Has Australia really banned small breasts?

The internet has its “outraged” face on over news that the Australian Classification Board plans to refuse classification to films depicting A-cup breasts in case it encourages pedophilia.

The story was kickstarted by a press release on Wednesday from the Australian Sex Party on the censorship of female ejaculation in film, which included the statement:

The Board has also started to ban depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. This is in response to a campaign led by Kids Free 2 B Kids and promoted by Barnaby Joyce and Guy Barnett in Senate Estimates late last year. Mainstream companies such as Larry Flint’s Hustler produce some of the publications that have been banned. These companies are regulated by the FBI to ensure that only adult performers are featured in their publications. “We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size”, she said. “It may be an unintended consequence of the Senator’s actions but they are largely responsible for the sharp increase in breast size in Australian adult magazines of late”.

The piece was seized upon by website Somebody Think of the Children (“discussing censorship and moral panic in Australia”), blaring the headline “Australia bans small breasts”:

The Australian Sex Party (ASP) said Wednesday that the Australian Classification Board (ACB) is now banning depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. It comes just a week after it was found that material with depictions of females ejaculating during orgasm are now Refused Classification and Australian Customs directed to confiscate it.

The post quickly went viral around the likes of Twitter and Reddit, and was picked up by popular UK tech site The Register and snarky feminist blog Jezebel, prompting even more fist shaking and outrage.

But it looks like the critics are the ones guilty of “moral panic” in this case. As an apparently more level-headed member of the Australian anti-censorship movement found after a bit of investigation:

One publishing  company mentioned, no specific decisions cited, no basis for the story other than the an unconfirmed statement by a leading figure of a political party.

There is no information from the Classification Board on any specific ban, only a general statement that publications with depictions of persons who appear to be under 18 must be refused classification (that is, banned).

The second article also says Ms Patten attended a training session at the Censorship Board where she was shown material that had been refused classificiation due to the size of women’s breasts in the material. The article says Ms Patten says some of the banned titles include “Barely Legal”, Finally Legal” and “Purely 18” - the links go to the Classification Board’s database showing the bans on each of those publications.

However, one of these bans was made in 2008, one in 2003, and the rest in 2001 or before.

For its part, the Australian Classification Board has responded to the original Somebody Think of the Children post:

A spokesperson for the ACB told me today that publications which contain offensive depictions or descriptions of persons who are or appear to be persons under the age of 18 (whether they are engaged in sexual activity or not) must be classified RC. They said the Board classifies publications on a case by case basis, in accordance with the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications, the Code and the Classification Act and that the Publications Guidelines do not specify breast size.

Not that the internet seems to have taken notice, as the original story continues to gain traction around the web.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good trending Twitter topic.

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139 Responses

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  1. tits not fair.

    by reb of Hobart on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:19 am

  2. Of course the Guidelines don’t specify breast size. The guidelines are deliberately vague and open to interpretation by Classification Board members. Go and take a look to see how much is actually “specified”:$file/PublicationsGuidelines2005.pdf

    Each “case by case” basis sets an example.

    Have ACB at all denied that they refused classification to an image of a woman who - despite the magazine she appeared in being regulated by the FBI to ensure its models are over age - had small breasts on the basis that she “appeared under-developed”?

    The decision clearly sets a precedent for rejecting images of women because their anatomy doesn’t measure up to some stereotyped notion that all “matured” women should have the measurements of Marilyn Monroe.

    I’ve got a 26 year old female friend who has the body type of a 12 year old boy. Does that mean she shouldn’t be allowed to pose nude?

    Maybe the “truth” is that the internet outrage is actually a reflection of the fact that there is growing awareness of how arbitrary Australian censorship is.

    If this is all just a storm in a teacup, then why have the Classification Board failed to directly deny the allegations made against them?

    by Ungulate on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

  3. Ever since K.Rudd denounced Bill Henson’s photography exhibition of pre-teens, the ’ ‘ban the small breasts’ brigade has been in uproar.

    With the increase in childhood obesity, soon we will ban photography of anything above the waistline, be it young or old, male or female.

    Logically, this will then have to include photography or depiction of nude animals as well. Just imagine the shock of seeing a photo of a lactating little ‘Fluffy’?

    I looked into the mirror this morning and spotted a small breast. I smashed the mirror.


    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:35 am

  4. Sorry, wrong http.
    Ever since K.Rudd denounced Bill Henson’s photography exhibition of pre-teens, the ’ ‘ban the small breasts’ brigade has been in uproar.

