If experienced a staggering increase from the 1980s to

it is true what they say, that children really are the future, why is it that
mankind seems to repeatedly disregard the impact of its actions on said
children? Faulkner (2010) writes that children are “sweet, innocent, vacant,
smooth skinned, spontaneous, and mischievous” (p. 117) Reading these words
outside of context, what also comes to mind is the female. Sweet, innocent,
vacant – is this not the description of a sexual woman in this society? It is
agreed by Faulkner (2010) that this is also how “we construct the desirable,”
thus drawing the comparison between society’s tendency to “see ‘the child’ and
‘the erotic’ as coincident” (p. 117). This is a troubling school of thought, as
children should inherently by asexual. They have yet to reach sexual
maturation, either through primary or secondary sex characteristics. A child
should be incapable of being sexual and yet she is still a source of

rates of sexual abuse in children have experienced a staggering increase from
the 1980s to the 1990s alone. O’Donohue, Gold, and McKay (1997) account that 8%
jumped to 54% in females, while 3% to 25% of males report unwanted sexual
contact as a minor – any time under the age of 18 (p. 291). Although the ages
presented here include likely periods of time after adolescent puberty, in the
United States at least, many state governments cite 18 as the year of
adulthood, making anyone younger a child in the eyes of the law. Knabe (2012)
contributes these dictations to “concerns about the female children and the
implicit regulation of their sexuality” (p. 12). However, it should be noted
her specificity in the term ‘female’. Faulkner (2010) as well addresses this
attraction to female sexuality, arguing that society has become obsessed with
women and girls as “innocent asexual beings,” meaning that they are susceptible
to the corruption of men’s “uncontrollable sexuality” (p. 108).

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is it that man is almost obsessed with the protection of female children? Okami
and Goldberg (1992) attempt to discuss this male fascination through historical
perspectives of data which suggest average age of marriage as 12-15 for females
and indicates that “adult male sexual attraction to sexually mature female
adolescents is normative in virtually all societies” (p. 303). It appears that
men have always found themselves intrinsically interwoven in the responsibility
of female sexuality. In the past, for example, this had taken form in the
existence of child brides – those 12 to 15-year-olds. Today, it is seen through
“early twentieth-century legislation concerning age of consent, statutory rape,
and prostitution” (Knabe, 2012, p. 12). These categories are indeed worthy of
inspection and restriction. However, it is perhaps questionable that though the
impact of these laws directly affect women, with Congress being predominantly
male and white, women likely had little room to influence these decisions.
Though it is counterproductive to argue against most of these progressive
notions, they still must be viewed with a critical eye.

it is established that children, girls especially, are apparently in need of
protection from oversexualization. But in what forms does this affront against
the innocent child take place? To begin with, many cite child pornography as
being a significant outrage. Finkelhor and Araji (1986) argue that through
social learning, “it is possible that exposure to pornography involving
children teaches such arousal to people who would not otherwise have become so”
(p. 153). This is an interesting stand against child pornography – could it
cause sexual attraction that wasn’t there before? Can the origin of pedophilia
and overall sexualization of children be linked to this exposure? Regardless,
it is important to acknowledge the negative impact of child pornography if only
due to its exploitation of children.