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Jailbait or jail bait is slang[1][2] for a person who is younger than the legal age of consent for sexual activity, with the implication that an older person might find him or her sexually attractive.[3] The term is usually applied to females, though it can also apply to both males and transsexuals.[4] The term jailbait is derived from the fact that engaging in sexual activity with someone who is under the age of consent is classified as statutory rape.[3] The minor deemed sexually attractive is thus a temptation to an older person to pursue them for sexual relations at the risk of being sent to jail if caught.

As the legal age of consent varies by country and jurisdiction, the age at which a person can be considered "jailbait" varies. For example, in the United Kingdom, where the age of consent is 16,[5] the term is used to refer to those younger than 16, whereas in some parts of the United States where the age of consent is 18, the term would refer to those aged under 18. The frequent use of the term jailbait in popular culture has been linked to a greater understanding of age of consent laws among teenagers.[2]

The term is also commonly used to refer to sexualized but non-pornographic images of minors who are perceived to meet the definition of jailbait. The growing popularity of jailbait images online has caused controversy, in some cases leading to the censorship of both the images and the term itself, and has invoked debate on the legality of such images.

Images and online impact

Jailbait images can be differentiated from child pornography, as they do not feature minors before the onset of puberty, nor do they contain nudity.[6][7] The images are, however, usually sexualized,[6] often featuring tween or young teen girls in bikini's, skirts,[8] underwear or lingerie.[4] Jailbait images are often collected straight from young girl's Facebook pages.[9] Whether or not jailbait images are legal is debated. When questioned regarding their legality legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stated he thought it was not illegal, though legal expert Sunny Hostin was more sceptical, describing jailbait images as "borderline" child porn which may be illegal.[10][11] While the images may be legal, they are often considered to be in poor taste.[10][12] Jailbait is amongst the list of banned hashtags at the photo-sharing website Instagram,[13][14] and the social networking website Tumblr.[15] The term is also blocked on Google Instant.[16] Jailbait images have been defended on the grounds of free speech,[7] and have also been defended on the grounds they are similar to mainstream sexualised images of minors, such as those in the music video for ...Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, who was 16 years old at the time of filming.[8]

Numerous webpages and forums are devoted to jailbait images. As well as uploading and sharing images, popular discussion topics at jailbait communities include ephebophilia, the difference between ephebophilia and pedophilia, and debating whether images of certain girls are too young or old to be classified as jailbait.[17] Vice magazine commented on the lack of attention the press paid to the role popular jailbait image boards had on the suicide of Amanda Todd.[18] An individual who was alleged to be harassing Todd prior to her suicide was tracked down by posts and images he uploaded to jailbait forums on the internet. Online jailbait communities have been described as "a very insidious force on the internet that is pitting overly clever pedophiles against insecure teenagers."[18] The have also been said to "offer a window into a disturbing mindset."[17] Self-identified pedophiles can be found in jailbait communities.[17]

Reddit controversy

The most infamous online jailbait community was the subreddit section "/r/jailbait" on the website Reddit. It was first result when searching for "jailbait" on Google,[4] and was at one point the second largest search term that brought visitors to Reddit, topped only by the word "Reddit" itself.[8]

The jailbait subreddit received widespread attention after Anderson Cooper devoted a segment of his TV program on September 29, 2011, to condemning both the subreddit itself and Reddit for hosting it.[6] On October 10 the subreddit was shut-down by Reddit administrators.[12]

See also

References

  1. House, Random (2001). Random House Webster's unabridged dictionary. New York: Random House Reference. ISBN 0-375-42605-1. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sutherland, Kate (2003). "From jailbird to jailbait: age of consent laws and the construction of teenage sexualities". William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law 9: 313–349. http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1167&context=wmjowl. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jail bait. Dictionary.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Reddit Closes 'Jailbait' Pic Site, Allows Others to Remain. PC Magazine (August 10, 2011). Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  5. Sexual Offences Act 2003. .legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Morris, Kevin (September 30, 2011). "Anderson Cooper addresses Reddit's teen pics section". The Daily Dot. http://www.dailydot.com/news/anderson-cooper-jailbait-reddit/. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Alfonso III, Fernando (11 August 2011). "A free-speech haven wrestles with violent images". The Daily Dot. http://www.dailydot.com/society/reddit-beatingwomen-misogyny-images/. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Chen, Adrian (12 October 2012). "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web". Gawker. http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  9. Reddit's ban on r/jailbait goes international (August 23, 2011). Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Anderson Cooper Excoriates Reddit For ‘Creepy’ Jailbait Section. Mediaite (September 30, 2011). Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  11. Man behind 'Jailbait' posts exposed, loses job. CNN (October 19, 2012). Retrieved on June 12, 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Morris, Kevin (11 October 2011). "Reddit shuts down r/jailbait". The Daily Dot. http://www.dailydot.com/society/reddit-r-jailbait-shutdown-controversy/. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  13. The New Banned Hashtags Of Instagram -- Now With More #SexyTimes. The Huffington Post (29 October 2013). Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  14. The Banned #Hashtags of Instagram. thedatapack.com (August 26, 2013). Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  15. 29 tags Tumblr banned from its mobile app (and 10 it didn't). The Daily Dot (July 18, 2013). Retrieved on July 19, 2014.
  16. Google Blacklist – Words That Google Instant Doesn't Like. 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Reddit's Pedophilia Posse And The Return Of Jailbait. Jezebel (20 September 2011). Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 A Jailbait Loving Perv Destroyed Amanda Todd's Life. Vice (October 15, 2012). Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Jailbait, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Darkness Shines Search for "Jailbait" on Google
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