    With the increase in childhood obesity, soon we will ban photography of anything above the waistline, be it young or old, male or female.

    Logically, this will then have to include photography or depiction of nude animals as well. Just imagine the shock of seeing a photo of a lactating little ‘Fluffy’?

    I looked into the mirror this morning and spotted a small breast. I smashed the mirror.

    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

  5. Just the one breast Gerard? I’m not surprised you smashed the mirror!

    by Elan on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

  6. Elan.
    What ‘nous’, ha, ha.

    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

  7. Hi Ruth,

    Michael Meloni from Somebody Think Of The Children here. I’ll readily admit my orginal healdine could be considered sensationalist ( ), but the fact remains the claims I reported in my original story were those of the Australian Sex Party and quoted as such.

    I explained how under the National Classification Code and State Criminal Codes such bans (and criminal charges) can occur in Australia.

    In response to the dates the publications were banned, this is irrelevant as to whether the publications were banned because of the reason claimed by ASP — small breasts making a model appear younger than 18. This law is not new, nor are the campaigns in Australia against magazines such as Barely Legal for reasons such as models having small breasts and no pubic hair.

    In my followup post, I provided both ASP and the Classification Board a chance to respond further and both parties did ( ).

    While the Publications Guidelines do not specify breast size (they are vague at best about all content), the ACB aknowledged that all offensive depictions of any subject that appears to be under the age of 18 (whether they are engaged in sexual activity or not) must be classified RC. ASP’s claim is that breast size was used to make such a call.

    Further questions to the ACB remain unanswered at this stage.

    The response to this worldwide has been massive, I agree, and unfortunately some people have misinterpreted what has happened. If ASP’s claims turn out to be false, a story will be published on my blog addressing them as such. As is always the case.

    In the meantime, ASP has made an accusation and in turn I blogged about it, giving the Classification Board the opportunity to refute the claims (which they did not) and respond.

    Michael Meloni

    by Michael Meloni on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

  8. I would like to clarify a few points. In the last 18 months the Classification Board has revoked over 30 serial classifications for a range of reasons, one major one being that the models appear to be under 18. These revoked classifications do not appear on the classification database.
    Late last year I attended a classification publications training session with 3 adult magazine distributors and one publisher. We were shown a range of images and the notes made by the board were read out. The underdeveloped nature of the model’s breasts was cited as a reason for the image to be refused classification numerous times.
    I don’t know which publisher Ruth Brown spoke to but the 4 companies that attended the meeting with me have now drastically reassessed the publications that they will import or publish. All the publications that have been refused classification adhere to the very strict US laws that enforce model age verification in adult publications and films. These laws are upheld by the FBI. There is no chance that any of the models were under 18

    by Fiona Patten on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:06 am

  9. Hang on a minute… the ACB says nothing more than “we follow our guidelines” and the journalist takes that to mean they don’t refuse classification based on small breasts? The ACB didn’t specifically respond to that accusation at all.

    If you’ve read the guidelines (obviously not…) they say that no one can be depicted as being less than 18 in pornography in Australia. The people in the films are all legally 18, so, on what basis is it decided that they ‘look’ less than 18?

    Well, according to the ASP and distributors in Australia, breast size is a criteria. This highlights the problem with the sort of broad guidelines applied by the ACB.

    I don’t think the journalist understood the issue. At all.

    by glengyron on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

  10. Hi Michael and Fiona, thanks for your input. I didn’t really intend to editorialise on the issue at all — just a look at the “Purple Monkey Dishwasher” Chinese whispers way a story gets twisted by hyped internet fist-shakers. I think Fiona was justified in highlighting this issue, and Michael covered it fairly.

    It’s places like Twitter and Reddit where people just read a headline or sound bite and run with it, twisting a complicated matter over the issue of sexual taboos on screen into “ZOMG THE GOVT WON’T LET US SEE BREASTS!” without actually reading what the original article and PR is saying.

    by Ruth Brown on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

  11. I’d like to weigh in and say that while the “Australia bans small breasts” headline may have been a bit over-the-top, it did an excellent job of drawing attention to the main issues involved. Issues which too many mainstream media outlets are happy to ignore because “it’s just porn”.

    But it’s not “just porn”. We’re talking about censorship here. And we’re also talking about the increasing moral panic surrounding child abuse and child porn.

    The Classification Board have only confirmed that they follow “the guidelines” but they haven’t actually said how they interpret the rules and the interpretation is everything. Fact is, arbitrary decisions about what Australians can see, hear and read are being made by a small group of people who are not elected and who don’t seem to rely on evidence for their decisions.

