Is she… dare I say… /ourgal/ ?
I side with the camp that argues not only for less strict legislation against the simple possession of child pornography (the creation and dissemination of child pornography depicting real children is a whole other matter entirely), but also for the abatement of the pressure put on Japan for its "lax" and rarely enforced laws. Clearly, shaming Japanese politicians like Keiji Goto in Japan's National Police Agency, or allowing Western media to trivialize Japan's positions on child pornography as being blatantly and perversely anti-child, will ameliorate the conditions of children all over the world—not in Japan, not in Eastern Europe, not in Africa, and not in the United States or Western Europe. The conditions that encourage child abuse, child prostitution, and child trafficking, likely have little, if nothing, to do with people possessing even a morally questionable type of media. Instead of directing its efforts at wiping out child pornography (especially child pornography depicting fictional children, being that there is almost no proof that real children are ever harmed in the creation, distribution, or possession of it), nations like the United States should be focused on improving domestic healthcare options, educational opportunities, job markets, and other social, political, and economic solutions that quantifiably help keep children (and adults at-risk) out of illegal and damaging exploitative situations. Japan has already this; and, being that Japan has signed the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has a much lower rate of child abuse than many Western states, I believe it is time for the United States and other countries to learn from their Eastern neighbor: Censoring media, however questionable, does not solve societal ills.
Clearly, further research on the effects of child pornography should be conducted. I believe George Gerbner's Cultivation Theory, which as previously explained, states that people who watch violent television are simply more apt to believe that the world is violent, not that they should commit acts of violence, is a theory that may be expanded to include media such as child pornography. It is also important to devise some way that nations may control the reach of child trafficking and child prostitution without infringing on the rights of nations to censor, or not censor, domestic media—and the solutions must be international in scale. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, especially the Second Optional Protocol, was plainly a step in ther ight direction, but was not a bull's-eye soluton, and clearly encourages naitons to judge others that do not strictly legislate against child pornography. Future conventions, and other international agreements, should seek to ameliorate the living conditions of children all over the world, and transnationally, while remaining respectufl and tolerant of the domestic laws of signatories. Furthermore, Western media outlets reporting o child pornography research and alws should do more to recognize the compelxity of the media and the debates regarding its creation, distribution, and possession. Child pornography is not the cause of societal issues regarding children, and its total eradication should not be considered a solution to these ills. It is a red herring issue, and both politicians and the media would do well to recognize it as such.