What really is, "Child Porn"?

MA-Caver

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Now, here's the question!

Given that the intent of the viewer is operative here, what is the purpose of prosecuting a person for what they feel when they look at a particular photo that might be perfection innocent to another?

When I've asked that question in the past, I've sometimes gotten indignant answers that we're protecting children from abuse here. But if the photo in question was taken innocently and is being used inappropriately, in what way is the child being abused?

In other words, if I'm a sick little twist and I get my jollies out of looking at the photos of child models in clothing catalogs like JC Penney, in what way are the models being harmed by my illness?

Clearly there are images that are exploitative in nature. But we also seem, as a culture, to want to not just protect children, but to punish people for having 'weird' fantasies and thoughts. These laws are often attempts to do just that. Despite protestations to the contrary, we *do* care very much what people think and feel in the privacy of their own minds, and if don't care for it, we'd like to make it criminal.

And what's really odd is that our culture pushes sexuality as an important aspect of our society; we use images of younger and younger children in sexual and sensual circumstances to sell products and entertain ourselves; then we punish anyone who admits to being attracted to what we tell them they should be attracted to. Sick.

Having worked with sex offenders during their period of therapy (both group and individual) what I've learned is that pedophilia is a cyclic behavior pattern. One does not just start sexualizing children off the bat. Thoughts, feelings and actions can take a while to come to fruition. I could explain, and for a few minutes started to but then realized that my post would take up an entire page. Most pedos are people (men/women) who often have difficulty with normal adult same-age relationships. THey are also those who have a deep sense of powerlessness in their own little world. A nagging or abusive spouse or even employer, rowdy neighbors ... whatever! They discover how easily children are manipulated and "controlled". That feeling of power and control emboldens them and they seek more of it. They're usually lonely and isolated individuals in spite of a clique of friends/family. They begin to develop an attraction to children, usually focusing on a particular age group and this is sometimes due to accessibility. A neighbor's child or family member's child or sunday school classes that they teach for their church or simply the grade that they're teaching/coaching at school... whatever! So your six or eight year old might be perfectly safe being alone with a pedo because they prefer 12-14 year olds. But it is no guarantee of that...but I've seen that pattern before and it's fairly consistent. They usually channel their depressed and troubled lives into building a relationship with someone who listens or cares or provides adequate distraction. As they go through this long process they are exposed to all sorts of media involving children. Flipping through channels and seeing kids on tv doing commercials or tv shows/movies. Magazines, catalogs, billboards and so on. It provides fuel for their imaginations. Same goes for a (serial) rapist who gets his wheels spinning while looking through a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or that hot babe on tv/movie they watched ... those women aren't being abused are they? Same with the kids who model, act. The pedo builds up a fantasy world the same as any adult would about an adult. The difference is the adult to adult doesn't have relationship issues or difficulty finding "normal" relationships and so will focus on that age group. The fantasies are thoughts which leads to good feelings and eventually those feelings will prompt the offender to act out. It's a long drawn out process of progression to the act and hundreds and dozens of children are filtered through the pedo's mind before they finally act out during a choice opportunity. To say that our media helps fuel inappropriate behavior or thoughts... I'd say it's fair but until we know WHO has those inappropriate thoughts we cannot call it porn unless it's blatantly obvious.
 

RandomPhantom700

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Clearly there are images that are exploitative in nature. But we also seem, as a culture, to want to not just protect children, but to punish people for having 'weird' fantasies and thoughts. These laws are often attempts to do just that. Despite protestations to the contrary, we *do* care very much what people think and feel in the privacy of their own minds, and if don't care for it, we'd like to make it criminal.

This sums up the reason behind the change in the child porn definition to include virtual kiddy porn that was mentioned earlier. To clarify, virtual kiddy porn meaning electronically created images of teens and even kids that look incredibly life-like. The twist is that the images are entirely created; no living child is actually exploited, so the old definition would not apply.
 

Bill Mattocks

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This sums up the reason behind the change in the child porn definition to include virtual kiddy porn that was mentioned earlier. To clarify, virtual kiddy porn meaning electronically created images of teens and even kids that look incredibly life-like. The twist is that the images are entirely created; no living child is actually exploited, so the old definition would not apply.

Correct. In such a case, there is no real-life victim, unless one wants to argue that society is the victim because the sad little twist in question is now more of a threat to society than he was before. However, it seems Occam's Razor would suppose that the real reason is that we want to punish them because we despise their particular perversion. You'd almost think that perhaps we hate it so much because we can identify with it...
 

