Study: no link between child porn and abuse

14th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss scientists say men without a prior sex conviction who look at online child pornography are unlikely to sexually assault a child.

Paris -- Men without a prior sex conviction who look at child pornography on the internet are unlikely to sexually assault a child, Swiss scientists said on Monday.

Researchers led by Frank Urbaniok of the Canton of Zurich Department of Justice examined the criminal record of 231 men who were charged with viewing child pornography via a US website.

In the six years before the 2002 police operation, only one percent was known to have committed a hands-on sex offence.

And only one percent of the men committed a hands-on sex offence in the six years afterwards.

The study reinforced previous research which found most consumers of Internet child pornography were well-educated and viewed other types of illegal pornography as well, including sexual acts involving animals or violence.

Urbaniok said men who look at online child pornography were sex offenders, but it should not be automatically assumed that they were a risk for sexually assaulting a child.

"Our results support the assumption that these consumers, in fact, form a distinct group of sex offenders," he said in a press release.

"Probably, the motivation for consuming child pornography differs from the motivation to physically assault minors. Furthermore, the recidivism rates of one percent for hands-on and four percent for hands-off sex offences were quite low."

The study is published by BioMed Central, an online, peer-reviewed journal.

A 2005 paper by Canadian researchers Michael Seto and Angela Eke found that of 201 men charged with child pornography offences, 24 percent had prior offences for sexual contact. Four percent went on to commit a subsequent sexual offence after being charged or prosecuted.

AFP / Expatica

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