Disturbing Study Strongly Links Child Porn Use and Child Molestation
 
Disturbing Study Strongly Links Child Porn Use and Child Molestation
Written By David E. Smith   |   01.15.10

LifeSiteNews.com recently posted an article reporting on research which suggests a strong link between the use of child pornography and child abuse. Conducted between 2002-2005, the study — chronicled in an article by Tori DeAngelis in the December edition of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology— studied men who had already been convicted of child pornography crimes to determine if they had also molested children.

Clinical psychologists Michael Bourke, Ph.D., and Andres Hernandez, Psy.D., found that, while many child-pornography viewers denied having molested children before their trials, the vast majority of them changed their stories after being convicted.

In the context of treatment, in courtrooms, in investigative circles and in assessment literature, it has been assumed that pedophiles and child-porn addicts are separate, yet similar groups. However, in the course of treatment, these men would disclose to therapists that their sexual acting out was not limited to their use of the Internet; it was in fact a parallel behavior to their abuse of children.

The study, initially released in the April issue of Journal of Family and Violence, studied 155 men convicted of possessing child pornography. Of the 155, seventy-four percent denied ever having molested children prior to their convictions. However, at the end of treatment, eighty-four percent of these same men had admitted to molesting a child at least once. The average number of victims per man was 13.5.

This revealing study, which strongly links child pornography and child molestation, raises further questions about whether there is a convincing link between adult pornography and the viewing of child pornography.

Dr. Judith A. Reisman, former president of the Institute for Media Education and a noted psychologist, says that the link between adult pornography and child pornography is also largely recognized.

In her book Soft Porn Plays Hardball, Reisman quotes John Rabun, Jr., the chief operating officer of the National Missing and Exploited Children’s Center in Washington, D.C., as saying that of “fourteen hundred cases of suspected child exploitation all, that is 100 percent … had in their possession at the time of arrest, adult pornography ranging from what is … typically referred to as soft pornography such as Playboy, on up to harder, such as Hustler.”

Reisman goes on to say that pornography, like any addiction, starts out soft and moves on to harder material. “As in all addictive stimuli one proceeds from the original stimuli to ‘harder’ stimuli. If pornography is an addiction, like alcohol and other drugs, then it also leads a significant percentage of users to ‘harder’ stimuli, period.”

With this new study, Reisman argues that the chain of events can now easily be traced from adult pornography to child pornography and ultimately child molestation. “The use of harder pornography eventually moves into children, and then to increasing sexual violence and brutality to children,” Reisman concludes.

David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is Illinois Family Institute’s executive director.  He and his wife of 25 years are blessed to be the parents of eight children. David has 20-plus-years of experience in...
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