User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive
 

Help A Kid

ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

The question has been posed; Is the creation of Child Pornography by itself truly harmful to children?

This is a complex question that requires a complex answer. However, before we begin, we would like to emphasize that we are answering this question in isolation from all other forms of sexual abuse of children. We are doing so precisely because the laws treat Child Pornography in this manner. Almost all laws imply that Child Pornography on its own right is harmful to children. Otherwise, lawmakers would have to recognize that the laws that they have passed to this effect reflect only their personal points of view and biases and not scientific facts. In other words, they would have to recognize that they are legislating out of thin air.

In order to answer the question, we must analyze the logistics of the creation of Child Pornography. Furthermore, this logistic must be analyzed from Class I, II and III points of view as they are vastly different. This is one of the reasons we developed the Classes in the first place. So, what is entailed in their creation of Child Pornography? Two logistical factors:

Children performing in some manner (as indicated in each Class)

The presence of recording device or devices (i.e. photo cameras, video cameras, sound recording equipment, etc.)

Class I

This type of material is essentially naïve material which may or may not be used for sexual excitement based on subjective and personal proclivities and preferences. As this material is typically obtained in the course of normal life, it is (also typically) part of normal life. For example, nobody is hiding that is taking pictures in the beach or at parties or during camp trips. As a matter of fact, taking pictures or videos in such circumstances is part of the general expectation. Thus, we must now analyze the two logistical factors composing Child Pornography to elucidate whether or not they are harmful to children.

Children performing: Will children doing what children normally do in normal life introduce some sort of harm of sexual nature to said children? Most likely, not. If this would not be the case, then we would have an avalanche of "sexually abused" children during beach vacations, birthday parties, camp trips, etc. Alas, this is not the case. Thus, clearly, this kind of performance is typically not harmful to children.

Recording devices: Again, as recording devices are the norm and the expectation in such occasions, their presence won't have any sexual adverse effects on children. If this would not be the case, then, again, we would see an explosion of "sexually traumatized" children simply due to the presence of cameras in their everyday lives. Alas, this is not the case.

Thus, we must conclude that the creation of Child Pornography of Class I has, in all likelihood, zero negative impact on children at the sexual level. This is, the creation of Child Pornography related to Class I cannot be linked (statistically speaking) to any harm produced to children.

This conclusion also correlates with the notion that Class I Child Pornography is mostly in the eye of the beholder; this is, it is independent and disconnected from what children do and as such it cannot have a negative impact on them.

Class II

This Class is divided in Real and Simulated types. In Simulated types as no actual children participate, the harm is exactly zero.

For Real types, let's assume the worst case scenario in order to simplify the analysis. This class entails professional companies creating materials based on children posing or modelling with very little clothing in provocative stances. These materials are created for-profit. It is obvious that if there is intent to make a profit, the creation of such materials will prompt children to perform in a manner that suits the financial purpose. In other words, the desire for money will be the driving force to demand (through wages, coercion or imposition) that children perform in this manner. Now that the scenario is clear, let's analyze impacts:

Children performing: It is quite difficult to ascertain the degree of harm (if any) to children directly tied to such performance. As any psychologist will tell you, the degree of harm will depend very strongly from the child's maturity, psychological makeup and applied pressure levels. For example, if the child understand the performance as "modelling" and is paid for it, then the harm will most likely be minimal or zero. If this would not be the case, then all children modeling for very mainstream purposes would have been psychologically affected, alas, this is not the case. On the other hand, if the child is coerced by force, the performance will clearly have a negative impact. However, we must note that most of the harm will come from the coercion and not from the performance which is identical to the one expected from "models".

Recording devices: Whether or not the child is "modelling" or it is coerced, the presence of recording devices will, in all likelihood, produce very little harm if any. Again, in the "modelling" scenario, the presence of such devices is the norm and thus fully expected. As such, no harm is to be expected. In the case of coercion, the presence of such devices is, again, an expectation as the child will be told what to do and for what purpose and would receive specific instructions as to how to behave for the benefit of the recording device. It is not the presence of the device that produces the harm, it is the imposition of the performance.

Thus, we can surmise that in the worst case scenario of the production of Real Class II Child Pornography materials, children may suffer harm due to the production of such materials through the imposition to perform but not because of the presence of recording devices. However, the inflicted harm level compared to full sexual acts or even abhorrent acts is quite low. But this is not the full conclusion. We must also take into consideration that Real Class II materials are in the minority when it comes to Child Pornography for reasons previously discussed.

We must now consider all the facts; that Simulated Class II materials produce no harm, that Real Class II materials would produce some low level of harm and that Real Class II materials are in the minority within of the totality of all Classes. Once all facts are taken into consideration it is clear that the harm to children from the creation of Class II materials (statistically speaking) is very low, being because of the low level or harm itself or because of its tiny percentage within the totality of materials.

Class III

This kind of materials involves children performing sexual acts, anywhere from trivial up to and including abhorrent ones. In addition, we will only analyze the worst case scenario (which seems to be by far the most common) in order to simplify. This scenario is one where children are induced or coerced into performing sexual acts and such performance is imposed by amateurs for personal enjoyment purposes only (i.e. not-for-profit).

