Legalizing child pornography is linked to lower rates of child sex abuse: study

Nov 30, 2010

Could making child pornography legal lead to lower rates of child sex abuse? It could well do, according to a new study by Milton Diamond, from the University of Hawaii, and colleagues.

Results from the Czech Republic showed, as seen everywhere else studied (, Croatia, Denmark, , Finland, , Shanghai, Sweden, USA), that rape and other sex crimes have not increased following the legalization and wide availability of pornography. And most significantly, the incidence of child sex abuse has fallen considerably since 1989, when became readily accessible – a phenomenon also seen in Denmark and Japan. Their findings are published online today in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

The findings support the theory that potential sexual offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex crimes against children. While the authors do not approve of the use of real children in the production or distribution of child pornography, they say that artificially produced materials might serve a purpose.

Diamond and team looked at what actually happened to sex-related crimes in the Czech Republic as it transitioned from having a strict ban on sexually explicit materials to a situation where the material was decriminalized. Pornography was strictly prohibited between 1948 and 1989. The ban was lifted with the country's transition to democracy and, by 1990, the availability and ownership of sexually explicit materials rose dramatically. Even the possession of child pornography was not a criminal offense.

The researchers monitored the number of sex-related crimes from Ministry of Interior records – rape, attempted , sexual assault, and child sex abuse in particular – for 15 years during the ban and 18 years after it was lifted.

Most significantly, they found that the number of reported cases of child sex abuse dropped markedly immediately after the ban on sexually explicit materials was lifted in 1989. In both Denmark and Japan, the situation is similar: Child sex abuse was much lower than it was when availability of child pornography was restricted.

Other results showed that, overall, there was no increase in reported sex-related crimes generally since the legalization of pornography. Interestingly, whereas the number of sex-related crimes fell significantly after 1989, the number of other societal crimes – murder, assault, and robbery – rose significantly.

Explore further: Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

More information: Diamond M et al (2010). Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of Sexual Behavior. DOI:10.1007/s10508-010-9696-y

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User comments : 36

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MikeMike
4.1 / 5 (16) Nov 30, 2010
What about the kids that are filmed performing? Isn't that an offense?
Modernmystic
2.8 / 5 (14) Nov 30, 2010
What about the kids that are filmed performing? Isn't that an offense?


Thank you very much, I was thinking the exact same thing.

This is like saying legalizing snuff flicks will decrease the murder rate. Well, uh, what about the people you kill in the movie?
freethinking
1 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2010
My guess is that the professor is in the Humanities department? Bingo, I was right!

Bet this guy believes Kinsey was a great scientist/researcher? Bingo, right again!

Bet this guys research is supported by NAMBLA? Right once again!

Kensey would be impressed with this professor.

http://www.cwfa.o...1_03.pdf

http://www.wnd.co...Id=18200

chaostaco
5 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2010
The article clearly specifies that it is only suggesting that artificially produced child pornography should be considered.

In the USA, it is now illegal to make computer generated child pornography, or even pornography with real adults pretending that they are under age. There is also a large grey area concerning "artistic nudes" of children, which are technically legal and much less harmful to the children involved, but are frequently treated as child pornography by law enforcement. I think they are suggesting that loosening restrictions on content that doesn't involve real sex with children might have benefits.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.2 / 5 (13) Nov 30, 2010
The article clearly specifies that it is only suggesting that artificially produced child pornography should be considered.
Encouraging closet abhorrent behavior isn't acceptable, whether CGI or otherwise.
sstritt
2 / 5 (12) Nov 30, 2010
@freethinking
Thanks for the links! This garbage is disgusting.
@SH
Your right- CGI is no better. Why encourage this in any way?
freethinking
2 / 5 (16) Nov 30, 2010
Unfortunately, the media propergates and promotes the Kinsey lies, misinformation.