    The guideline that bans models who “appear to be under 18” is supposed to be part of the fight against child porn. But how does it *actually* protect children? If the (presumably small-breasted) model is over 18, she’s legal so no crime has occurred. As far as I can tell, the rule exists solely to discourage people from thinking that a young-looking woman is sexy. But that’s thought crime.

    And in the process, the rule defines a certain body type as being automatically juvenile. Which is rather insulting to those adult Australian women who might happen to be thin, or have small boobs, or who generally “look young”.

    The same goes for the female ejaculation issue. The Board have yet to officially say they don’t think it’s urination. But even if they do think it is… why are some sex acts and some bodily fluids declared to be “abhorrent” and others not? And this comes back to the official “guidelines” as to what aspects of human sexuality are “decent” and what’s “obscene”.

    How is it that in 2010 we have censors deciding what adults can see, hear and read in the privacy of their own homes? Why is it anyone’s business if an adult wishes to see depictions of female ejaculation, or “golden showers” for that matter? Why do we still rely on “community standards” to define what’s “offensive to reasonable adults” when the internet means we’re now part of a global yet incredibly diverse “community”? And when the internet means that an individual’s use of adult material can remain completely private within the confines of their own home?

    These are the issues hiding behind an inflammatory headline. I’m glad it snowballed the way it did because it at least gets us talking about the issue. And in the light of the planned internet filter, censorship is something every Australian needs to think about.

    by Ms Naughty on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

  12. Glengyron, I am the journalist who wrote the article demonstrating that the Sex Party’s claims have not yet been backed up by evidence.

    We don’t know from the published articles that the Classification Board was even asked if the bans mentioned by Ms Patten were in fact based on breast size.

    I do understand this issue and understand that the Classification Board must refuse classification to publications with pictures of people who appear to be under 18. But the simple fact is the claims made by Ms Patten have not yet been independently verified. Fact-checking things like this is important if we want to keep our credibility in the face of a pro-censorship movement that would love to catch us out.

    To independently verify this story we’d need to know the names of the publishers who say their publications have been banned, the names of the publications, and ideally the chance to see copies of the notice from the Classification Board saying that classification has been refused or revoked. Until then, we only have the word of Ms Patten. While I support Ms Patten’s political aims, she is a partisan and any publication that reports her words as fact without verifying them is doing propaganda, not journalism. Which is fine but it needs to be seen as such, and when such propaganda that can’t be shown to be true spreads quickly throughout the Net and misleads people, it damages the anti-censorship cause.

    by David Jackmanson on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  13. David, given that Fiona Pattern is even here in this thread I don’t think it’s that hard to clarify the story. It’s a matter of seeing if one of the four other companies is willing to come forward and corroborate the story. Given the fact that they have to get future product past the censors that might take a bit of work, but it’s eminently possible.

    The opacity in this story is in the guidelines and decision making that occurs at ACB. Turning a spotlight on the ASP doesn’t seem to be pointing in the right direction.

    The ACB has certainly not said that breast size is irrelevant to classification decisions, which they could easily do.

    by glengyron on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

  14. Thanks for cutting through Australian Sex Party panic on this Ruth. Another reality check can be found here.

    by Melinda Reist on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

  15. So what is the policy on big breasts on under 18 years old? Some very young have size D and might well make it past the censor’s loupe.

    Talking about the loupe, how about looking at breasts with just one eye or just squinting? Would that be allowed?

    We must stay alert but not tumescent.

    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm

  16. Glengyron, the point is that the story was *not* confirmed before publication. It’s sensationalist and can’t be shown to be true based on currently available information.

    I suspect that there may well be pressure on the Classification Board to ban more magazines of the “barely legal” type. And it’s entirely possible, even likely, that breast size is a big factor in making decisions to ban these magazines or not. But the simple fact is we have only the unverified word of someone who is both a partisan in this issue, and who represents organisations with commercial interests in these decisions. That is perfectly legitimate, and I broadly support the aims of the Australian Sex Party. However I don’t accept the word of any partisan in any issue without checking for myself.

    by David Jackmanson on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

  17. Melinda Reist, I believe you are blurring the difference between correlation and causation.

    Yes paedophiles and rapists use porn (for the 99% of people who don’t commit sex crimes), but that in no way proves that porn made them into sexual deviants.

    Many of these research pieces look at porn as the first step, then trace it back to the paedophiles instead of the other way around.

