Saturday, December 4, 2010

Study: Child Porn Reduces Child Abuse

Review of other studies here.

The federal law is reviewed here.

It is indisputable that prosecution for child porn viewing is a big lawyer business.

The policy justification for this law is that buying child porn results in more production. Production is child sexual abuse. To be charitable, that conclusion is not a settled scientific question.

Should laws meet Daubert standards? If a law does not, should it be declared unconstitutional? The law may be based upon or emanate from an expression of religious faith, in violation of the Establishment Clause. Or, it may be based on false, anti-scientific assumptions, violating the procedural due process right of the defendant to a fair hearing.

See here. See the article here.

Study: Making Pornography More Accessible May Curb Child Abuse
By Alice Park Thursday, December 2, 2010 |

Whether pornography is an expression of free speech or a form of exploitation remains a hotly debated issue, and new research may only stir up the controversy further.

Scientists led by Milton Diamond at the University of Hawaii found that easing access to sexually explicit material may help lower sexual abuse of youngsters. Diamond's group compared rates of various crimes, including sexual abuse, murders, assaults and thefts, both before and after the fall of the communist regime in the Czech republic. Before a more liberal government gained power in the country in 1989, all forms of sexually explicit material, including magazines such as Playboy, were banned, and all nudity was considered pornographic. (More on Will Polygamy Be Legalized in Canada?)

The new government, however, passed a law allowing some expressions of nudity, including child porn, and when Diamond and his group compared rates of child sexual abuse both before and after the communist regime was in power, they found that there were fewer cases of abuse after pornography became more accessible.

The data support previous work that found similar trends when pornography laws were relaxed in Japan and Denmark. Coupled with the fact that rates of other crimes did not change in the same time period in the Czech Republic, Diamond speculates that the reason for the decline in child sexual abuse could be due to the fact that potential offenders were able to substitute child pornography for sexual acts themselves. (More on Is Banning Pro-Pedophilia Books the Right Answer?)

But not all child abuse experts buy that theory, and take issue with the idea that child pornography, in any form, could be considered an antidote to sexual abuse. “The study and its findings are provocative,” says Dr. Cindy Christian, chair of the Committee for Child Abuse and Neglect for the American Academy of Pediatrics and chair of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, “but as a pediatrician I would never condone any child pornography even in order to protect other children from child sexual abuse.