Kurt Eichenwald is having a bad week
You know all that stuff that's been drilled into your head about Internet predators? Well forget it.
In a separate study of 2,574 law-enforcement agencies, researchers found that online sex crimes rarely involve offenders lying about their ages or sexual motives. The 2004 study, published in Journal of Adolescent Health, said offenders generally aren't strangers, and pedophiles aren't luring unsuspecting children by pretending to be a peer.
I haven't read the actual study yet and wire reports of scientific research are notoriously dicey but if this is accurate, it's big news. Think of all the money and energy that goes into hammering home that message.
On a related note, remember that Debbie Nathan-Kurt Eichenwald kerfuffle? (That lawsuit is due just about the same time as Duke Nukem Forever.) It started when Nathan wrote an article for Salon called Why I need to see child porn. On her new blog, Nathan is back with a post cheekily titled Why I need to see child pollo-graphy. It has to be one of the worst puns ever, but it's a thought-provoking notion, comparing and contrasting the rationales for and against banning kiddie porn and banning images of cockfighting and other acts of cruelty toward animals.
My gut reaction is that the proper protest against Nathan's argument is not so much "children are not chickens" as "pornography is not a simple reproduction of an independent act." That is, with bullfighting or cockfighting, the viewing of images later is tangential to more important act of participating in the sport. With porn of any sort, the producers "participate" for the sole purpose of producing the images. I admit I haven't thought this out clearly, so I can't make a neat logical argument for why this makes a difference right now, but I believe it does hence the concern about the extension of the animal protection law originally targetted at crush porn (which people would not do for fun if they couldn't sell the images) to cover cockfighting (which is best appreciated live, if that's your thing).