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"All against pedophilia": ethnographic notes about a contemporary moral crusade

Based on an ethnographic fieldwork carried out within the Brazilian Senate's inquiry committee on Pedophilia and in the Federal Police Department, the aim of this paper is to analyze the strategies and the effects of the conceptualization and the combat of the phenomenon of sexual violence against children as "pedophilia" and with focus on child pornography on the internet. The text consists of a historical approach to the emergence of the problem, an analysis of the political strategies of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Pedophilia and an ethnographic description of the police investigations into child pornography on the internet. The hypothesis is that this "anti-pedophilia crusade" pivoting on the threats of a sexual perversion, is not as effective in the protection of the real child victims of violence as it is in the defense of an ideally innocent childhood.

Pedophilia; child pornography; social problem; politics; police


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