MA-Caver

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This sums up the reason behind the change in the child porn definition to include virtual kiddy porn that was mentioned earlier. To clarify, virtual kiddy porn meaning electronically created images of teens and even kids that look incredibly life-like. The twist is that the images are entirely created; no living child is actually exploited, so the old definition would not apply.
Correct. In such a case, there is no real-life victim, unless one wants to argue that society is the victim because the sad little twist in question is now more of a threat to society than he was before. However, it seems Occam's Razor would suppose that the real reason is that we want to punish them because we despise their particular perversion. You'd almost think that perhaps we hate it so much because we can identify with it...

Looking at child porn, whether real life photos or 3D created or even hand drawn does not JUSTIFY it at all.
Three things that pedos do to enable them to act out... is 1. Justify 2. Rationalize and 3. Minimize. Those are not in any particular order either.
Oh this is just drawn out from some artist's imagination... no real children are being used...
You look at sexually explicit material for what reason? To be aroused to be stimulated to give your fantasy's a more visual than what your own imagination can conjure up... they get worked up and wanting the real thing and then go out and find a child to victimize.

Trust me, 26 months working with these sick pervs and learning their rationale and thought processes... because they were made to dig into their own psyche to find out what causes their perversion and what are the triggers... roughly 99% of them said ONE of the triggers was porn of some sort or another. The other 1% refused to admit it because he rationalized that it was hurting NO-ONE and wasn't the cause of his desires to have sex with children... he's now sitting in prison.
 

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Without an audience, such things would have no draw. We are to blame - all of us. One has only to listen to the water-cooler talk about whatever the jailbait-du-jour is and her latest wardrobe malfunction or other 'adult' act committed to know that.

We're a culture of very very sick people, judging by our response to those we catch acting out on what apparently most of us like.

Agreed, we are on the same page.

We are a "sex sells" society. It keeps getting worse and worse. On the one hand people are outraged that someone would do that when they see it on the news, and then flip the channel and start looking at the latest girl being sexxxed up by Disney or Nickelodeon. Hypocritical to say the least.
 

RandomPhantom700

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Looking at child porn, whether real life photos or 3D created or even hand drawn does not JUSTIFY it at all.
Three things that pedos do to enable them to act out... is 1. Justify 2. Rationalize and 3. Minimize. Those are not in any particular order either.
Oh this is just drawn out from some artist's imagination... no real children are being used...
You look at sexually explicit material for what reason? To be aroused to be stimulated to give your fantasy's a more visual than what your own imagination can conjure up... they get worked up and wanting the real thing and then go out and find a child to victimize.

Exploiting and abusing a child is wrong, and a crime. Virtual porn which involves no actual actors hurts no one. Those who would go and molest a child after getting worked up on it would do the same after flipping through any pre-teen fashion magazine.

You're basically using the same rationale as advocates of restricting or banning violent music or video games, i.e. the sick wackos play hours of GTA and then decide to go out and shoot up a crowd in a mall. That's tragic, but there's also millions of us who play violent video games or listen to Marilyn Manson and don't, so where's that put us?

Trust me, 26 months working with these sick pervs and learning their rationale and thought processes... because they were made to dig into their own psyche to find out what causes their perversion and what are the triggers... roughly 99% of them said ONE of the triggers was porn of some sort or another. The other 1% refused to admit it because he rationalized that it was hurting NO-ONE and wasn't the cause of his desires to have sex with children... he's now sitting in prison.

This is great and all, but where'd you work? 99% of how many? How'd you come to such an overwhelming percentage? I don't mean to nit-pick, but there's a reason many of us on the board are suspicious of anecdotal evidence.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Looking at child porn, whether real life photos or 3D created or even hand drawn does not JUSTIFY it at all.
Three things that pedos do to enable them to act out... is 1. Justify 2. Rationalize and 3. Minimize. Those are not in any particular order either.
Oh this is just drawn out from some artist's imagination... no real children are being used...
You look at sexually explicit material for what reason? To be aroused to be stimulated to give your fantasy's a more visual than what your own imagination can conjure up... they get worked up and wanting the real thing and then go out and find a child to victimize.

Trust me, 26 months working with these sick pervs and learning their rationale and thought processes... because they were made to dig into their own psyche to find out what causes their perversion and what are the triggers... roughly 99% of them said ONE of the triggers was porn of some sort or another. The other 1% refused to admit it because he rationalized that it was hurting NO-ONE and wasn't the cause of his desires to have sex with children... he's now sitting in prison.

Typically, we do not punish people for crimes they might commit.

Let's arrest gun owners; some of them will commit crimes with them. Or automobile drivers; many of them will get drunk and drive and hurt someone.

