Peter Ansell wrote:
On 01/02/2008, Ray Saintonge
Much of this is a matter of trying to find a
way between the nutcases and paranoiacs. There is no evidence to show
that the proportion of nutcases is any higher than it ever has been.
They just have more tools (as do we), and the media relishes giving them
more importance than they deserve. There's something dreadfully wrong
when we cannot perform normal acts for the sole speculative reason that
we might be face-to-face with a nutcase. Being overly protective of
children is damaging too when it prevents them from gaining normal life
In a case where it is letting a child go to the park on their own or
letting them walk home from school on their own I would disagree that
you are in anyway giving them life experience as a fair rational
payoff for the risks.
I grew up at a time when it was normal for kids to walk to
school, and I
can't recall a single situation where any child came to harm thereby.
In hindsight I know that these things happened, but let's not blow them
out of proportion. Even now, speaking as a member of the executive of a
district parents' association for a district with about 23,000 students,
reported actual incidents are fairly rare. There may be only a couple
suspicious behaviour warnings per year. The risk of pedophilia is much
greater in trusting relationships than with complete strangers.
Driving kids to school creates additional risks. I've seen parents let
their kids out of the car from the driver side into traffic. The
likelihood of serious consequences is much greater from that act than
from stray pedophiles. Having children walk to school has additional
benefits in combatting childhood obesity. The dangers from that are
rarely immediate, but they do have a cumulative effect.
I see photos on the internet as having the same
bad qualities without any of the supposed good to the child when they
find out people did things to a photo of them when they were little,
and their parents explicitly encouraged them to do it by licensing the
photo a certain way.
Sure a real picture of a child being abused may show the child
expression of pain on his or her face. So I can understand the
situation where someone might photo-shop a happy face into that
picture. Normal people provide an infinite choice of happy faces that
could be used for that purpose; they mostly don't post pictures of their
child in pain. Licensing does not matter; there is more in the
pornographer's behaviour to go after than some vague pretext of
copyright violation. One does not seriously combat the problem of
pedophilia by putting heavy limits on normal behaviour.