The images of Thylane are not an isolated incident but a growing pattern of targeting children to be used for sexual titillation and pleasure. In the late 1960s, children’s beauty pageants emerged, leading to an enterprise consisting of over 25,000 pageants and worth $1 billion a year. These pageants function largely outside the protection of child labor laws. In tandem, advertising has featured increasingly younger models in various degrees of undress. Movies and television programs depict teens and pre-teens in sexual scenes. The target audiences are both the adults who are made to lust after young flesh and children themselves who are invited to participate in this lifestyle.
The Internet has also fueled this fire. Children of all ages, including toddlers, are filmed in sexual poses and acts. There has been an Internet child pornography crime boom, according to the Justice Department. More than one million children have been abused in America alone, in what is often a worldwide trade as pornographers attempt to avoid prosecution by trafficking their goods across national borders. Since 1997, child pornography has increased over the Internet by 1,500 percent, according to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.
The line between criminal act and routine practice is gradually being blurred. In early August, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that 72 people had been charged in the U.S. for participating in a members-only Internet child pornography network. The group abused children, filmed the sexual acts and traded over 16,000 such DVD’s among one another. The children were even depicted in pain. In other words the participants not only committed the acts but found like-minded abusers with which to share their deeds, reveling in the perversity and brutality of their sexual practices. They did not even have an ounce of decency—that is, the compulsion to keep these acts private and concealed.
Hence, images of a child model in lewd poses in a French mainstream magazine are cause for alarm: the underground of pedophilia is coming to the foreground; the pedophiles are becoming more brazen and shameless. The first reaction among the general public is usually shock, horror, followed by widespread controversy, then boredom and acceptance. Such is the pattern of the permissive society. Yesterday, it was Ingrid Bergman with an-out-of-wedlock pregnancy; today it is ten-year-old Thylane. Tomorrow, this controversy will look tame in comparison to the next perversion to make national headlines.
When the sexual revolution erupted, liberals said sexual fulfillment was the key to individual happiness. Fifty years later, adults are given license to have pre-marital sex, explore same-sex relations and are encouraged to use objects, toys, visual stimulation and even drugs to enhance their pleasure. Maximum pleasure is the goal: maximize and enlarge all sexual organs; maximize and enlarge the amount of sex; maximize and enlarge the years one can have sex; maximize the genders to pursue and positions to engage in. And still, it is not enough.
Therefore, children must be attacked. The sexual revolution has produced a society of all against all. The last bulwark of innocence, the child too must be devoured in the all-consuming drive to bolster sexual pleasure. By the logic of the sexual revolution it must be so: children are the only humans left who still exist largely outside the clutches of our sex-obsessed culture. Their purity is now the forbidden fruit; it is the ultimate object of desire. Their purity too must be devoured, as it is the only reminder that there is another way to live.
The increasing lust for children, so starkly perverse, also illustrates that the quest for sexual satisfaction is unattainable. Once one appetite is satiated, another will emerge. In other words, this is not the path to individual fulfillment that liberals promised; rather, we are whetting desires that grow ever larger.
Liberals typically mock the religious worldview as an irrational, impossible and foolish fantasy; salvation is decried as an unrealizable dream. Instead, it is apparent that sexual satisfaction is an oxymoron and is another leftist utopia that will never be attained, no matter how relentlessly it is pursued — or how many lives are destroyed.
It’s too bad, however, that the sexual revolution is now targeting children; soon there may not be enough of them left to exploit. The quest for sexual satisfaction has also entailed that we are exterminating our kids, via abortion, or preventing them from being born, via contraception, with greater zeal than we are producing them.
The most innocent among us are now constantly in the firing line. Who is left to heed their cry? Their natural protectors, the adults, have become the enemy.
Dr. Grace Vuoto is the Executive Director of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org