It's called 'Prior Restraint' and generally speaking, we don't do it. Tell me why this is different.
 

chrispillertkd

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Porn isn't who views it... porn is who MAKES it. Again, what is the "artist's" intent with the image? A pedo can get aroused looking at a fully dressed 9 yr. old standing in the park next to the family dog holding a balloon, because in their minds they can go where they want with it. A nude photo only creates a shortcut for them leaving nothing but the act (of pedophilia ) to the imagination. Who ever took that photo may pose the child to make the short-cut even more brief via provocatively posing the child or having them do something (sexual). That is porn... same with adults who are posed naked, is the statue of David by Michelangelo porn? His gentitals are exposed he's standing in what could be a provactive stance? But that wasn't the artist's intent was it? But who ever views that can interpret it that way if they want to. Does that make it Porn? I don't think so. Same with Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" It's considered one of the finest piece of art around... yet her bare breast are exposed, she's clearly nude... is it porn? No.

Best post on the subject so far, IMO. I'd also argue that the artist's intent acts to influence how they present the material in question. For example, after the refurbishment it went through some years ago pretty much every figure on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling is nude. But the intent of Michelangello was not to provoke a sexually stimulating reaction from his audience and so presented the figures in such a way that, despite them being nude they are not in any way arousing.

Speaking as someone who has counselled children in the past who have dealt with sexual abuse and its results I'd even go so far as to say that if someone did have a reaction to artwork such as the ones mentioned above they would have almost certainly been the victims of some sort of sexual predator and, as such, have some serious mental health issues to deal with.

Pax,

Chris
 

Touch Of Death

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I know and understand that one thing can lead to another, but I find it kind of scary that a person can go to jail for what they decide to doodle in an artbook. I understand those works could fall into the wrong hands, but it seems a bit intrusive. Can a person get arrested for owning dirty pictures he drew as a kid? What if he didn't remember he even had them?
Sean
 

MA-Caver

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Originally Posted by MA-Caver
Looking at child porn, whether real life photos or 3D created or even hand drawn does not JUSTIFY it at all.
Three things that pedos do to enable them to act out... is 1. Justify 2. Rationalize and 3. Minimize. Those are not in any particular order either.
Oh this is just drawn out from some artist's imagination... no real children are being used...
You look at sexually explicit material for what reason? To be aroused to be stimulated to give your fantasy's a more visual than what your own imagination can conjure up... they get worked up and wanting the real thing and then go out and find a child to victimize.
Exploiting and abusing a child is wrong, and a crime. Virtual porn which involves no actual actors hurts no one. Those who would go and molest a child after getting worked up on it would do the same after flipping through any pre-teen fashion magazine.

You're basically using the same rationale as advocates of restricting or banning violent music or video games, i.e. the sick wackos play hours of GTA and then decide to go out and shoot up a crowd in a mall. That's tragic, but there's also millions of us who play violent video games or listen to Marilyn Manson and don't, so where's that put us?
There is a LOT more to child pornography than just plain nude kids doing naughty things by themselves or with whomever.
The person who draws it out on their computer or on a piece of paper and intends to SELL the pieces is guilty of a crime. Our society (among many) says it's wrong and hence illegal. Possession of it is illegal.
Remember it's INTENT. A child's/teen fashion mag has no intent (that we know of) to illicit an inappropriate response from their readers. If a pedo gets his jollies from reading such source material then there isn't a whole lot we can do to stop him/her. But when it's blatantly obvious that there is an image of a child engaging in a sexual act or posing suggestively (read like a playboy or penthouse model.... or even worse a Hustler or Oui model) then it's porn.
To say that a picture of a nude child on the beach is porn is cutting it pretty thin but a pedo could still find in their sick minds to be aroused by it by using the image to stimulate their imagination.
But the question is... is it porn? And what definition are we trying to ascertain here. I've been giving my own personal definition of it all along.
I have argued that other source materials can be misconstrued by the wrong individual but we cannot by no means police that in no shape or form until they ACT (inappropriately) upon it.

Trust me, 26 months working with these sick pervs and learning their rationale and thought processes... because they were made to dig into their own psyche to find out what causes their perversion and what are the triggers... roughly 99% of them said ONE of the triggers was porn of some sort or another. The other 1% refused to admit it because he rationalized that it was hurting NO-ONE and wasn't the cause of his desires to have sex with children... he's now sitting in prison.
This is great and all, but where'd you work? 99% of how many? How'd you come to such an overwhelming percentage? I don't mean to nit-pick, but there's a reason many of us on the board are suspicious of anecdotal evidence.
I had worked at a small sexual abuse treatment center in Utah. Because I am still bound by confidentiality issues surrounding my involvement with the clients I cannot give further details. My numbers are from that particular place (which I should've pointed out initially and for that oversight I apologize), they have a contract with the State of Utah to treat court-ordered sex-offenders until it is deemed by the staff that they are either not getting with the program and should be sent to prison or that they have undergone the intensive therapy (which can last up to 36 months) and evaluated by the staff and recommended to the board of parole and probation (whomever) that they can be ROR .

