The truth about kiddie porn

Just in case there\’s anyone out there interested in the actual effects, whether kiddie porn increase rapes and attacks or reduces them, I have been reminded of this old piece of mine.

Following the effects of a new law in the Czech Republic that allowed pornography to a society previously forbidden to access it allowed us to monitor the change in sex related crime that followed the change.

As found in all other countries in which the phenomenon has been studied, rape and other sex crimes did not increase.

Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.

There\’s absolutely no newwspaper at all likely to publish such this week or next. But perhaps there should be.

12 thoughts on “The truth about kiddie porn”

  1. Is the llegality/not, changes thereto enough though? There was other stuff going on at the same time, notably t’internet.

    Two things there. T’internet makes demonstrating that someone has the illegal material that much harder. Much harder than breaking down a door and searching the house for illegal stuff. Secondly, t’internet means there will be an awful lot of casual users out there, people who would never, in 1980s Denmark or Czechoslovakia, have gone out and bought kiddie porn.

    So – and I admit this is stretching things a bit – if availability of kiddie porn to hardened perverts does reduce their propensity to rape kiddies, banning is arguably counter-productive. However, if in more ordinary casual users it has the opposite effect (or turns them into hardened perverts with that higher baseline risk of raping) then banning the stuff is still a good idea. To the extent it is possible to police bans of this stuff on t’internet.

  2. Am not sure about the argument here. If the data eventually shows that increased availability of child pornography reduces reported incidents of actual child rape we are left in a strange position: The only way to reduce incidence of child rape in the street and bedroom is to increase the incidence of child rape in the photographic studio?

    In respect of the studies of Japan and Denmark, do we know how the attitude of the police changed in those countries when child porn was decriminalised? It’s like drug enforcement: the only towns/cities that have a drug problem are those that actually have a dedicated drug squad. When you actively target offenders and enforce laws in a specific type of offence the incidence of that crime generally appears to go up as more incidence of that type of offence is uncovered and recorded. If the Japanese and Danish police disbanded or reduced their child abuse teams in response to the decriminalisation of child rape imagery I would fully expect the number of reported child rape crimes to go down. It doesn’t mean the number of child rape cases have decreased it means there are less resources to uncover incidents and less to record reported incidents. Any form of decriminalisation is bound to lead to less response/interest from LE agencies.
    ‘Fraid I can’t quite get my head round where all this discusssion is leading to….

  3. I really think you would get more a hearing Tim if you restricted your argument to adult porn. I have absolutely no doubt the evidence will support you here. However, kids can’t consent, so the porn itself is appalling. By contrast, adult porn is about to be swept up in the whirlwind of righteousness and attempts to distinguish the two will be met with howls of moral outrage. Here the argument can and should be made.

  4. Ironman-

    However, kids can’t consent, so the porn itself is appalling.

    Well, not necessarily. THe problem is, the term is used to cover a huge gamut of material, the milder end of which wouldn’t be “porn” at all if an adult did it. The same term is used to describe, say, a picture of a five year old being gang raped on the one hand and, say, a fourteen year old posing in a studio at the other end. Even clothed, if the pictures, in the opinion of the authorities, might make a paedo feel aroused.

    The first of those is a crime both in law and in any reasonable view of natural justice and individual rights. It is much less clear what the crime is in the second case, in a natural justice sense.

    And, a further problem is that nobody else is allowed to see this stuff, even in a heavily censored form. We simply have to rely on descriptions couched in emotive terms by the authorities as a guide. That’s not a good way to form a balanced judgement.

    And this is the thing; if our hypothetical 14 year old is paid to spend a couple hours in a studio posing, what actual harm is being done? And if we can’t identify a specific harm, is it rational to describe it as “abuse”?

  5. Mmm. Not sure about this. OK in support of Tim we find:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00094.x/abstract

    The Danish liberalization of legal prosecution and of laws concerning pornography and the ensuing high availability of such materials present a unique opportunity of testing hypotheses concerning the relationship between pornography and sex offenses. It is shown that concurrently with the increasing availability of pornography there was a significant decrease in the number of sex offenses registered by the police in Copenhagen.

    But this is 1973.

    https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=179581

    The incidence of reported public indecencies decreased by about one-third. Marked declines also occurred in the numbers of murders and nonsexual violent physical assaults. Murders dropped by some 40 percent; nonsexual physical assaults decreased by about 60 percent. Findings were similar to those in Denmark, Sweden, and West Germany.

    Not certain that causation is even tackled here.

    A more neutral view is:

    http://aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/proceedings/14/kutchinsky.pdf

    Finds no causal link between pornography and increased sex crimes.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02437541#

    Finds no causal link between pornography and increased sex crimes.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926238808403811

    Finds no difference between sex offenders and controls in viewing of pornography.

    Finally, there’s this, a metastudy:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15324834basp1804_4

    There is no relationship between pornography and rape. BUT, the view that it reduces it appears to be less prevalent in the literature than at the beginning of this list.

    OK, the neo puritans are lying toerags. But the recent evidence doesnt go as far as Tim suggests.

  6. Ironman-

    That’s probably because you don’t have an argument, and deep down you know it. This causes a sense of frustration and anger with the self, that manifests as aggression against the person whose calm reason induced this state within you.

  7. I had a post that went into moderation and then disappeared.

    I went and google scholared the research.

    There is a Danish piece from 1973 that agrees with Tim and a piece on Japan from the late 90s that finds correlation (but not causation).

    More recent research finds no porn reduces sex crimes, but no evidence that it causes it. There was even a piece that studied when sex criminals first accessed pornography and found it didnt differ with a control group.

    So Tim is slightly overegging his position, but is quite right to call BS on the neo puritan liars.

  8. second to last paragraph should start –

    More recent research finds no evidence that porn reduces sex crimes or evidence that it increases it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *