The most ridiculous op-ed you will read this week

Society must, at some stage, accept that not only is there a widespread demand for pornography, but that it also has the potential, in the process of adhering to certain values, to aid healthy adolescent sexual development. It may seem ludicrous to envision government-funded pornography, but there is no reason why such an enlightened initiative would not be theoretically feasible. …

Such an alternative could take many forms. A government-funded website or periodical aimed at adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18, for example, containing erotic and/or informative sexual content (written as well as visual); a high standard of journalism that is simultaneously accessible to the demographics in question; a feminist, but not misandrist, bent; a diverse, open-minded and celebratory view of sex; at least a small quota of queer material; healthy and realistic depictions of the human form, both male and female; opportunities for reader feedback; and rigorous production and employment standards that guard against exploitation.

– Monash University journalism student David Heslin, published this morning in The Age. He makes a sensible point that boys looking at pornography is no inherent cause for concern, but draws the ridiculous conclusion that government should pay for the kind of porn he prefers. There is no ‘market failure’ in the porn industry. And if people really want the nasty, non-NVE stuff a free alternative will not stop them.