Should the porn age be increased?
Eighteen is too young for the porn industry, one writer argues.
At 18, you may be able to vote, but you still face a myriad of restrictions: you can't buy beer, you can't gamble in most places, and you can't purchase a handgun. As one Washington Post writer points out:
"Heck, Carnival Cruise Lines won't even let under-21s book a stateroom."
But one thing you can do? Porn.
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Amid the Miss Delaware Teen USA scandal, Charles Lane of the Post argues that 18 is too young to be a porn star.
Melissa King, an 18-year-old who recently forfeited her Miss Delaware Teen USA title, agreed to star in a pornographic video in 2012. She had just celebrated her eighteenth birthday and she was paid $1,500 for her—err—work.
King made headlines for the scandal, but as Lane wonders:
"Why is it even legal to cast an 18-year-old in a sexually explicit movie?"
He argues that having sex on camera should be on the same list of restrictions one can't legally engage in before they turn 21.
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Congress set the porn-participation age at 18 in 1984, when they set to define the limits of child pornography. But perhaps it's time to reconsider the vulnerability that comes with being a teenager.
"This was before cellphone cameras, before social media, before Kim Kardashian. Nowadays, mistakes like King’s are much easier to make but much harder to erase."
Lane also makes the argument that the porn industry exploits its share of "damaged" spirits. And while that stereotype has recently been debunked to some extent, Lane points out that King was in foster care between the ages of 12 and 18.
"Delaware law prescribes foster care for children whose parents abused them sexually or physically, or neglected to provide them food, clothing and education."
Of course, not everyone agrees with Lane's suggestion to increase the porn age. While there are legal restrictions at 18, one can still vote and join the Armed Forces at that age, one commenter points out. Still, the few years between 18 and 21 might make a substantial difference:
"Forcing 18-year-old would-be porn stars to grow up three more years might limit freedom of expression," Lane writes. "—for them and for those who make not only money but also some artistic or political point by exhibiting films of 18- to 21-year-olds engaged in sex acts."
What do you think? Should the porn age be increased? Or should we leave the law alone?
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Photo: Ryan McVay/Getty Images
At 18 you are legally an adult and since you technically could be drafted and sent to war to die, or get sent to prison, you should be able to do whatever you want, career wise. You should be able to drink. If they want to start raising all ages to 21 then they should not let anyone go to combat until they are 21.
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