skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 65879 Find in a Library
Title: MEANING OF 'INDECENCY' WITH RESPECT TO MORAL OFFENCES INVOLVING CHILDREN
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:20-32
Author(s): E BRONGERSMA
Corporate Author: Stevens and Sons
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Stevens and Sons
London, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: SINCE EMPIRICAL RESEARCH INDICATES THAT CHILDREN HAVING SEXUAL CONTACTS WITH ADULTS DO NOT SUFFER ANY PERMANENT PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE, CRIMINAL LAWS IN THIS AREA SHOULD BE REVISED.
Abstract: THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT HAS DECREASED THE SCOPE AND PENALTIES OF MANY LAWS CONCERNING SEXUAL OFFENSES, BUT ALL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MINOR UNDER 16 IS STILL CONSIDERED LEGALLY INDECENT. CONTACTS BROUGHT ABOUT THROUGH VIOLENCE, THREATS, OR ABUSE OF AUTHORITY SHOULD BE PUNISHED, BUT RELATIONS WHICH ARE SOLICITED OR FREELY CONSENTED TO BY A CHILD SHOULD NOT BE FORBIDDEN. DISTASTEFUL OR RIDICULOUS SEXUAL CONTACTS SHOULD BE PREVENTED, BUT NOT CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED. THE CONCEPT OF THE INNOCENT ASEXUAL CHILD ONLY APPEARED IN THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND HAS BEEN REPUDIATED BY FREUD, KINSEY, AND OTHER SOCIAL SCIENTISTS. LEGISLATION HAS BEEN BROADLY WORDED TO ALLOW JUDGES TO ADAPT VERDICTS TO SOCIAL TRENDS. IN THE 1930'S, RESEARCHERS IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES BEGAN TO EXAMINE THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ACTIVITIES ON CHILDREN AND CONCLUDED THAT THEY DID NOT HARM SUBSEQUENT PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT. CHILDREN APPEAR TRAUMATIZED AFTER SEXUAL CONTACT WITH AN ADULT BECAUSE OF THE SHOCKED REACTIONS OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS AND QUESTIONING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL, NOT FROM THE SEXUAL ACT ITSELF. IN THE NETHERLANDS, SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, PRIVATE CITIZENS, AND POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE PETITIONED TO ABOLISH AGE OF CONSENT REFERENCES IN PENAL CODES AND TO DECRIMINALIZE NONVIOLENT SEXUAL ACTIVITIES INVOLVING CHILDREN. SOME PSYCHOLOGISTS AND EDUCATORS CONTEND THAT SEXUAL PLAY AND INTIMATE SEXUAL CONTACT CAN BE A POSITIVE FACTOR IN THE CHILD'S PSYCHOLOGICAL GROWTH. UNTIL THE LEGISLATION IS CHANGED, JUDGES MUST ADJUST THEIR INTERPRETATIONS TO REFLECT CURRENT RESEARCH AND OPINION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Crimes against children; Equipment evaluation; Indecency; Netherlands; Rights of minors; Sex offenses; Sexual assault victims; Sexual behavior
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65879

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.