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Effects of Child Porn and Liberal Censors


P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

Press Release

14 January 2005

Effects of Child Porn and Liberal Censors

The Society is angered by the refusal of those who head the Office of Film and Literature Classification and the Film and Literature Board of Review to admit that strong evidence points to an “association” between the regular viewing of graphic and explicit scenes of sexual violence; and sexual offences of a criminal nature especially against woman and children.

“However, an admission of a link, alone, is not sufficient,” says Society president Mike Petrus. “There must be, in addition, the will and determination of censors to properly apply the law and classify publications that tend to promote sexual violence, as objectionable publications (requiring excisions or a total ban).”

“Many films like Baise-Moi, Visitor Q, Irreversible, Anatomy of Hell and Twenty-Nine Palms, with gratuitous and explicit depictions of sexual violence and degrading perversions (necrophilia, sodomy and incest) have been cleared in recent years by the Chief Censor Bill Hastings without cuts, for viewing in public cinemas and/or in university media courses by those 18 years of age and older. More R18 sexually-explicit/ultra-violent films and videos have been cleared for home video/DVD viewing and theatre viewing under the leadership of Mr Hastings than by any other Chief Censor,” says Petrus.

A study by the Department of Internal Affairs reported on in the Dominion today reveals a disturbing finding that teenagers are the biggest viewers of child pornography and suggests an “association” between viewing child porn and offending against children. Young people aged 15 to 20 were the single biggest demographic group, accounting for one-quarter of all child porn users tracked and caught by Department of Internal Affairs investigators. One-third of the 185 criminals gave their occupations as students, of which 60 percent were studying at tertiary level.

“The Society commends the work carried out by the Censorship Compliance Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs in tracking down those who access internet child porn and assisting the police and courts to secure criminal convictions against such offenders. It is encouraged that an internal affairs senior policy analyst, David Wilson, has been prepared to state that the findings suggested an “association” between viewing child porn and offending against children,” says Petrus.

“For over 25 years the Society has sought to focus public attention on the harmful nature and consequences of sexual promiscuity, obscenity, pornography and violence and uphold and press for the proper enforcement of applicable censorship law. Its recent successful appeal in the Court of Appeal against the Review Board’s second classification of Baise-Moi which follows the Society’s successful appeal in the High Court against the Board’s first classification of the film, has highlighted flaws in the Board’s application of the law. Two successful appeals in the High Court against decisions issued by the Board president, Ms Claudia Elliott relating to interim restriction orders have reinforced the same point,” Petrus says.

In a major article by Graham Reid published in the NZ Herald (1 Dec. 2001) entitled “Censorship is no easy matter” Chief Censor, Bill Hastings is reported as saying: “The Act does not require proof that something be injurious to the public good, - for it to be classified objectionable - the phrase is ‘likely to be’ [injurious]... Increasingly, research is telling us how likely it might be.”

"There are now journals and so on which pretty well define that for anyone with a propensity to sexual violence, that [propensity] will be heightened by exposure to sexually violent images. Other studies show that negative attitudes towards women can be maintained by exposure to demeaning images.”

Mike Petrus says: “It is an indictment on the Classification Office and the Review Board that despite this overwhelming evidence, films containing glamourised depictions of sexual violence, graphic violence and degrading depictions of women, in particular, are being cleared for general restricted (R18) release.”

Late last year the Society called on the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. George Hawkins, to replace the Chief Censor, his deputy – Ms Nicola McCully, and the entire Board of Review. In a press release he respond by saying he has full confidence in them all.

For further information on the Society’s views see:

Society’s website.


Film Festivals, Sex Perverts, “Baise-Moi” and Censorship

August 2002.


Society Calls For Board's Dismissal by Minister
3rd December 2004.


Should The Chief Censor Be Sacked?
9 April 2002.


Kim Hill, TV ONE, “Hate Speech” Ban & Chief Censor
Monday, 29 November 2004.


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