    For every research piece that says that porn is evil, there is another which says that it isn’t and could even decrease the rate of sex crimes.

    by Ben on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  18. A spokesperson for the ACB told me today that publications which contain offensive depictions or descriptions of persons who are or appear to be persons under the age of 18 (whether they are engaged in sexual activity or not) must be classified RC. They said the Board classifies publications on a case by case basis, in accordance with the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications, the Code and the Classification Act and that the Publications Guidelines do not specify breast size.

    The point being then, that the ACB can make a call on how old someone appears, regardless of how old they are? How, exactly, are they making this judgement?

    by barry saunders on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

  19. David J,
    I assume that my word is not good enough.

    Sadly the response from the Classification Board is vague at best when questioned about their decisions.
    It is not easy to get board reports and the reports given lack detail including the ones regarding the revocation of classification.

    When we last asked to see a report we were told that would need to apply via FOI.

    David, I do however have some letters regarding revocation of classification. In the main they just state that the image appeared to be under 18 and give no reason why they came to that decision. There are also some instances where they will cite the setting of the photo and the clothing worn by the model.

    But they said categorically in the training session that breast size was relevant in their decisions.

    If you want to contact me outside this forum about doing a story in more detail. I will try and help

    by Fiona Patten on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

  20. Ms Patten, the word of no political partisan is good enough to remain unchecked. Would you believe something Mr Rudd or Mr Abbott said on a political matter without checking it? I certainly wouldn’t.

    However I’d welcome the chance to see details of Classification Board documents about political decisions so I can write a properly detailed, non-sensationalised article about the problems with our censorship regime. I will email you via the Australian Sex Party.

    by David Jackmanson on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

  21. Wow. Have we noted the disconnect. The Board are saying they Refuse Classification to material which “contain offensive depictions or descriptions of persons who are or appear to be persons under the age of 18 ” The FBI check only deals with half of that.

    Can I just ask why we mighht want “offensive depictions” of people who “appear to be under 18” other than to try to titilate those who want to get their rocks off on under age people!

    So - I don’t give a stuff about what the FBI might be doing on actual ages - it is the image that matters and I’d guess breast size is just one indicator the Board is using on the question of “appears to be”.

    by David Havyatt on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

  22. The problem is David that deciding if someone appears to be under the age of 18 is very subjective. We have even had instances when the same model is in two magazines. In one she is found to appear to be under 18 and in the other not.

    The images themselves are not offensive - they only become offensive if the Board decides that the model appears to be under 18 or is being portrayed as under 18.

    Most other countries use proof of age as the line.

    by Fiona Patten on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  23. Leaving aside the specific question of whether the Board is banning “small boobs”, I think the bigger problem is that there’s clearly a lack of transparency in the decision making process. Otherwise this would be easily settled by reference to the evidence, one way or the other.

    I am not a fan of censorship — even when the material in question is something I personally find objectionable — but if we are to have it then it must be properly accountable and transparent. Hiding behind FoI is not acceptable.

    by Matt McLeod on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

  24. Melinda Reist links to her own article on ABC which seeks to describe all pornography as harmful. She cites a number of studies to support her case. I note that several of them are either quite old or were conducted by partisan right-wing researchers. I think the more correct method for correlating studies is to gather up all the studies and see what conclusions can be drawn. The less correct method is to start with the conclusion and ignore any dissenting information.

    There are also plenty of studies that show pornography is not harmful. The Porn Report by McKee et al is the first one that jumps to mind. Interestingly, Michael Flood has just released an overview of existing studies. His report says the evidence is often conflicting and inconclusive. He found that porn in and of itself is not harmful; rather that a variety of factors including family, socialisation, peer groups, culture and pre-existing psychology make a huge difference. He advocates education (not censorship) as a vital factor in reducing any possible harm caused by porn.

    Ms Reist then discusses numerous magazines which she finds offensive. These items all depict models that are over 18 but are made to look younger - they “appear under 18”. She is concerned that such magazines encourage pedophilia. To be honest I wonder the same thing. But here’s my problem. There’s no actual evidence to prove that looking at such magazines leads men to commit a crime. There may be correlation, pedophiles may very well read porn magazines but did the magazine cause the pedophilia?

    Hell, it’s even possible that these magazines prevent child sexual abuse crime, but there’s no evidence of that either. Although Todd Kendall’s 2007 study showed a correlation between increased availability of pornography and decreased rates of rape. Could material not involving and harming children, obviously, reduce the pedophile’s socially unacceptable orientation?

