Child Pornography On The Internet
The Internet has caused an increase in the production and distribution of child pornography. Child pornography arrests have increased 220%, with most cases involving the use of computers (Trebilcock 1). Most child pornography on the Internet has been taken from magazines produced in the seventies and early eighties, which encourages new images to be created. Child pornography on the Internet is destructive in that it depicts the actual abuse of a child, it is used by child molesters as a tool, and it reinforces the behavior of the pedophile.
The actual abuse depicted in child pornography is considered the most dangerous threat to children; it has been linked to many cases of child abduction and prostitution. In Belgium, Marc Dutroux, who lived off profits from selling child pornography over the Internet, led an international child sex and pornography ring, which was responsible for multiple child abductions and murders. After his arrest, Dutroux led police to a dungeon under his house where two twelve-year-old girls had been imprisoned for ten weeks. Police later discovered the bodies of four other young girls on Dutroux s property (Esposito 6).
Child pornography is used as a tool for child molesters. The material in pornography desensitizes children to sexual acts with an adult, giving the impression that sex with adults is natural and enjoyable. Pornography is used as a tool to teach children sexual acts and is a means of blackmailing and threatening children into keeping quiet. On the Internet, children are lured into private chat rooms where pedophiles attempt to seduce children into meeting with them. Alan Hicks, a 46-year-old mechanical engineer, was a convicted pedophile who used the Internet chat rooms to befriend numerous boys. In private chat rooms, Hicks talked graphically about sex to the boys in return for favors such as a pair of underwear or samples of the boy s urine and semen (Trebilcock 2).
Chat rooms containing child pornography on the Internet are used for support groups and organizations attempting to bring child molestation into the mainstream. NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, has a bulletin on the Internet, which states. Boylovers with integrity and courage can use the resources of the Internet to break through the boundaries that others would impose on our culture (Trebilcock 2).
The Internet is becoming the primary medium for the transmission and distribution of child pornography and is being used by pedophiles to abuse and exploit children.