Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Naked eight-year-olds and the world we live in

Salon recently ran this story about a guy who took naked pictures of his kids on a camping trip. The oldest kid was an eight-year-old boy. The guy also had taken a picture of everybody peeing out the fire.

A friend's wife took the disposable camera to Eckard's and everyone involved was put into month-long battle with child protective services.

As usual with Salon, the most interesting part of the article is the comments.

Salon being Salon, the standard array of bobo schmucks is like "How DARE anybody suspect a man of something freaky just because his photos include naked children and urinating?"

As much as I hate the offended tone, I basically agree with the sentiment that you should be able to take naked pictures of your own kids.

The other school of thought on this one is the: Child Protective services investigated him, didn't charge him and let him go. Sorry he felt traumatized by the incident, but taking naked photos of the kids and letting the camera out of your sight is questionable parenting in the first place. If you absolutely have to take nudie pics of your preadolescent boy, go digital, dumbass.

And I agree with that, too.

TheCSO and I both knew familes that had suboptimal encourters with CPS. At least in my case, the little boy was anemic so he was always covered in bruises. CPS did make him get tested over and over again to prove he was anemic. But to hear the kid's (totally unbruised) older sibling tell the story, the kid had discovered how much he liked the attention he got from his teachers and the adults in his life when he avoided their questions and acted evasive.

I'm sure some CPS workers are overly agressive and some are clueless and incompetent. That's life.

But I am curious what other folks here think of the case and the issues around it.



Joel Monka said...

To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, the price of safe children is eternal vigilance. If you don't investigate such things, children will slip through the cracks- and as you point out, everything was all right after determining the child was not in danger. The same thing is true of the anemic child- you have to ask about a child that looks battered; it's not the CPS's fault the kid played it up.

I might be over-sensitive to the issue as here in Indiana we have a number of uber-fundamental churches who refuse medical treatment, and every two years or so we have a prosecution of parents who let their children die for lack of the most basic of medical care. Given the consequences of not acting, I come down on the side of asking the questions. Nine times out of ten complaints of overzealous CPS started as the parents acting like idiots in the beginning, and spiraling from there. Yes, there are bad CPS agents... but there are a lot of bad parents, too.

PeaceBang said...

I took a bunch of photos this past weekend of my naked 2 1/2 year old nephew eating chocolate pudding. I 'm sure someone, somewhere could find that pervy.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a social line on the point at which nudity for children starts feeling kind of inappropriate. Probably around the elementary school age. Why do people want to take pictures of their kids naked, though? Is it to embarrass the hell out of them when they bring home significant others?