    My concern is that she is advocating legislation that essentially bans *thinking* about it. Once you start getting into the area of thought crime, you’re in very slippery territory indeed. And the thought crime problem produces its own chilling effect, which we’ve seen within the Arts following the Bill Henson case, and in the new wariness of adult magazines to avoid small breasts.

    Considering that Ms Reist heads an organisation called Women’s Forum, how does she feel about any possible bans on depictions of female ejaculation? Does she feel that images or movies showing female orgasm are harmful to those who watch it? Does she feel that this aspect of female sexuality should never be captured on film or seen by anyone? Can she cite a peer-reviewed report that proves viewing depictions of female orgasms result in crime?

    by LukeRevolution on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

  25. Fiona Patten certainly needs to clarify her comments!
    The Australian Sex Party media release, which she wrote, has grossly misrepresented and distorted the work of Kids Free 2B Kids, to push their agenda regarding their core business of promoting and defending pornography.
    Fiona Patten has misconstrued and falsely represented the work KF2BK has been engaged in with the Classification Board.
    We suggest Ms Patten gets her facts straight before writing or making any further comments.
    Our work is often misrepresented by people and groups with hidden agendas.
    This is a ridiculous strawman campaign - almost laughable…if so many people hadn’t believed it.

    by Julie Gale on Jan 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  26. Julie Gale
    Would you care to elaborate on exactly what kind of work KF2BK has been engaged in with the Classification Board?

    by Ms Naughty on Jan 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

  27. lukerrevolution

    I don’t ‘head up Women’s Forum Australia’. I also don’t have an issue with female ejaculation. I do have an issue with teen porn magazines promoting sex with minors, rape and incest. These magazines - many of them imported by David Watt, an office bearer with the Eros Association - pose young women (who may or may not be 18) as child-like. They are surrounded by soft toys, holding hand puppets, wearing braces, pigtails, and other accroutements of childhood and presented as desperate to be penetrated multiple ways by older men. Some issues depict the girls in sexual acts. Perhaps you think this is OK. I share Gail Dines view, expressed in a soon to be published book chapter titled Childified Women: How the mainstream Porn Industry Sells Child Pornography to Men.
    “…More men than ever now have the opportunity to masturbate to pseudo child pornography (PCP) images of ‘girls’”. Dines points out that what pseudo child pornography and actual child pornography have in common is their aim to “sexually arouse men to images of sexualized ‘children’”.

    Maybe you don’t have a problem with that.

    by Melinda Reist on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm

  28. Also ‘Lukerrevolution’ why don’t you come out from behind the veil of anonymity so we know who you are and if you have any vested interests? Some us are prepared to use our real names (though Crikey has abbreviated mine somewhat, but you seem to know who I am).

    by Melinda Reist on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  29. Melinda Resit, a personal attack in response to legitimate questions? Classy.

    by glengyron on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  30. Before the KF2BK people start pulling out their matches they should look closely at the strawman that underpins their “all children are being harmed all the time by anything designed for adults” model. Sure, the model has an air of appealing ‘truthiness’ about it and offers clear target that are easily demonized but it is not a proven model.

    If we are going to face the real problem of child sex abuse we need real action underpinned by peer reviewed studies not stabs in the dark by the panic stricken. While we are wasting our time banning female ejaculation and small boobs we are allowing more and more children to be abused.

    Imagine the harm being done to young women who are being told that to be a woman you’ve gotta go big. Is this being sponsored by the plastic surgery industry? See, that has an air of truthiness about it but I have no proof.

    by LukeRevolution on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  31. Ms Gale,

    I am using my real name, and while I generally support the aims of the Australian Sex Party I am not a member of it and have no financial interest in pornography.

    How do you claim the work of your organisation has been misrepresented by Ms Patten?

    How have you worked with the Classification Board? What approaches, formal or informal, have you made to the Classification Board, or to politicians, regarding the Board’s practices in classifying sexual images of people who appear to be under 18?

    by David Jackmanson on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  32. Luke Revolution - did you not read my previous response?
    KF2bK has made no stabs in the dark and has had absolutely NOTHING …I repeat NOTHING to do with the female ejaculation or ban small breasted issues.
    What a joke! Unfortunately when something is ‘press released’ some people believe the content must have some validity.
    Save your breath and let your steam off on an issue that actually exists… unless of course you want to continue strawman propaganda.
    Another thing to clear up is the constant insistence from a minority - including the media academics you have mentioned, that the sexualisation of children and child sex abuse is exactly the same issue. They may be connected on a continuum but there are clear distinctions and both issues need to be dealt with.

    by Julie Gale on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  33. Small or big breasts. You can’t legislate human behaviour but what you can do is educate the young and well before and not after they have become teenagers.

