This question has as many answers as there are stars in the sky. I'm sorry to say that there is really no "Number One" answer around the world. What can be considered child pornography in one state or country may be perfectly legal in another state or country. It really depends on the area's morals, sexual mores, or virtues.

One of the key factors in the dependence on whether something is child pornography or not is how the material is presented. One of the major examples is the fact that there are a lot of "naturalist" or "nudist" magazines which could contain photographs of nude children. These magazines could not be considered "child pornography". But if a magazine was produced that only had pictures of nude children and they had been collected from back issues, this compendium would be considered "child pornography" in some jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions might factor in whether the photograph might be in either a naturalist or nudist family's photo album.

Another factor is the "intent" of the photographer. This would factor in the determination whether a particular picture is just "art" or "child porn". One example of this is that photographer Sally Mann was warned by the FBI that several pictures in her book "Immediate Family" could be considered as being child porn. In this case, Sally Mann was cleared of any charges even though she used explicit child nudity. Few jurisdictions consider paintings to be "child pornography" no matter what they might contain or show.

The basic test in determining whether an individual picture is "child pornographic" or not is to ask yourself two questions. The first is whether or not the child would pose the same way if they were fully clothed. The second question is whether the photographer doesn't just focus on the child's genitals. If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the answer to the second question is "no", the picture is probably not "child pornography". But if the answers to the questions are reversed, the picture is almost certainly "child pornography". I hope that this isn't too confusing.

In the realm of "art", any depiction of child nudity in artistic photography are not necessarily considered as being pornographic, even though there might be an erotic subtext. Don't confuse the creation of an original photograph with one that has been produced by airbrushing. With regards to words, most jurisdictions in this country don't consider the text as being "child pornographic" no matter what the context is.

With regards to educational materials, depictions of child nudity may not be considered as being child pornography. One of the most controversial books in the past two decades has been the book "Show Me!" (Zeig Mal!), which was a "sex education" book from Germany produced in the 1980's. This book was legal at one time in most jurisdictions of this country even though it's content depict explicit child nudity. Most of the children were between the ages of six and eighteen. There were close-up photographs of the children's genitals and minors engaged in sexual acts and play.

For a brief time, due to a United States Supreme Court ruling, the book was considered legal in every state. In Public Libraries, the book was put in "closed stacks" and it could be viewed by the public but not checked out. But, there was a subsequent decision that restored the "doctrine of local community standards" which allowed individual states to determine whether the book is "child pornographic" or not. It is still possible to buy this book in many states in used book stores, but it may nonetheless be presently considered as being "child pornography" even in those states.

Another factor in determining whether a picture is pornographic or not is the question of "medical" or "scientific" value. There are pictures of nude children and their genitals in medical and scientific texts. The scientific value of these photographs usually render them non-pornographic. It is important to the education of doctors and scientists to be able to observe certain conditions or responses that cannot be adequately viewed by the use of words. Because of their content or clinical value, such photographs usually have little or no "erotic" value even to pedophiles. There have been pedophile collections of photographs clipped out of the Sears Catalog but I haven't heard of one using photographs from medical texts.

In most nations, a photograph of a child that depicts the sexual arousal on the part of the child makes it "pornographic". If there is any depiction of the child (or a person who appears to be a minor) in a sexual position or act, this photograph in most jurisdictions is considered to be pornographic. A photograph can also be considered as being pornographic when the child is captured in the act of defecation and urination. Here in the United States, a computer simulation (for example, a combining of two legal images into something that appears to be a sex act involving a child) constitutes child pornography.

Here is a major warning. If you have just an inkling of doubt that the photograph in question is pornographic or not, you should treat it as being child pornography. In the case of someone sending you a pornographic image of a child in an email attachment, you should send the email (along with the complete header) to . This is the official email address of the United States Customs Service Unit of child pornography investigators. Do not email the photograph to your friends even though you feel that it has some novelty value. The distribution of child pornography is a felony in most states in the United States. This felony conviction will in most states require you to permanently register as being a sexual offender.


Bicyclist in Sunset


All Written Material unless specified is by Rev. Johannes Myors No part may be reproduced without prior permission by Rev. Myors. (Main Graphics, Logos, Photos, and Text restricted use)

Copyright: 1998 to present