What this professor and those that support him are trying to do is to make palatable the sexual exploitation of children.
Missy_88
1.6 / 5 (13) Nov 30, 2010
Legalizing child pornography to minimize child sex? Give me a break. Watching any such activity is autommatically going to trigger the hunger to carry out such actions. For instance, when an individual watches porography, they get aroused fromt the explicit images seen, afterwards they are going to have the need to have sex. So therefore by them watching it, that's not helping anything. Child porography ought to be ILLEGAL!
trantor
4.9 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2010
Missy88: what a nonsense. Most men, after watching porn, will satisfy themselves with MASTURBATION, not by having real sex. Probably same thing with child pornography.
Kappn
4.5 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2010
@sstrit

The real crime takes place when a child is actually involved, or when a child's rights to privacy are compromised when pornography of him or her is viewed by another person.

Artificial child porn encourages one to rape a child no more than FPS video games encourage one to go about and shoot people. Also, I wonder this: Before child porn existed, what encouraged the first few pornographers to force or persuade children into pornography?

Some people get off to child models in popular magazines, or to sexual fantasies involving children they saw on the street. You can't stop these people from "encouraging" bad behavior. If they find a way to cope with their sexual feelings in a way that does not involve a victim, where's the problem?

I agree with trantor, though I do not condone the use of real child porn to cope with sexual urges.
freethinking
1.1 / 5 (9) Nov 30, 2010
Trantor, I like your phrase Most Men. So what about the others, what will they do? Also Most Women consent being in porn. Are you saying most kids consent being in child porn, or just some, or all, or none? Kinsey would like to know.

I do however disagree with Missy_88 she states that child porn should be illigal, currently Child porn IS ILLEGAL in most of the world. However a lot of powerful groups want to make it legal.

sstritt
2.2 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2010
@ freethinking
I read Missy_88's statement as "child porn IS and should rightly be illegal"
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2010
Kappn, movies, music and games do influence people. Movie makers, fashion industry, musicians, and gamers know this.

Does it lead to certain behaviours instanteously? That question is up to debate. Often times it takes years to make normal what repulses people (30 years ago no one would believe what is shown on TV today), other times it can be real time as when a piece of fashion is seen on a movie star takes off.

However, the porn industry has degraded women, and has caused the breakup of marriages, caused people to take sexual risks they wouldn't have taken if they hadn't viewed porn.

Legal Child porn would only legitimize and allow in the future what people today find repulsive.

Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2010
For instance, when an individual watches porography, they get aroused fromt the explicit images seen, afterwards they are going to have the need to have sex.
Well this piece isn't true. Studies confirm that and most men will tell you, we only watch the first 5 minutes or so of a porno. Unless it's a really bad porno. Then we call friends and laugh at it with them.
jjoensuu
1 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2010
For instance, when an individual watches porography, they get aroused fromt the explicit images seen, afterwards they are going to have the need to have sex.
Well this piece isn't true.


haha, it is very true. It is a major factor in why porn is addictive.

Legal Child porn would only legitimize and allow in the future what people today find repulsive.


yup, I would think it would contribute towards increasing peoples tolerance for something that should not be tolerated.

"Virtual" porn probably would not do because I doubt that the image qualities are that good yet.

Weird that they write that "child pornography became readily accessible" 1989...luckily it is not "readily" available.
sstritt
1.9 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2010
I think that there are 2 distinct truths being discussed here.
1) In the immediate now, watching porn does decrease the urge for further satisfaction, thus it can be argued that child porn reduces sexual abuse.
2) Long term, child porn erodes the taboo against sexual abuse of children.
The debate then, is which is more important-I vote for #2
theknifeman
2.2 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2010
This is a garbage story. Remove it.
dtxx
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2010
To me, the key factor here is not whether the behavior is distasteful. Of course most adults will find the idea of sexual imagery involving children revolting. The real key is whether or not this will result in less overall harm to children. The author's arguments do not convince me, however.
Jimee
2 / 5 (2) Nov 30, 2010
The only way, I see, to really change that societal segment's desire for power over, and sexual interest in children is to help all families become healthier in the open discussion (age appropriate) and understanding of basic human needs. Sex with, or an obsession with sex with children should never be an acceptable activity, but dealing with that societal perversion will necessarily involve great investment. In the meantime children's protection should always be of the highest priorities.
LivaN
2 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2010
Pornography, with real adults pretending that they are under age and "artistic nudes" of children, are classified as child porn, and therefore illegal, for a reason.

