In the majority of cases, children who appear in child pornography have not been physically forced to participate or abducted. They generally know the producer of the material and through subtle means are manipulated into taking part.
To be the subject of child pornography can have devastating physical, social, and psychological effects on both the children involved and those who are exposed to child pornography.
Although many of the results are contentious, the effects of pornography on the user have been extensively studied. There are at least five possible relationships between pornography use and the sexual abuse of children:
1. Pornography use is an expression of existing sexual interests. An individual who sexually abuses children seeks out child pornography as part of their pattern of sexual gratification. The offender’s sexual interests cause their pornography use rather than the other way around.
2. Pornography is used to prime the individual to offend. An individual deliberately views child pornography immediately prior to offending. Pornography is used in the short term to sexually stimulate the offender in preparation for offending
- Linz, D., and D. Imrich (2001). “Child Pornography.” In S. White, ed., Handbook of Youth and Justice. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.