    Australia has a high rate of unwanted teenage pregnancies. The Netherlands have a very low rate of unwanted pregnancies. I assume both countries have young women with small and large breasts and young men with eager penises. The big difference is the no nonsense approach in Holland to sex education which starts at primary school level.

    If you want to fight the incidence of child abuse or pedophilia start giving the facts to the young so that they can grow up into adults without the fear for the world they live in.

    Also stop sexualising young girls by making them wear silly little swimmers with bras when they are four years old. I don’t think children below 10 years look much different above their navels.

    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

  34. Just a paragraph into Mrs. Reist’s article it was already obvious that the article was just a blatant stab at the pornographic film and publication industry. While I am not going to even bother getting into the politics of whether or not the pornography industry is morally right or not or socio-economically damaging or not I would like to raise three very important issues which I have resonable doubt as to whether or not the author of the article probably had not considered at the time of publication seeing as the article has obviously been taken from the one-sided viewpoint that all pornography is evil rather than actually honing in on the small breast issue specifically, the point that the article purports to be all about.

    Point #1: What is the point of such a supposed ban (which I believe to be in place not directly as a small breast ban but a possible underage portrayal of pornographic actresses ban) if one of it’s main effect will be to say to women across Australia, all of whom are beautiful (if not always in the sense that Marylin Monroe was beautiful) that it is wrong to have small breasts or that young individuals (under the age of 18) are more mature than others with smaller breasts because they have larger breasts? In a society where youth is seen to value maturity (young kids seek advice from older individuals such as their parents, teachers, or older family friends don’t they?) what sort of messages of maturity are we sending by a law like this?

    Point #2: Ken Park. This film is banned because the actors within the film portray individuals suggested to be under the age of 18 in real sexual situations even though they are over the age of 18 (and obviously visually and physically so). This film was banned in Australia years ago, a ban which has not yet been revoked despite the fact that it is non-pornographic as is not intended as such. Shouldn’t responsible adults be able to decide if they want to see this movie? Especially considering none of the actresses have small breasts or other physical attributes that would suggest in any way they are underage. I highly doubt any individuals would watch this film just to see short and non-offensive footage of consensual adults partaking in sexual acts portraying children in the context of the story but not pertaining to any physical attribute to suggest youth. I am sure there are examples of bannings of quality pieces of art just as this one that haven’t garnered the critical or media response that this film Ken Park received due to it’s critical acclaim. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look it up (Google: Ken Park Margaret Pomeranz).

    Point #3: What about Bill Henson’s images? What makes one thing art and another pornography? Does hanging something in a gallery make it art? Is it artistic intent? Should individuals be constrained from artistic exploration of touchy subject matter just because it is controversial?

    I’d love to read any responses. Just for some personal background information, I am a 17 year old Sydney selective high-school student with absolutely no outsider influences on my interest in this topic. If a reasonable point of view can be put across to me I would be happy to reconsider my viewpoint on the issue however I am yet to encounter one.

    Also, slightly off-topic but slightly related all the same, I was wondering if anyone knew if the Australian DVD release of Californication Season 2 had the Female Ejaculation scene edited out as the TV screening of the series did?

    by Brian X. McAllister on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  35. In response to Gerard’s most recent comment, I totally agree. I learnt so many contradictory things from year 7 all the way to year 11 in PDHPE class about sex and pregnancy and drug-use I’m still not quite sure what’s true. I believe there should be a review of the current Physical Education curriculum and the Department of Education should remove the tired and fatigued view they hold, I like to call the “ends justify the means” approach to teaching students about the dangers of drugs and sex which eventually led me to not believe anything I was learning in the PDHPE classroom and seek my Drug and Sex education from more truthful and consistent sources outside the school.

    by Brian X. McAllister on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

  36. Clearly big norks are best, but only if the body’s big enough to buttress such bouncy protrusions. The problem nowadays, with all these stick insect sheilahs, is that they either have matching pancake titties, and look like jail bait, or they get them swollen with silicone and look like trannies.

    by Skepticus Autartikus on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm

  37. What about baby man-boobs? Perhaps Mark Latham needs to address the nation?

    by Skepticus Autartikus on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  38. We’ll probably have Marilyn Shepherd along next telling us that according to international law, Australia has an international obligation to accept even those sheilahs who are washed up on our shores by a storm in a B cup.