In the first case, since one cannot determine if a minor has in fact been taken advantage of, it is best to error on the side of caution.

Second case. A minor's rights and the potential for abuse are far more important than anything "artistic" derived from a nude minor, if you can call it art at all.

CGI child pornography is a completely different case. No one is harmed. No rights are violated. It cannot be mistaken for what it is, that being CGI.

Even if it is abhorrent behavior, that isn't a reason for it being illegal. There are many a film and video game that are absolutely repulsive in all that they are, all of which are legal.
donjoe0
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2010
"Watching any such activity is automatically going to trigger the hunger"

Utter nonsense. Watching it on the screen is completely different from doing it in reality. 99.9% of all humans can always tell the difference. If anything, simulating such behaviours in today's (imperfect) virtual spaces DECREASES the urge to do the same in reality. The history of violent video games vs. violence stands proof. Check the facts before littering the Net with ignorant opinions: violent video games correlate with a REDUCTION in actual violence.

Evidence is the final word. It’s irrelevant what you think "should happen" when factor X is used. What matters is what happened in REALITY when factor X was used. With CP there was a reduction in the incidence of sexual abuse of children, period. If you don't have EVIDENCE that some other, more important ill effect has also been produced, the conclusion stands: that this is an effective method of combatting pedophiliac abuse and it should be put to use.
freethinking
1 / 5 (7) Dec 01, 2010
donjoe0, Adult porn has had an influence on society, has made acceptable things that 30 years ago wouldn't be tollerated such as kids at High School dances are now simulating sex during dances.

If you ask those that produce porn why they do so they have two answers. First to make money, Second to remove any sexual taboos, to liberate people. (I'm not suggesting it does, as I believe it actually enslaves, and demeans people)

What is the purpose of child porn? To satisfy urges of those that want to harm children. What is the purpose of those that want to produce child porn? One to make money, two to legalize sex with children.

Professors like this do not believe sex with children causes harm and want to allow it. However if you trust him, you might as well believe that Kensey was a normal guy, his research was sound, and he didn't have a stopwatch measuring how long it took a child molester to molest a child, and the child enjoyed being molested.
LivaN
4.8 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2010
What is the purpose of child porn? To satisfy urges of those that want to harm children.

Bad logic.
The purpose of child porn is to satisfy a sexual desire, just like regular porn.

Unlike regular porn though, the act of creating child porn (non-cgi) results in harm to a child.

So harm is a byproduct not the intended desire.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (9) Dec 01, 2010
LivaN the purpose of child porn is to satisfy the sexual desire of an Adult having sex with a child.

Sport Trainers alway say visualize what you want, then you can do it. It doesn't matter if harm is not the intended desire when harm results. If I shoot a gun down the street, I may not intend harm, it may not even by my intended desire to hurt anyone, but I will definitely be responsible if harm occures.
LivaN
5 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2010

If I shoot a gun down the street, I may not intend harm, it may not even by my intended desire to hurt anyone, but I will definitely be responsible if harm occures.


I agree completely. In fact I would say you will be responsible even should no harm occur, since your negligent action (firing a gun down a street) has potential for serious harm.

If you however purposly blow someone's head off with a gun, on the streets of some popular video game, there will be no repercussion. This is because there is no posibility to harm.

How is that different from CGI-child porn? CGI means there are no real children involved, thus who can be harmed?
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (10) Dec 02, 2010
The harm comes from the sexualization of real children, leading to harm to real children.

The regular porn industry has harmed real people, and has had an influence on society. The same will be with even CGI-child porn.

Already child porn and pedophiles had a negative influence on society. 50 Years ago if you had a innocent naked picture of your young child, you weren't suspected of nor did it ever cross your mind that the picture could be considered child porn.

However 50 years ago if you went down the street and showed a picture of a child with an adult having sex, you most likely would have been killed(unless you were with the Kinsey crowd), and few if any people would be defending you, or your right to posses such material.

Here is one for you. CGI you can put any face on the child you want. What about a pedophile taking a picture of your kid, putting it on the CGI, then watching, or going to a school and doing the same?

