CJ 3318: Sex Crimes
Professor Mike Cannon
March 21, 2011
Child pornography is not solely a question of morality or artistic taste or political ideas. The primary concern is not how to protect the community from exposure to sexually explicit materials; rather the concern was how to protect innocent children from sexual abuse. A pedophile uses child pornography to convince him or her that their conduct or obsession is normal lower a child’s inhibitions and assist the seduction of a child, as blackmail for a child to prevent the child from revealing abuse. The Internet makes child pornography more accessible and validates pedophiles’ behavior in their minds.
What is child pornography? According to S.T. Holmes (2009) and R.M. Holmes (2009), child pornography is the use of underage children in various media for the purpose of sexual arousal of the viewer. Clearly, child pornography (sometimes called child porn or kiddie porn) has, as its primary function, some element of sexual arousal or fantasy. Child pornography is a picture of a child being in some sense sexually abused. Child pornography consists of photographs, videotapes, magazines, books, and films that depict children in sex acts, all of which are illegal. Jenkins (2001) found that sexually precocious young girls were portrayed in popular films such as Taxi Driver, Alice’s Restaurant, Night Moves, and Pretty Baby. Some magazines, such as Children-Love, Lolita, Lollitots, Nudist Moppets, and Bambina-Sex (Jenkins, 2001). Child pornography raises issues about the nature of adult sexual interest in children, sexual assaults on children, and sexual fantasy about children. The range of people involved in child pornography offenses seems to cross boundaries of class, income and profession. Pedophiles are not always adult males; women are also involved. Child pornography, we learned, were and are a massive industry in itself that systematically promotes abuse of children. According to Edwards (February 2000), child pornography involves a number of aspects: people who create pornographic materials using minor children (under the age of 18), those who distribute these materials, and those who access them. Individuals use child pornography for sexual gratification, for validation and justification of pedophiliac behavior, blackmail to ensure the lifelong silence of the child, as a medium exchange with other child pornographers, to gain access to other markets and children, for profit, to preserve a child’s youth and also to lower children’s inhibitions to get them to go along with sex.
A Pedophile Characteristics
What is a pedophile? A pedophile refers to an older person who experiences intense, recurring urges, fantasies, or behavior involving sexual activity with a child or children who have not yet reached puberty—usually younger than thirteen (Hyde & Forsyth, 1997, p. 24). A pedophile can be anyone—old or young, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, nonprofessional or professional, and of any race. A pedophile can be a male at least 17 years of age or older, female, single, married, bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual. If married, the relationship is more “companion” based with no sexual relations and he is often vague about time gaps in employment, which may indicate a loss in employment for questionable reasons or possible past incarceration.
A pedophile has distinct characteristics and their preferred sexual objects are children. He often has numerous victims and many claims to have abused hundreds or thousands of children. He tends to like children of a certain age and they typically do not deviate from their preferred age range. Many prefer girls that are too young to get pregnant and haven’t reached puberty.
The pedophile will often be employed in a position that involves daily contact with children. If not employed, he will put himself in a position to do...
References: Edwards, S. M. (2000). Prosecuting 'child pornography ': Possession and taking of indecent photographs of children. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, 22(1), 1-21. doi:10.1080/014180300362732
Holmes, S. & Holmes, R. (2009). Sex crimes: patterns and behavior. Sage Publications, Inc.
Hyde, M. O., & Forsyth, E. H. (1997). The sexual abuse of children and adolescents. Brookfield, Conn: Millbrook Press.
Jenkins, P. (2003). Beyond tolerance: Child pornography on the Internet. New York [u.a: New York Univ. Press.
Sanderson, C. (2004). The seduction of children: Empowering parents and teachers to protect children from child sexual abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
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