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Ethical Treatment for All Youth

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Edited by Helmut Graupnerr, JD, Attorney-at-Law, Vienna, Austria and
Vern L. Bullough, PhD, Founder and Emeritus Professor, Center for Sex Research, California State University
Haworth Press, 2004.

From Publisher's Description: Gain an understanding of the threat to freedom that is posed by state regulation of adolescent sexual behavior.

Sexual autonomy encompasses both the right to engage in wanted sexual activity and the right to be free and protected from unwanted sexual aggression. Only when both aspects of adolescentsí rights are recognized can human sexual dignity be fully respected. In Adolescence, Sexuality, and the Criminal Law, experts from several disciplines use case studies, legal analysis, empirical examinations, and tables and figures to provide you with an insightful contribution to the debate surrounding child sexual abuse.

Much has been written about the undisputedly essential fight against child sexual exploitation. In Adolescence, Sexuality, and the Criminal Law, experts investigate for the first time what distinguishes the sexual contacts of adolescents from those of children and why they should be treated separately. This updated version of the papers delivered to the International Association for the Treatment of Sex Offenders in 2002 is an essential guide for lawmakers, sexologists, psychologists, and lawyers interested in an interdisciplinary approach to adolescent sexuality and the criminal law. This resource carefully examines child sexual abuse laws that fail to distinguish between children and adolescents. The text includes discussions of the history of the age of consent, adolescent sexuality, relations between adolescents and adults, and adolescent prostitution and pornography that will leave you better informed about the sexual rights of adolescents and the criminal politics of youth protection.

Abstract of Chapter 1
The 17-Year-Old Child: An Absurdity of the Late 20th Century
by Helmut Graupner JD

Recently enacted EU-legislation will affect interferences with the sexual life of adolescents across Europe in an intensity so far not known in any of the European states. The "Framework-Directive on combating sexual exploitation of children and child-pornography" will oblige all member States of the European Union to create extensive offences of "child"-pornography and "child"-prostitution, defining as "child" every person up to 18 years of age, without differentiating between five-year-old children and 17-year-old juveniles. These offences go far beyond combating child pornography and child prostitution, thus making a wide variety of adolescent sexual behaviour, hitherto completely legal in the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions in Europe, serious crimes; for instance: sex between 16-year-olds for "remuneration", which includes invitations to cinema or to a dinner; "lascivious" drawings of a 17-year-old girl possessed by a 15-year-old boy; photographs of a 16 year-old girl in her bikini "lasciviously" exposing her pubic area, taken by her 17-year-old boyfriend on the beach; standard pornography involving younger looking 20-year-old adults or "webcam-sex" between 17-year-old-adolescents; even pictures of one's own adult spouse in "lascivious" poses, if this spouse looks younger than 18. No European jurisdiction so far has such a restrictive law. The massive criminalisation and the equation of adolescents with children caused heavy criticisms among experts but this criticism could not prevent the project from becoming law. This essay provides an analysis of the background, the legislative process and the content of the EU-Framework-Decision.