LivaN
4.3 / 5 (7) Dec 03, 2010

The harm comes from the sexualization [...] real children.

This is the same logic as violent video games causing people to act violently. This is not the case.


The regular [...] influence on society.

How has it harmed people? The same way that McDonalds makes people fat? The tobacco industry has harmed far more people than the porn industry, and is legal. Industry itself causes global warming which harms our planet and everyone.

Potential indirect harm is apparently not illegal.


However 50 years ago [...] posses such material.


How about 1400s - 1600s? The average minimum age of marriage was 12-14. And before that? The fact is that "sexualization of real children" is an evolved trait, the faster you breed the better chance you have of passing on your genes. It is being socially weaned out, just as "thin" is being weaned in.


..]taking a picture of your kid, putting it on the[.. CGI

It is no longer completely CGI, therefore illegal.
EvgenijM
not rated yet Dec 04, 2010
I wonder, does two 12-13 years old having sex considered a child porn? Or only in the case when one of them is an adult?
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2010
I wonder, does two 12-13 years old having sex considered a child porn?
AFAIK minors who have intimate contact are not punishable under European jurisdiction.
But I remember vaguely a case some years ago where a Swiss minor living in the US was imprisoned after having been watched to behave indecently with another minor. Don't remember whether it was his sister and don't remember what exactly they have been doing.
Or only in the case when one of them is an adult?
AFAIK this is punishable in Europe and in the US.
Raveon
1 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2010
I have a better idea. Legalize it for a year. Find out who downloads and uploads it and lock them all up for life without parole in the general inmate population, they love child molesters.
CrusaderRabbit
4 / 5 (4) Dec 05, 2010
In the first case, since one cannot determine if a minor has in fact been taken advantage of, it is best to error on the side of caution.


This naive and dangerous view is contradicted not only by the US Constitution, but also by common sense. The available data regarding potential harm or benefit of pornography is vague and contradictory, at best. Hence we are absolutely obligated to err on the side of free speech. (As the US Supreme Court has ruled, this is *particularly* true in the case of speech that we happen to find repugnant.)

Direct harm to children in the creation of pornography is obviously a separate issue, and clearly illegal in itself. Censorship laws add nothing to this, while inviting expansion and misuse that erode the democratic process.
js81pa
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
I disagree with someone above. I think regular porn actors are being exploited for money and many of them are drug addicts or have been molested as kids (or both), so now, back to this topic.
I think people are forgetting that sex offenders that are attracted to prepubescents are not the same as those that are convicted of statutory crimes with
js81pa
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
My rant didn't come through.... anyway, we need a better solution, end of story.
designmemetic
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
"Interestingly, whereas the number of sex-related crimes fell significantly after 1989, the number of other societal crimes – murder, assault, and robbery – rose significantly."

Pedophiles just want to be bad? Maybe they have Oppositional Defiant Disorder. To people like that, kids are just a convenient way of satisfying their need to do what they are told not to. Like the way people with turrets syndrome (specifically Coprolalia) curse profanely. They choose socially unacceptable words precisely because they are socially unacceptable.

A growing body of literature finds an inverse association between religiosity and several types of deviant behavior. So prohibiting some sexual behaviors seems to only make them more prevalent?

see
http://en.wikiped...disorder

http://en.wikiped...prolalia
LivaN
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 06, 2010
CrusaderRabbit

This naive and dangerous view is contradicted not only by the US Constitution, but also by common sense.

Ah yes, censoring child porn, or porn that isn't readily identifiable as either child porn (harms children) or pretend child porn (doesn't harm children), is terribly naive and all too dangerous. It may even infringe on our freedom of speech, and that is just unfathomable.


Direct harm to children in the creation of pornography is obviously a separate issue, and clearly illegal in itself. Censorship laws add nothing to this, while inviting expansion and misuse that erode the democratic process.

So you would not censor child porn, because it erodes the democratic process? So, according to you, democracy overrides basic human rights?
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2010
Funny thing is, many of the poeple who support legalizing child porn, or porn in general, are the same ones that want to ban and legislate thing we eat.