    by Skepticus Autartikus on Jan 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm

  39. Some are discussing whether men getting aroused by the idea of sex with children leads to peadophilia. Why on earth would we want to take such a risk? Surely many of the men who purchase these publications are peadophiles, but what about the men who watch “normal” pornography and decide to experiment by getting off on what appear to be little girls? Do we really need to encourage more abuse of children? If the women/girls in the “Barely legal” magazines were under 18, then yes, those children have been harmed and it is a crime. But even if the images are of women over 18 who are presented as children seeking sex with men, then children everywhere are harmed because we are creating an environment where lust for children is seen as legitimate. What you’re essentially arguing for here, sex party apologists, is the right for men to masturbate over images of children. Ensuring the women are “over 18” yet removing as many signs of adulthood as possible is merely an exercise in ensuring it’s legality. It didn’t work because thankfully there are enough people in this country who see these publications for what they are – a replication of child pornography.

    Fiona Pattern, you said:

    The problem is David that deciding if someone appears to be under the age of 18 is very subjective.”

    ok Fiona, so pigtails, stuffed toys, braces, dummies, “shhhh dont’ tell mum” and “daddy’s big **** is that subjective is it? You’re not sure about this? In this context, small breast size is but one component of the image used to convey the idea to the reader that this is a child they’re masturbating over. You have taken the issue of breast size out of context and misrepresented people’s concerns.

    by Meljane on Jan 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

  40. As a woman who ejaculates, frequently and with enthusiasm, I find it quite disturbing that depictions of this perfectly natural act are being censored. If it wasn’t for pornography, I (and my partner) would have been shocked and possibly repulsed by my body’s response. Instead we rightly see it as it is - wonderful evidence of arousal and pleasure.

    And I can’t believe that the debate still rages over whether women ejaculate or not. My evidence is only anecdotal, but I can assure you that the result looks, tastes and smells nothing like urine.

    by Perpetual Tart on Jan 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm

  41. LukeRevolution

    As a psychologist specialising in sexual health, body image issues, and young people, I want to respond to the question you raised regarding porn magazines deliberately portraying models to “appear under 18:”

    You said: “There’s no actual evidence to prove that looking at such magazines leads men to commit a crime. There may be correlation, pedophiles may very well read porn magazines but did the magazine cause the pedophilia?”

    1. The fact that science currently lacks the method to tease apart nature/nurture 100% is not “evidence’ that these magazines do not cause harm. In fact, positive correlations suggest that the repeated viewing of such images, normalise and ‘shape’ the preference for pedophilic images.

    Whether or not a person is prone to commit a criminal act is one thing, but shaping their sexual preferences towards those who are most vulnerable - children- should inspire within us to put up safeguards.

    Is men’s sexual pleasure, regarding sex with children (as these images promote), more important than the safety of our children? Seriously? Again, I urge you to consider that the lack of fail-proof evidence (as this is untestable) is NOT evidence of harmlessness.

    2. Research in the field of neuroplasticity informs us that ‘neurons that fire together, wire together.’ If boys and men are encouraged to view images that consistently pair a physiologically rewarding (sexual) response to particular images (girls that appears underaged) - then the evidence actually suggests that they are more likely to desire such ideas/images of ‘innocence’ - ie experience more sexual thoughts of having sex with children. Until you can provide safeguards, why would you give this the ‘okay’? what’s to stop this from escalating ?

    I am appalled that you actually have no problem with pedophilic images.

    You also stated:

    Hell, it’s even possible that these magazines prevent child sexual abuse crime, but there’s no evidence of that either. Although Todd Kendall’s 2007 study showed a correlation between increased availability of pornography and decreased rates of rape. Could material not involving and harming children, obviously, reduce the pedophile’s socially unacceptable orientation?”

    Oh come on. Surely even you are aware of the wealth of research indicating that populations with increased access to porn experience significantly higher rates of sexual violence than those that have more limited access!

    by Lydia Jade Turner on Jan 29, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  42. My understanding is that KF2BK had nothing to do with the suggestion that female ejaculation and small breasts should be censored… really - as a psych specialising in body image issues I would be absolutely opposed to that.

    by Lydia Jade Turner on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

  43. You know what, there probably are “dirty old men” choking the chicken to porn involving a woman with pigtails surrounded by furry animals right now. But they’re not the threat to children. The real threat, the paedophiles, don’t use the internet like the rest of us. They have very advanced technology to spread their child porn with and to evade detection. They already have a way to circumvent the proposed Internet Filter.

