The 10-page paper, titled “Harm to Children from Online Exposure to Hardcore Adult Pornography,” asserts that when it comes to the Internet in the U.S. there are no safeguards to protect children from exposure.
“In large measure we can thank the Supreme Court itself for this tragic state of affairs,” MIM said in the report.
MIM keyed in to several key cases decided by the justices, including COPA, the Child Online Protection Act.
“In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to content that is indecent,” it said in the report. “In 2009, the court also refused to review a lower court decision which had invalidated a law intended to restrict children’s online access to sexual content that is harmful to minors.”
MIM also said courts have a myopic point of view when it comes to free speech, siding mostly with pornographers.
“When it comes to cyberspace, the courts think parental use of filters is an adequate solution to the problem.”
MIM also pinned blame on Congress, the Justice Department and the FBI.
“Under the Bush administration there were successful prosecutions against online commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography, proving that obscenity laws can be enforced,” the report said. “But these prosecutions were too few and far between to effectively deter online distribution of hardcore adult pornography.
“Since the 2008 presidential election, the Justice Department has not initiated any new adult obscenity cases. Furthermore, Congress hasn’t uttered a peep about the lack of enforcement.”
MIM’s paper hones in on evidence that exposure to hardcore online porn can adversely affect children’s sexual behavior and attitudes about sex.
MIM said it based much of the report’s evidence on published observations from clinical psychologists, police and prosecutors, educators, rape crisis professionals, social workers and others.
The paper is the second MIM publication in recent months exposing the connection between porn and harm to children.
The first paper was titled “How Adult Pornography Contributes to Sexual Exploitation of Children,” a 215-page report published in September.