AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Writing for the majority, Judge Sidney Thomas said that statutory rape “may be unwise and socially unacceptable to many, but it is not inherently base, vile or depraved.” He also said that such behavior “would be legal if the adult and minor were married” and “is legal in other states” with a lower age of consent. Ah, yes, the “it wouldn’t be illegal if it were legal” defense. The technical term for this is “asinine tautology.” Finally, Thomas said, “California’s purpose in passing the law reveals that it was not moral … They were attempting to reduce teenage pregnancies.” So much for the idea that the purpose of the law is to protect minors, to spare them from risks both emotional and physical for which they are unprepared. But apparently that’s not much of a concern among the 9th Circuit, which is busy enforcing a moral code of its own. Poll: Moms don’t like Bratz dolls 9th Circuit: Sex offenders welcome here! Over the years, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has earned itself a reputation as the legal bastion of San Francisco looniness, and a recent decision will do nothing to change that. On Tuesday, the court decided that Alberto Quintero-Salazar – a Mexican national and legal resident of the U.S. – could not be deported on the basis of a sex crime he committed in 1998, namely illegal intercourse between an adult over 21 and a youth under 16. According to the court, adults taking sexual advantage of a minor (so long as they have the “consent” that minors are legally unable to provide) are not guilty of a crime of “moral turpitude,” which is needed to subject legal U.S. residents to deportation. This comes as quite as a surprise. Because when a slew of Catholic priests were found to have committed essentially the same crime – “consensual” sex with teenagers – society seemed quite appropriately outraged. Indeed, the sexual abuse of minors is about as clear an example of “moral turpitude” as there could be. That is, to use the court’s definition, it “violates societal moral standards” – except, it seems, in San Francisco. At first, I found this news encouraging: In a survey of 1,010 mothers with daughters between the ages of 4 and 9, the market-research firm Synovate found that 85 percent of moms are “tired of the sexpot dolls and characters” sold in many stores. That means those Bratz dolls – the pouty-lipped, little plastic figurines dressed in skin-tight halter tops and miniskirts, and marketed to young girls. It’s easy to see why moms would object. Not only do these dolls teach kids that being a “brat” is something to which they ought to aspire, they also chip away at childhood innocence, while encouraging girls to find their sense of worth by becoming objects of male objectification. The American Psychological Association has singled out Bratz as harmful, saying, “It (is) worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality.” So it was heartening that most mothers frown on these dolls – but only for a moment. Because if the overwhelming majority of moms disapprove, how could these toys possibly rake in $2 billion a year? How could they be challenging Barbie (who, impossible body dimensions aside, seems positively wholesome by comparison) for top-doll status nationwide? If this poll is accurate, many parents are buying their young daughters these dolls against their own better judgment. They’re probably just succumbing to the relentless demands from kids who have been exposed to a barrage of ads and peer pressure. But part of being a parent means keeping objects that harm young children – not just physically, like a lighter, but also psychologically and morally, like Bratz – out of their hands. STDs love L.A. According to the latest estimates, more than 1 million youths in California have sexually transmitted diseases. That’s nearly 10 times more than previously thought. To get a sense of how staggering that figure is, consider that, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers, there are only 4.8 million Californians in that age group (15-24). In other words, more than one in five California youths has a sexually transmitted disease, from genital herpes and gonorrhea to HIV. More than a third of those youths live in Los Angeles. To what can we trace this epidemic? Surely it’s a lack of sex ed in the schools, right? Wrong. According to the California Department of Education’s Web site, “Since 1992, California public schools have been required to teach HIV/AIDS prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.” That includes “(i)nstruction on the nature of HIV/AIDS, methods of transmission, strategies to reduce the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and social and public health issues related to HIV/AIDS.” Moreover, the CDE also reports, “96 percent of California school districts provide comprehensive sexual health education.” Oh, well, then it must be the fault of all that abstinence-only stuff the Bush administration has been forcing down schools’ throats. Wrong again. As the CDE also explains, California law “prohibits `abstinence-only’ education.” Our progressive state did away with such old-fashioned ideas in favor of teaching kids how to “protect” themselves. See how well it’s worked? But the issues here run much deeper than what’s taught or not taught in the schools. They point to broader cultural phenomena, phenomena that can be seen in courts that make light of statutory rape and dolls that sexualize children. The Sexual Revolution has had more than its fair share of victims – and most of them are young. Chris Weinkopf, the Daily News’ editorial-page editor, blogs at insidesocal.com/friendlyfire. Write to him by e-mail at [email protected]
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