Jailbait

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For other uses, see Jailbait (disambiguation).

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 also used to refer to sexualized but non-pornographic images of minors or people who appear to be minors. 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 said to be a form of bait, who could, intentionally or unintentionally, lure 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 refers 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]

Images

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] Defenders of jailbait, however, have compared jailbait images to mainstream images 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]

Reddit controversy

Numerous webpages are devoted to jailbait images, the most infamous of which was the jailbait 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 to condemning both the subreddit itself and Reddit for hosting it.[6] Shortly thereafter the subreddit was shut-down by administrators on October 10, 2011.[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. ^ a b 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. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Jail bait". Dictionary.com. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Hachman, Mark (August 10, 2011). "Reddit Closes 'Jailbait' Pic Site, Allows Others to Remain". PC Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sexual Offences Act 2003". .legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Morris, Kevin (3 October 2011). "Anderson Cooper boosts visibility of teen-girl pics". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ Alfonso III, Fernando (11 August 2011). "A free-speech haven wrestles with violent images". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Chen, Adrian (12 October 2012). "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web". Gawker. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ Morris, Kevin (August 23, 2011). "Reddit's ban on r/jailbait goes international". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Crugnale, James (September 30, 2011). "Anderson Cooper Excoriates Reddit For ‘Creepy’ Jailbait Section". Mediaite. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fitzpatrick, David; Griffin, Drew (October 19, 2012). "Man behind 'Jailbait' posts exposed, loses job". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Morris, Kevin (11 October 2011). "Reddit shuts down r/jailbait". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 12, 2014.