This was a great learning experience for me as an intern therapist, as the methods of therapy is to get the offender to accept 100% accountability for their actions and in order to do that they were made to pick apart every little facet of their inappropriate behavior from day one to the act that they were charged for. The results were quite revealing to many of them and quite a few have ever re-offended. The treatment center's success record was at 99% when I left. Understand that is just the one particular place but they handled the majority of the State sex offenders (and also counseled victims).
 

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This was a great learning experience for me as an intern therapist, as the methods of therapy is to get the offender to accept 100% accountability for their actions and in order to do that they were made to pick apart every little facet of their inappropriate behavior from day one to the act that they were charged for. The results were quite revealing to many of them and quite a few have ever re-offended. The treatment center's success record was at 99% when I left. Understand that is just the one particular place but they handled the majority of the State sex offenders (and also counseled victims).

The numbers I have seen regarding recidivism in cases of sex offenders abusing minors are as follows:
13% within 5 years
18% within 10 years
23% within 15 years
52% within the remainder of their life.
These are the numbers which have been used to argue in favor of law reforms several years ago, regarding the limitation of post-incarceration rights of sex offenders targeting minors.

So your numbers of 99% seem awfully optimistic. I would say that they're either not long term enough, or they are simply not found out again. Even for general sex offenders, the long term recidivism rate is around 40%.

I don't doubt that given a stable environment, people can change their ways and discard their old habits, but as soon as they are under stress or in a situation that provides access to the means of their vice, there is a high risk of recidivism. I am not going propose that the only trustworthy sex offender is a dead sex offender, but the 52% recidivism rate makes me call for life without parole.

Just last week in Belgium, a guy tried to abduct 2 8 year old nieces who were lucky enough to escape. After a 3 day hunt they caught the man. Turns out he had already served time for raping a minor, and was diagnose with mild psychopathic symptoms. He is now charged with attempted rape and faces 10 years. Anyone thinking he will change his ways after those 10 (well, 7 or less) is deluded. Whether you kill them or lock them up for the rest of their life, they should never be allowed to roam the streets again. They had their chance and they blew it.
 

MA-Caver

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The numbers I have seen regarding recidivism in cases of sex offenders abusing minors are as follows:
13% within 5 years
18% within 10 years
23% within 15 years
52% within the remainder of their life.
These are the numbers which have been used to argue in favor of law reforms several years ago, regarding the limitation of post-incarceration rights of sex offenders targeting minors.

So your numbers of 99% seem awfully optimistic. I would say that they're either not long term enough, or they are simply not found out again. Even for general sex offenders, the long term recidivism rate is around 40%.

I don't doubt that given a stable environment, people can change their ways and discard their old habits, but as soon as they are under stress or in a situation that provides access to the means of their vice, there is a high risk of recidivism. I am not going propose that the only trustworthy sex offender is a dead sex offender, but the 52% recidivism rate makes me call for life without parole.

Just last week in Belgium, a guy tried to abduct 2 8 year old nieces who were lucky enough to escape. After a 3 day hunt they caught the man. Turns out he had already served time for raping a minor, and was diagnose with mild psychopathic symptoms. He is now charged with attempted rape and faces 10 years. Anyone thinking he will change his ways after those 10 (well, 7 or less) is deluded. Whether you kill them or lock them up for the rest of their life, they should never be allowed to roam the streets again. They had their chance and they blew it.
Granted my numbers are very optimistic. And that is just what they are... my numbers not the actual center's. It's been over 10 years since I've last been there. However; I can only go by what my own personal experience in the time I spent there and talking casually with chief staff members about the success-rate vs recidivism (or relapse) is pretty successful for that particular facility. Their after-care program allows those "graduates" (for want of a better term), to come back and join in on group sessions whenever scheduled, and have individual counseling via appointment should they need to (out of their pockets). It's up to them. They are made fully aware of the consequences if they are every arrested or even placed under suspicion again. Knowing the treatment sex offenders and pedos get in prison I think they're highly motivated. So even if I were to reconsider and bump the number down to say 95 to as low as 90% that's still pretty dang good.
Yet it's an entirely different topic (which probably at this point needs to be broken off to it's own thread).

The OP is What really is, "Child Porn"? I suggest redirection by present (and future) posters needs to be directly to the topic. Am more than willing to (continue) discussing "What makes Pedos tick and whether treatments are successful or not" in another thread. Provided that it doesn't degenerate down to a variety of "may they all burn in hell" or "here's what I'd do to them if allowed five minutes alone in a room without windows or cameras" rants. Such discussions are not conductive to understanding... understanding brings one step closer to prevention.
 
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