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18-year-olds are too young to participate in the porn industry

Published: Tuesday, March 12 2013 5:15 p.m. MDT

Last week the media were all over Melissa King, former Miss Delaware Teen USA, for an adult video she allegedly made in 2012, shortly after her 18th birthday. Because of this video, King forfeited her title. Media were brutal to King, and she suffered worldwide ridicule.

But amidst the ridicule, no one has asked why it is even legal to cast an 18-year-old in a sexually explicit movie, according to Charles Lane in an editorial on the Washington Post.

“Eighteen is, for most purposes, the age of majority. You can vote, serve in the military and so on. When Congress set 18 as the minimum age for porn 'actors' in 1984 and, four years later, required producers to document performers’ ages and identities, lawmakers’ goal was to fight child pornography — by defining it precisely,” according to Lane.

But times have changed, and so have media formats. It is now significantly easier and cheaper to produce and distribute adult content. Nowadays, mistakes like King’s are much easier to make but much harder to erase. Bottom line: 18-year-olds are too young to participate in the porn industry; Congress should rethink their decision.

Email: mhartvigsen@desnews.com

Read more about protecting teens on Washington Post.

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