone else. It's up to you. I'll post it if necessary. Anyway, here is my opening argument. The interest in child erotica and adults who engage in sexual behavior with children is viewed as a crime by US Code. One way to prove Congress views it as a crime is their criminalization of visual depictions of child erotica. Congress claims the interest of child erotica and the production of child erotica is a threat to society and a threat to the children who model in child erotica. Because child erotica cannot be proven to be harmful, except in the most rare cases, they are using pseudo-science on which to base their laws. Proof of congressional psuedo-scientific claims can be found in the Congressional Findings (See findings below). Congress claims several times that 'the production of child pornography is harmful to the physiology, emotions, and psychology of children and society'. This particular Congressional Finding is the basis of all their arguments and laws and lacks supporting evidence and plausibility. There are several scientific experts in the area of physiology, emotion and psychology who could have tested the hypothesis of congressional claims before Congress reported them as facts in their findings. The biggest red flag of all for pseudo-scientific claims are claims that are not supported, but yet are touted as fact. Facts have a requirement of objective correlation. Any assertion of fact that cannot be supported by evidence is pseudo-scientific. For example, the belief that the world is flat, impossible to back with evidence, is pseudo-scientific. Even if Congress tried to back up their claims, they would not be able to do it . I describe in the following. There are only three areas of harm that may occur to a human: physical, emotional and psychological. They hit those categories, but still their claims provide no evidence or supporting scientific research. Why let congressional beliefs tell us what nature is, when instead nature will give a much more honest view by speaking directly to our five senses? What can the acts themselves tell us about these categories? I'll go through them. Take off your folksy goggles, quit your confirmation bias already, blink a couple times and look at things like nature intends for you to see nature. Nature will not lie like they do. In terms of physiology, only one act they mentioned can qualify as harmful. This is described under "sexually explicit conduct" sadistic or masochistic abuse. (See below) All the other acts they list under "sexually explicit conduct" are impossible to find evidence that causes physiological harm that would not normally occur during any sexual act. All the other acts they list, minus the sadomasochistic acts, are equivalent physiologically to an aerobic workout. The body heats up. It may sweat. In general, that is primarily all that sex does to people physically. In terms of the emotional harm claimed by Congressional Findings, there can be no emotions that spawn from any of those specific behaviors that are harmful, except again in the case of sadistic or masochistic abuse. The emotions that spawn from those behaviors, minus sadomasochistic, are only known to be in the category pleasurable. The sadistic and masochistic abuse would create painful emotional states, although some children enjoy playful sadistic and masochistic behavior. In terms of psychological harm, again no mental abuse can be proven, except for the possibility in sadistic or masochistic abuse. In terms of the other acts, psychological states represent an aerobic workout and chemical states of pleasure. Not much more to in general to see than that. The majority of cases of sexual preference for humans are not sadomasochistic. The top selling pornography is a significant indicator of this. Playboy and Penthouse as well as many other titles near it on the magazine stand do not dominate their pages with sadism and masochism. Adult porn on a Google search will bring up mostly sites that do not have this content in any predominate way. I have tested this, and it is open for anyone else to test; give it a try and scientifically prove to yourself what the appetites of humans really are. There is no evidence that proving that those producing child erotica are in the majority sadomasochists, which is the only way to begin to prove harm can occur physically, emotionally or psychologically. Therefore, most of the what the US CODE targets is pornography where no abuse can be proven to occur and is, if not for the most part, total pseudo-science. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002256----000-.html US CODE, TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 110 > § 2256 defines "child pornography" as: (8) “child pornography” means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where— (A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; (B) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or (C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct. "sexually explicit conduct” means— (i) graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited; (ii) graphic or lascivious simulated; (I) bestiality; (II) masturbation; or (III) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or (iii) graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person; Findings http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002251----000-notes.html An Except From Congressional Findings: “(A) The illegal production, transportation, distribution, receipt, advertising and possession of child pornography, as defined in section 2256 (8) of title 18, United States Code, as well as the transfer of custody of children for the production of child pornography, is harmful to the physiological, emotional, and mental health of the children depicted in child pornography and has a substantial and detrimental effect on society as a whole.