    When even child protection groups are speaking out about it, then what do people honestly think it will do to stop the actual child predators?

    It still doesn’t protect children on MSN, ICQ, MySpace, Facebook and all the other usual predatory mediums and may even give parents a false sense of security.
    But even with the idea of protecting children in mind, what right does the government have to stop grown up adults viewing material which is 100% legal is somewhat morally objectionable?
    What right do they have to force their standard of morality on adults who are perfectly with in the law viewing material created by other consenting adults?
    The scariest aspect to me is the idea of scope creep, which this already seems to be. Today it’s female ejaculatory porn but tomorrow it may be spanking or bondage or some other fetish that consensual adults have every right to do, but apparently no right to view if the government deems it’s not up to their standards.
    If implemented, this filter will put us on the same list as China, North Korea, Syria, Iran, and a whole bunch of other countries famed for their repression of civil liberties and human rights.
    If parents want a filter then there are many options they can install on their own PCs including the government sponsored PC filter.

    by Rakarth on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

  44. The real abuse and exploitation of kids, far worse than adults looking at any small or large breasts, or the spilling of male and female squirtings (during the worst drought), is of course the sale of W11, Ipods and other mind bogling stupid gadgets with small knobs.

    Kids that should be on the streets, terrorisng the neighbourhood with billy carts and making pocket money selling those 5 minutes of joy gadgets that have been abanded in the box underneath the bed. Climbing trees and riding bikes, catching frogs and growing pods into peas.

    The real perverts are those commercial exploiters of kids who know they are the most lucrative market with loads of guilt driven parents only too keen to keep kids quiet and sadly subdued.

    by gerard on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  45. Meljane
    Your story is a disturbing one, but is it true. It has a wholesome truthiness about it that current affair programs lap up. For this to be the information that we are acting on it needs to be shown that a man watching a barely legal video will turn from being a non-pedophile into a pedophile. This is not so that this material can just be available for self pleasuring. We need to know that the removal of this material *will* decrease pedophilia rates otherwise we have just given ourselves a false sense of security. Sure, we’ll all feel warm and fuzzy but the abuse will go on regardless.

    I don’t think that viewing “Barely Legal” or other small breasted material would change someone’s sexual orientation. Attempts have been made in the past to convert gay people with positive and negative re-enforcement whilst viewing straight and gay porn. It doesn’t work. So, if it can’t make gay people straight how can it make anyone who sees it into pedophiles?

    Perpetual Tart:
    Your evidence is much more firm than the censorship board’s evidence. They looked at it and said: “That looks like pee”. You ejaculated the liquid, smelt it and tasted it - it doesn’t get much more open minded then getting right in there and having a good hard look like that. I’ll take your word over the censorship board’s bias any old day. Thank you for your efforts and honesty.

    by LukeRevolution on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm

  46. +1

    by Brian X. McAllister on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

  47. This just proves that the “Peds Under the Bed” issue is completely out of control and is totally beyond rationality and good sense. It is becoming more a “thought police” issue than protecting children in a genuine and practical manner. If anyone truly thinks that actions like these will stamp out pedophilia they’re living in “La La” Land. It’s on the same level as banning photography in public parks.

    I would much rather someone getting his rocks off watching a porn movie of an 18+ plus lady with A cup breasts and fantasizing, than have him out on the street stalking my 14 year old grand-daughter. Afterall watching someone of legal age perform is not a criminal offence and there are men who genuinely prefer mature ladies with small breasts.

    What’s next, taking a ruler to the “members” of the male actors to make sure they’re not posing as boys ?

    by Eric Brodrick on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

  48. @Ruth Brown.

    Nice backpeddling, to quickly claim that you’re just covering the internet explosion around the issue, as opposed to the actual issue. Well, why the hell aren’t you and Crikey actually looking into the issue? If I wanted to read about what people are tweeting, I can get that from MX and the Herald Scum. This isn’t frickin news.

    by MS on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm

  49. Rakarth, spanking, bondage and fisting are already listed as “abhorrent” fetishes by the Classification Board.

    by Ms Naughty on Jan 29, 2010 at 11:42 pm

  50. Imagine the harm being done to young women who are being told that to be a woman you’ve gotta go big. Is this being sponsored by the plastic surgery industry? See, that has an air of truthiness about it but I have no proof.”

    Oh good grief give me a break. Women are already under pressure to get plastic surgery but I doubt it’s because of the Australian Sex parties flawed press release.

    by Meljane on Jan 30, 2010 at 12:41 am

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