Child sex offenders must now identify as sex offender on US passports

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Now, if we could just stop convicting 18 year olds for having sex with 17 year olds…


…and underage teens for taking pictures of themselves


There are lots of insane cases as you can find examples of here:
A 15 year old girl who posted nude pictures of herself and got charged with distributing child pornography.


I’m conflicted about this. Looks like a good idea but:

  1. we know a lot of people get registered as sex offenders that shouldn’t (see above for examples)
  2. slippery slope: it starts with sex offenders … what comes next? Combined with the racism inherent in the US legal system this can get ugly.

Our vocabulary and laws lack nuance or scale. There is a big difference between 7 and 17. is Kevin Spacey a pedophile for propositioning (and basically assaulting) a 14 year old? opinions differ. But if the victim was 10, you’d find a lot more consensus. The trouble is there is an age where a person is more child than adult, and it’s a continuum where we have trouble picking a single point.

PS - You’ve got to be 21 to drink, but only 18 to die for your country.


This is pretty troubling. I don’t think anyone can really argue against “protecting the children” but research seems to show that not only are these laws being used against youth themselves but there is precious little evidence that they are effective at the goals they are supposed to achieve. There is also evidence that they cause more harm than good.

But who cares about any of that right? Argue against this and you are against the children and soft on crime. There’s no political angle which doesn’t present a huge cross section to your opponents.


also, if we believe child sex offenders are repeat offenders (otherwise why track them) then why isn’t sex rehabilitation also part of the package? instead of doing the next best thing to “ostriching” (though real ostriches don’t do this) which is putting them on an island?


Will this impact our Pussy Grabber in Chief for his inappropriate behavior around under-aged beauty pageant contestants?


Hebephilia is the attraction to early pubescent/adolescent children (~11-14) and ephebophilia later adolescents ~(15-19). So there is a whole range of inappropriate attraction.

One could argue that that as an animal, we are hard wired to a degree to find other people able to breed attractive, even at what is now considered a young age, as we have millions of years of evolution leading up to becoming homosapians pushing us to do so. (A necessity as our ancestors lead much harder, and shorter lives in general.) But one could also argue the same thing about murder and assaults being more common and accepted back then and necessary to keep alive.

But hopefully we have progressed SOME as a species where our social norms include not hurting other people. and not going after people still considered children by todays standards. Even if you can’t help your base animal instincts to not get aroused, you can control yourself. You aren’t a total slave to your hormones.


The severity of the punishment is also a big part of why I’m fairly critical of our handling of cases like this. As others have mentioned, many people have lifelong stigma attached to them that absolutely will ruin their lives due to them taking some photos of themselves at 15.


Exactly. The problem with this “good idea” is that its always broadened to such an extent that it destroys itself (eg, 3 strikes laws). There is never any check on such broadening because critics aren’t seen as trying to craft a just law; they’re branded as “soft” or “sympathetic” to criminals.

Also, why or why not stamp “murderer” or “rapist” or “thief” on passports while we’re at it?


Passports? Pfffft!

You’re thinking small.

Brand that on their forehead.



This topic is temporarily closed for 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.

Why do we treat sex offenders as if they are criminals for life? If they have the same, or lesser, recidivism than other crimes (as I have read, don’t have a handy link) such as murder and theft, why are their prison sentences not considered enough punishment? Why are they branded for life?


What study supports the notion that recidivism among sex offenders is low? This study states that between 6 and 12% of men are rapists. Yet 33% of women report being raped; moreover, they cite another study which indicated that 63% of rapists are serial rapists, assaulting on average 14 people. Implying that if they get caught once, and they think they can get away with it, they’d do it again. And indications are that they do get away with it a whole lot, so recidivism in the case of sex offenders is very often a concern.

Also, in much of the United States, at least, conviction of any felony means you cannot vote even after you’ve served your sentence. Also, good luck getting employed if you ever have to check the box that asks if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony, regardless of whether it was murder, sexting while underage or “resisting arrest”.


If you’re so worried that they’re going to travel to find new victims, why give them a passport at all?


Because they were convicted of the most heinous of crimes?

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