O'Hear, Michael M.; Perpetual Panic; Federal Sentencing Reporter; 21(2), pp. 69–77
The account of recent developments that unfolds in these pages may be viewed as yet another chapter in the story of a child sex abuse panic that is now well into its third decade - [Especially in the USA]
Gough, Jamie; Childhood Sexuality & Paedophilia; Gay Left A Gay Socialist Journal, Number 8, Summer 1979; 2 pp
I have argued that it is vital to see this issue in its class context, to see its place in the contradictory structures of society as a whole and its relation to the power of the ruling class. Seen in this way, it is evident that the questions of child sexuality and paedophilia cannot be solved except by a massive social and political struggle. This is in the first place the struggle of young people themselves, whose rebellion has made child sexuality a political issue.
The oppression of children and young people, and in a secondary way that of paedophiles, is a cruel oppression, and the struggle against it cannot be 'managed' or postponed.
Hamilton, Melissa; Public Safety, Individual Liberty, and Suspect Science; Temple Law Review
In recent decades, federal, state, and local governments have become increasingly restrictive on the freedom and privacy of those labeled sexually violent predators (“SVP”s) in hopes of preventing further sexual violence. The most commonly used tools to manage SVPs are involuntary commitments for mental treatment, sex offender registration, and residency restrictions (hereinafter “SVP laws”).
This article critically analyzes whether future dangerousness assessments using actuarial tools are responsive to legal standards contained in SVP laws and whether courts, when confronted with such assessments, are adequately engaging in the gatekeeper role to accept only good science considering the evidentiary benchmarks of Daubert and Frye.
Specifically, this article concludes that because of uncritical reliance upon actuarial assessments of future dangerousness, legal professionals have largely failed to grasp the significant empirical limitations of these tests.
Hamilton, Melissa; The Efficacy Of Severe Child Pornography Sentencing; Temple Law Review
Empirical Validity Or Political Rhetoric?

[USA's] Congress’s appetite for expanding the scope of child pornography laws and increasing the length of prison sentences for child pornography offenders endures, despite other officials involved in federal sentencing questioning the necessity and proportionality of severe sentences.
Emotions run high concerning issues involving the sexual exploitation of children. Moral panic has led Congress to pursue an ever-expanding federal regime of broadening the scope of child pornography laws and substantially increasing the length of sentences.
Based on an assessment of the empirical evidence, the Congressional stance is best characterized as political rhetoric. Overall, empirical research fails to establish a correlation, much less a causative link, between viewing child pornography and contact offenses against children.
Littauer, Amanda; Jailbait: The Politics of Statutory Rape Laws in the United States - Review
In the first book-length study of such laws, Cocca reflects on their historical context, and, more important, she documents and analyzes important changes that legislators have enacted in the last thirty years. Drawing from scholarship on law and society, Cocca inquires into the legal system's role in constructing and regulating "cultural narratives about gender and sexuality" through statutory rape law (p. 3).

While preventing the sexual coercion of young people is "unquestionably a laudable goal," she writes, statutory rape laws actually do much more than that. They punish consensual sexual relationships that occur outside of marriage, thereby putting the weight of the law behind one particular form of sexual intimacy: marital heterosexuality.
[...]
The adoption of age-span provisions reflects sympathy for consensual heterosexual teen relationships, but the provisions address consent structurally rather than subjectively. This leaves many youths vulnerable to sexual coercion by their peers at the same time that it denies the relevance of consent outside of the age span.

As long as age operates as a proxy for consent (or the lack thereof), statutory rape law will continue to fail at least as many youth as it protects.
Wakefield, Hollida, & Underwager Ralph; The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence?; Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science and the Law; 1, 141-149
Sex offenders are universally hated and despised and seen as dangerous sexual predators unless locked up and kept under surveillance. Following a number of highly publicized violent crimes, all states passed registration and notification laws and many passed civil commitment laws. Although these laws were passed as a means to decrease recidivism and promote public safety, the resulting stigmatization of sex offenders is likely to result in disruption of their relationships, loss of or difficulties finding jobs, difficulties finding housing, and decreased psychological well-being, all factors that could increase their risk of recidivism.
The civil commitment programs amount to expensive preventive detention and incapacitation rather than treatment; very few have been released. The high costs of the civil commitment programs divert resources from other programs with a better chance of being effective in reducing sexual violence.
Dannecker, Martin; Bemerkungen zur strafrechtlichen Behandlung der Pädosexualität
Gewaltlos pädosexuelle Begegnungen und Beziehungen sind, trotz der im letzten Absatz erhobenen kritischen Einwände, nichts Monströses. [...]
Die Pönalisierung verstärkt ferner die Schuldgefühle der Erwachsenen, mit denen sich das Kind identifiziert. Unbestreitbar führt das zu zusätzlichen psychischen Belastungen der Kinder, die eine sexuelle Beziehung mit einem Erwachsenen haben.

