What is Jail Bait?

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Jailbait or jail bait is slang for a minor who is underage for sexual consent yet is found sexually attractive by an adult. Jail bait definition stems from the fact that if you get involved sexually with a minor, who is under the legal age of sexual consent, you will go to jail. This is due to the fact that age with a minor under age of consent is considered statutory rape.

Legally speaking, statutory rape is defined as sexual activity where at least one individual is below the legal age of consent. In simpler words, statutory rape is the act of adults having sex with minors.

The legal age of consent varies from one country to another. In UK for example it is 16, while in the US it is 18 so the jail bait definition varies according to the country in which the sexual act took place.

Jail bait definition differs legally from pedophilia based on the fact that jailbait refers to minors who reached puberty while pedophilia usually refers to prepubescent minors. Ephebophilia on the other hand, refers to adults who prefer having sexual relationships with mid-to-late teens, particularly, ages 15-19. Jailbait also doesn’t include nudity, but it can involve minors photographed in their bathing suits, lingerie or miniskirts. The photos, however, must be sexualized in nature and not just casual teen photography or modeling catalogues.

Who are Jailbaits?

Jail bait usually refers to underage girls but it could also refer to underage boys and transsexuals.

Jail Bait in Popular Culture:

Jail bait is a controversial subject in popular culture. The term has been used in many songs, movie titles and poems. Many artists like Ted Nugent and Mick Jagger, publicly declare their love for minors and engage in jailbait relationships. The term is featured in many of their songs.

Ted Nugent, has already gone too far by writing down a song titled “Jailbait” where he is not afraid to address the fact that his love for a 13-year-old might send him to jail. In fact, he pleads with the police officer not to “put those handcuffs on me / Put them on her, and I’ll share her with you.”

The jail bait song is stemmed from Ted Nugent’s real life. Nugent was known for his controversies and womanizing. However, the moment that sparked greatest controversy was when he began a relationship with a 17-year-old, Hawaii native, girl named Pele Massa. Since Massa was still a “jailbait”, Nugent signed papers to become her legal guardian, and thus be able to legalize their relationship in some way. This moment by was chosen by Spin magazine among their 100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock list which included tales of violence, sex, drug abuse and debauchery.

Nugent was not the only one to tackle the jail bait topic. Many singers have released songs expressing their love for minors and how it was so good to taste the forbidden fruit. Even the Beatles have a song titled “I Saw Her Standing There” where the singer playfully mentions how the object of his affection was “just seventeen, you know what I mean.”

Another song titled “Jailbait” by Aerosmith also tackles the subject, with lyrics like:

“Hello baby, yeah it’s me

Don’t be no judge, no third degree oh jailbait

Play the fool and you play the pawn

Wake up babe, out the door gone, jailbait.”

Jail bait has also been used as a title for many movies and TV series. A 2014, straight-to-DVD movie titled “Jailbait”, tells the story of a young girl sexually abused by her stepfather and that leads to her accidentally killing him. She is sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center where she learns that life there wouldn’t be so different from life with her stepfather as she becomes abused by older prisoners.

In the FX-produced TV series “The Shield”, an episode titled “Jailbait” has the Strike Team investigate a sex-trafficking ring for minors. A German TV film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder titled “Jailbait” is about a 17-year-old schoolgirl who embarks on a relationship with a 19-year-old farmer. Their relationship becomes strained when it is exploited and the man gets sent to jail for having sex with a minor.
jail bait

The Controversy of Jail Bait Images:

Jail bait images are sexualized images of minors published on the internet. The word has been censored by most search engines because of the legal and moral controversy it impacts on the internet world. Adults who use this search word are tracked on the internet and sometimes arrested by cyber crime investigators.

Jail bait images borderline on child pornography. People who spread images of scantily-clad, underage girls and boys are deemed sexual predators, even if the images didn’t contain nudity.

Many websites banned the hashtag #jailbait from their archives including Instagram, the popular photo-sharing website and Tumblr, the social networking website. However, this didn’t stop sexual predators from collecting jail bait images from social networks such as Facebook directly from teenage girls’ profiles. Many people defended jailbait images on bases of freedom of speech.

The freedom of speech angle took place in terms of comparing private forums and communities that spread provocative images of minors to the media and how it popularized sexualized images of teenagers. Bratz fashion dolls, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus have been used as examples of celebrated, mainstream jailbaits.

The social news website Reddit is one of the great contributors to the jail bait controversy due to the explicit nature of some of its subreddits. One of the most controversial subreddits was /r/jailbait which was later closed due to the spreading of sexually provocative photos of teenage girls and a Reddit user tempting others for naked photos of the same girls, promising communication via private messages. This has lead to a spike in internet traffic of Reddit, with over 1 million viewers visiting the page where the incident took place. Some Reddit moderators have gone too far with the jail bait theme. One moderator, for example, created a section where users could post furtive photos they have taken of women in public with the focus on their asses, breasts or crotches.

Jail Bait Forums Between Legality and Illegality:

Jail bait forums are also called children-focused jailbait forums. These forums include photos of underage girls enjoying their time on the beach in bikinis, images of girls taken from low-angles so as to expose them sexually, suggestive private images of minors that were shared with boyfriends.

Some of the members on jail bait forums actually stalk teenage girls on the web and blackmail them using their suggestive and/or naked photos, for more. If the girls refuse, they are exploited on the internet. Sexualized photos of the target girl is sent to all her teachers, classmates, friends and family members. Jail bait forums -as mentioned by many scholars and researchers- are one-step away from being serious cyberbullying crimes.

Jail bait forums have created various debates and tales of debauchery. A teacher from Georgia was fired from school when he was tracked down on Reddit for posting suggestive images of his underage students. On October 10th, 2012, the world woke up to the shocking news of the suicide of the Canadian teenager Amanda Todd. Todd has been a victim of cyberbullying which subsequently led to her mental and physical deterioration until she was bullied also in real life in every school she went to. Jail bait forums have hosted many photos that belonged to Todd and were posted by the individual who harassed her online.

However, many argue that jail bait forums and images are not considered crimes and should be known for what they truly are: harmless fun. This was not child pornography, no nudity was involved and all of the photos used were for girls who have reached their puberty.

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