Children performing: it is clear that a great deal of harm is imposed trough imposing performance onto children considering the worst case scenario.

Recording devices: the presence of recording devices per-se can, again, be assumed to produce no or negligible harm to children. It is the performance that produces such harm and herein lies the problem.

In this Class, the motivation to induce children to perform has changed dramatically; it is no longer profit but personal enjoyment. And this makes all the difference in the world. As the few existing scientific studies seem to indicate, there is very little (if any) causality between Child Pornography and paedophilia. In other words, a paedophile will impose or force children to perform for its own satisfaction, not to create materials. The creation of materials is a side effect of paedophilia and nothing more which is in and by itself harmless or thereof as for Class I and II. How do we know this? Because of what is happening in the realm of "legal" pornography. With the explosion of mainstream pornography in the internet, there is only a very tiny amount of people that are exhibitionists. This would be people who obtain enjoyment from knowing that other people are watching them during sexual acts and behave with this purpose in mind. Considering the ease with which is possible today to create regular pornographic materials, the amount of amateur material in the internet versus the world population is literally non-existent. For this very same reason we must conclude that most material of Class III is made as a side effect of paedophilic intent and not due to exhibitionism. In other words, most paedophiles make children perform for their own enjoyment and may also make materials for their own enjoyment, which later on share for a variety of reasons. And this is a crucial point as the harm originates in paedophilic actions and not from the creation of materials. Such materials are created as a side-effect of paedophilic actions and not as the motivation for paedophilic actions.

But wouldn't Class III materials exacerbate paedophilic actions? Wouldn't they trigger more frequent sexual abuses? Scientific information on this topic is quite short. Anecdotal evidence from some paedophiles may seem to indicate that perhaps that may be the case. However, on the overall statistical front and extrapolating from non-paedophiles, it would seem that the answer is no. This is easy to explain as on one hand Class III materials act as substitutes for sexual abuse. On the other hand, there are limits to the sexual drive in humans, paedophiles or not. A physical sexual act is far more extenuating, draining and satisfying than a mental one. As such, paedophiles can only perform so far regardless of how much Class III materials they may be exposed to.

But wouldn't Class III materials produce a shift from "relative normal" sexual abuse into abhorrent one (e.g. sadomasoquism, physical punishment, rape, etc)?

Again, the scientific evidence in the case of children is non-existent. What we do have are a few government statistics indicating that the level of abhorrent abuse is on the rise. In order to answer to this question, we will make the assumption that these statistics are indeed correct (when in reality they may be biased because of bureaucratic self-interest). And so the question becomes: Are Class III materials to be blamed for the increase of abhorrent abuse? The answer to this question, again, seems to be no. Allow us to explain.

As there are no scientific data, we must again make use of normal pornographic scientific studies in the BDSM field as this field provides a good parallelism with abhorrent sexual acts imposed to children. These studies indicate that people with some natural BDSM tendencies may get into such sexual practices because these practices increase their enjoyment. On the other hand, people without such tendencies are unlikely to participate in BDSM practices even when they are exposed to them through mainstream pornography. In the end and without trying to trivialize the subject, it is a matter of personal taste. Some people like meat and some people cannot stand it. It is that simple. A vegetarian is extremely unlikely to become a meat eater even if this person eats several meals with meat.

On the same token, a paedophile without abhorrent tendencies is unlikely to change its behaviour just because it has been exposed to Class III material of the extreme type. On the other hand, a paedophile with abhorrent tendencies is very likely to impose that kind of sexual abuse on children regardless of its exposure any amount of Class III material.

In other words, current scientific information seems to indicate that exposure to abhorrent Class III materials would have no effect on the shift from "normal" sexual abuse into of abhorrent behaviour, unless such tendencies are pre-existing, in which case they will be expressed anyways. There is no "conversion" effect.

But wouldn't Class III materials accelerate the shift from less extreme abhorrent behaviour into more extreme? Again, we have no specific scientific information on this topic in relation to children and we are thus forced to extrapolate from mainstream BDSM pornography and BDSM psychological studies. What is known about BDSM practices is that they exhibit drug-like addiction symptoms. Practitioners must ratchet up the extremes of BDSM practices all the time in order to obtain the same level of pleasure. As abhorrent abuse of children is closely related with BDSM practices, it stands to reason that the same phenomenon applies to Child Pornography. As such, the only logical conclusion is that the shift from less extreme behaviours and into more extreme one is a natural process of the abhorrent tendencies themselves, un-related to exposure of abhorrent Class III materials. It is this natural ratcheting up of extreme abhorrent practices that increases the amount of abhorrent Class III materials observed in the statistics, not the other way around. Again, correlation does not mean causation.

Thus, we must conclude that even for Class III materials, the harm to children solely from the creation of such materials is negligible or non-existent.

CONCLUSION

The root cause analysis would thus indicate that for all intent and purposes and from a statistical perspective, the creation of Child Pornography of any Class imposes very little to non-existent harm to children, strange as it may seem. It is the performance of children in erotic or sexual acts that produces the harm, performance that it is induced for motives other than the creation of such materials. In other words, the materials are mostly innocuous side effects of harm produced to children, not the other way around.

 

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Comments | Add yours
  • No comments found
English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest
Pin It