The Importance of the Child Online Protection Act
©2004 Dr. Judith Reisman
recently reported a "National Children's Homes" study that "[c]hild
porn crimes have risen by
1,500% since 1988." But "Why" we ask? And why are "over one
in three [users] involved in hands-on abuse"? Is it because the human brain
is designed--rigged--to believe
that any image it sees is real, so that
millions of sexually aroused viewers act out on children the “sex” they’ve
seen? If yes, would that fact
stain the "Free Speech" defense of pornography? This is the question
we will briefly explore here.
abuse….sculpts the brain to exhibit various antisocial…. behaviors….
violence and abuse….This suggests that much more effort must be made to prevent
childhood abuse and neglect. (Harvard neurobiologist Martin Teicher in
"Scars that won't heal"). (Emphasis added.)
prevention of "child
porn crimes" leads us directly to the "Child Online Protection
Act" (COPA). COPA, scheduled for debate before the US Supreme Court in
March, would criminalize commercial Web sites (1) that regularly engage in the
business of selling, and (2) then knowingly make available to minors, the kind
of pornography that meets the legal standard of obscene or obscene for minors.
The National Law Center for Children and Families wrote the "COPA Brief of Members of Congress." The brief made legal history by unveiling recent data on how pornographic pictures re-form the human brain:
medical diagnostic techniques confirm that images override text for brain
dominance and research indicates that a pornographic environment
"colonizes" a viewer's brain, producing
structural changes in the brain that are involuntary
and can last for years. (Emphasis added.)
pictures can cause permanent brain change. These disinhibiting images can be
reawakened at any time, like it or not.
question which of the brain's hemisphere will gain control of shared functions
and dominate overt behavior, in light of the fact that every second millions of
messages bombard the brain and carry information from the body's senses.
Inhibitory transmitters help to shape the neural networks that underlie all
behavior and control negative behavioral responses. There is evidence that the
inhibitory health function of a minor's nervous system can be critically
stressed by pornographic imagery.
children's minds being negatively sexualized? Are children's natural inhibitions
being eroded? If so, we would expect sharp increases--post 1950--in children's
mental, physical and sexual disorders. The COPA NLCCF Brief continues:
statistics indicate that a significant percentage of minors may be highly
vulnerable to the toxic effect of pornographic stimuli. Researchers claim that
25 percent of the population of the United States is under age 18, and at least
12 percent of these minors have a diagnosable mental illness. Current Department
of Justice data indicate that 67 percent of all sex abuse victims are minors,
and of these, 34 percent are under age 11, and 14 percent are under age 5.
According to an Australian study, exposure to online pornography is a "key
factor" in the increase of
incidents involving young children committing sexual offenses, including
"oral sex and forced intercourse," against other children.
is a predictable outcome of massive sociosexual disinhibition.
The Violence and Brain Injury Institute now cites "Media Influences" as a "Macro Social" cause of crime and violence (see "The Violence Pyramid" above from The Violence and Brain Injury Institute). Modern brain-scans provide ample evidence of how media reshapes brain, mind and memory. Sexual or violent images will dominate any text (speech). Says pioneering neurologist A.R. Luria:
waking cortex obey[s] a law of strength, according to which every strong (or biologically
significant) stimulus evokes a strong response, while every weak
stimulus evokes a weak response.
respond to the written word we must be able to read!
Children cannot commonly read
sex manuals (left hemisphere speech) but they can and do mimic sex pictures.
They are taught how to molest babies and toddlers by repeating their own abuse
and/or by repeating what they see--commonly in erotic pictures (right hemisphere
arousal). The civilizing task of the "Free Speech" amendment is
subverted when emotional right hemisphere pornography overrides the weaker left
hemisphere speech tasks of logic and analysis.
responses" defines our brain's neurochemistry in action. Pornography isn't like
a drug, it is a polydrug.
For example, psychologist M. Douglas Reed cites just a few of many endogenously
produced neurochemicals triggered by viewing pornography.
Arousal dependence may be compared to biochemical alterations related to excessive amphetamine use…. Fantasy behaviors can be related to such neurotransmitters as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin, all of which are chemically similar to the main psychedelic drugs such as LSD.
"harmful to minors" are the spam or split-second "teaser"
sex images that trigger an endogenous drug "high." Says neurologist
[A]n event which lasts half a second within five to ten minutes has produced a structural change that is in some ways as profound as the structural changes one sees in [brain] damage…. [and] can…leave a trace that will last for years.
Richard Restak (The Brain)
notes, "inhibition rather than excitation is the hallmark of the healthy
magazine reports, "too much neuronal activity can be as bad as too
little." No wonder a Government Accounting Office report on 550 sex
offender clinics--1977 to 1996-- found none had cured sex offenders. Predators
re-experience an endogenous drug "high" when seeing pictures of naked
or "provocative" women and/or children.
Plainly, the media cannot be blamed for all sexual wrongdoing. Yet the media must be held legally and socially accountable for its harmful, lying pictures about women and children's sexuality and their alleged lust for indiscriminate or sadistic sex. Does such brainwashing explain judicial decisions legitimizing even "virtual child pornography?" For the brain processes "virtual" child pornography as real "sexy children." Lynch and others documented the rigorous scientific experiments that finally established that the brain processes what it sees as true!
When nature gave man the prefrontal neocortex and….connected it with his cortical areas, she failed to provide a radar antenna and viewing screen. … [A dummy animal decoy in the field] is sometimes sufficient to trigger the entire copulatory act.
recently most neurologists doubted the affect of media upon the national mind.
Naturally we would expect a lag time until legislators and judges also
understand a causal connection. The scientifically fraudulent idea that erotic
images are harmless speech and children are naturally sexual has led to mass
child victimization. An uninformed judiciary has subjected millions of children
and youths to toxic images that now dominate their brains, minds, memories and
The First Amendment was designed to protect words- discourse, not pictures-arousal. Pornographic images neurochemically blitz our brains--overriding legitimate informed consent. Enlightened lawmakers will have to bring our laws up-to-speed with the power of media to shape our brains, minds, memories and our civility. COPA is a beginning.
This article was first published at Human Events Online.