* Russian translation added.
Graupner, Helmut; The 17-year-old Child An Absurdity of the Late 20th Century
No language in the world ever used the term “child” for persons beyond their early teens. No person beyond its early teens is a “child”.
It was the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 which first did away with the distinction between children and adolescents and labelled all minors under 18 “child” (Art. 1).
The European Commission took this concept over into the criminal law area when it proposed an EU-Framework Decision on Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography in December 2000. This framework-decision obliges all the member states of the European Union to create certain sexual offences which goes far beyond what is known in that area in any European state so far.
The proposal of the Commission defined as “child” every person up to its 18th birthday (Art. 1 lit. a). It did not differentiate in any way between various age groups, i.e. it did not distinguish between children on the one hand and adolescents on the other. The proposal treated a 17-year-old young man in the same way as a 5 year old child.
This implementation of the same criteria for sexual protection and abuse to a five-year-old child and a 17-year-old adolescent leads to absurd and dangerous consequences.
Radford, Ben; Predator Panic: A Closer Look, Sep 01 2006
“Protect the children.” [...]
Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent protecting children from one threat or other, often with little concern for how expensive or effective the remedies are — or how serious the threat actually is in the first place. So it is with America’s latest panic: sexual predators.
According to lawmakers and near-daily news reports, sexual predators lurk everywhere: in parks, at schools, in the malls—even in children’s bedrooms, through the Internet. A few rare (but high-profile) incidents have spawned an unprecedented deluge of new laws enacted in response to the public’s fear.
[...]
Eventually this predator panic will subside and some new threat will take its place. Expensive, ineffective, and unworkable laws will be left in its wake when the panic passes. And no one is protecting America from that.
McNeill, Maggie; Scorched Earth, Feb 27 2012
The 21st century American view of sex is warped beyond that of any other historical culture. The official and popular paradigm appears to be based on the belief that sex is such a horrible, monstrous abomination that the mere mention of it to an adult can constitute “violence”, that participating in it for taboo reasons can be a “crime”, and that if a person is exposed to sexual contact, conversation or imagery (...) even one minute before midnight on her 18th birthday she will be instantly and irreversibly ruined beyond any hope of redemption.
[...]
It’s time to stop being afraid of the activity to which every single one of us owes his existence, and to stop fighting a war whose casualties are far greater than any the “threat” itself has ever produced.
Levine, Judith; Redeeming the Worst, Jul 21 2010
What we’re watching is a morality play about the meanings of crime and punishment, a play whose antagonists have shaped the history of the American penal system.
On one side are those who seek retribution. To them, criminals, especially sex criminals, are unchangeable (or, in modern parlance, incurable), their sins indelible. The state’s duty, therefore, is not just to protect society but also to avenge the victims.
The other side believes, foremost, in rehabilitation — in moral language, redemption. To their supporters, Polanski has attained secular redemption through art; Berkowitz, divine redemption through worship.
Evidence overwhelmingly favors rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation principle dominated American criminology for much of the 20th century.
But in the law-and-order 1980s, the punishers began to win.
I spent a recent weekend with [...] people — ex-sex offenders, along with their families and allies, at the national convention of an extraordinary national movement, gathered under the umbrella of RSOL, or Reform Sex Offender Laws.
Logue, Derek W.; Of Myths And Monsters; The Cypress Times, Nov 24 2009
Most of what our society believes about sex offenders is not true. Below are just a few of the beliefs we were taught that are either misleading or completely untrue: [... ... ... ...]
We need to seriously consider what truly works, not what simply feeds our anger and fear and makes us “feel good. [...] There are ways to address this issue from a realistic standpoint. [...]
In our narrow focus on the “Registered Sex Offender,” we tend to forget the big picture. Appeals to emotion rather than reason helped create a legal system of perpetual brokenness for victims, offenders, and the community alike.