the nicer kind of pornographers

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 19, 2007

A forthcoming study by the Federal Bureau of Prisons will point toward a "startlingly high" correlation between child pornography and the sexual abuse of children, the New York Times reports. In other words, the people who enjoy looking at sexual images involving children are likely to be the same people who molest children. Surprised?

But please don't jump to conclusions. The Times wants you to realize that the study is imperfect, and we may be "tarring some men unfairly." Please realize that there is a "large and diverse group of adults who have at some point downloaded child pornography, and whose behavior is far too variable to be captured by a single survey."

So see the point: We need to distinguish between the nasty people who download porn and then rape children, and the harmless people who just use porn for a bit of innocent entertainment.

"The results could have tremendous implications for community safety and for individual liberties," said Dr. Fred Berlin, founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic. "If people we thought were not dangerous are more so, then we need to know that and we should treat them that way. But if we’re wrong, then their liberties aren’t going to be fairly addressed."

Ah, yes; exactly. We want to protect our children. Sure. But for heaven's sake don't do anything that would jeopardize the civil liberties of child-porn connoisseurs. Right.

(Hmmph. Why do I have that funny feeling that something here sounds familiar. Let's see. Fred Berlin, Fred Berlin, Fred Ber....BINGO!)

Dr. Berlin is Director of the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma. He was Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Berlin has written extensively on sexual disorders for numerous distinguished journals, including The American Journal of Psychiatry, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry. He was a consultant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse from its inception to 2000.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2007 2:54 AM ET USA

    Given their own restrictions on not allowing any sexual preference to be designated as a perversion they have little room to condemn the practice of viewing pornography. "large and diverse group of adults who have at some point downloaded child pornography, " Unfortunately, the Catholic Church rightly proclaims the truth that we are all potential rapists. They also have no difficulty in acknowledging that what we covet we are more likely to attempt to do.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 23, 2007 8:16 PM ET USA

    A man who should know, once said that pornography is the lynch pin that unites all sexual predators. He warned most vociferously that parents guard against this most detestable of "innocent adolescent indulgences." What makes this warning more than a simple observation is that it was part of a "deathbed" confession by the notorious Ted Bundy who hoped that his one serious attempt to reconcile with God might be his safeguard against eternal damnation. His words prior to his judgment made sense.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2007 11:42 PM ET USA

    A forthcoming study by me of the USCCB and their website points toward a startingly high correlation between being frighteningly boring and the abuse of subjecting other people to their particluar brand of tiresome ennui.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2007 8:36 PM ET USA

    Just another example of a current day conference of bishop’s's not exploitation of children they are interested in, it is the policy and statements on the exploitation of children; it's not justice they are interested in, it is policy and statements on justice they are interested in. Just like the temple authority and Jews during the life of Christ: it's not God they are interested in, it is the Law of God they are interested in.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 21, 2007 3:10 PM ET USA

    Pornography pervades the internet and the world. It is a serious problem, and Catholics surely are not exempt from it. It is also an addiction, which is a progressive disease. The antidotes are (1) regular sacramental confession, (2) prayer, and (3) fasting. Sobrii estote, et vigilate: quia adversarius vester diabolus, tamquan leo rugiens, circuit, quarens quem devoret: cui resistite fortes in fide. (Lesson from Compline).

  • Posted by: - Jul. 21, 2007 1:14 PM ET USA

    All pornography degrades human beings. When you start to think of people as objects instead of unique individuals made in the image and likeness of God you are more likely to abuse them. When children are the subject matter of pornography, they also are more likely to become the object of abuse. What's more, it's not uncommon for people who view porn to look at thngs that are progressively worse. Like all unhealthy addictions, what satsified yesterday, no longer satisfies today...

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2007 3:41 PM ET USA

    The study was flawed insofar as it was developed by convicted sex offenders who volunteered for treatment in a prison environment, and dealt with child pornography only. Many, many of the 1,500+ abusing priests, brothers, and nuns had collections of child pornography on their computers. When someone objected, their standard statement was that it was only "pictures." It tends to muddy the waters if one focuses on all pornography, rather than that which exploits children. WWJD?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2007 2:11 PM ET USA

    "If people we thought were not dangerous are more so..." Whaaaaat? As a sexpert, you didn't think that people who read porn were more likely to be dangerous? Perhaps you should have consulted with the police. It seems every mass murderer tends to have a stack of porno a mile high when they search their residence. Sex-perts: Bringing stupidity to a whole. 'nother. level.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 20, 2007 1:46 PM ET USA

    "My school board says we can't call any sexual inclination a "disorder" or "deviant". So what's on the treatment list as a disorder? " Chastity, no doubt.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 10:15 PM ET USA

    Why is it "startling"? It should be obvious. The only reason there is any debate whatever on what the implications of this study are is that the pornography industry is wealthy and powerful. By the way, how can Dr. Berlin be the founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic? My school board says we can't call any sexual inclination a "disorder" or "deviant". So what's on the treatment list as a disorder?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 7:57 PM ET USA

    Damnit, Di: "Its all about the CHILDREN!!!"

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 5:49 PM ET USA

    Bring on the tar buckets! I'll pray that any "innocent" people I help tar will forgive me and pray for my overzealousness. Ah, yes!! Another fine example of the exemplary types the USCCB continues to hire as "consultants". Why can't they listen to Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. John Corapi, or some of the other fine solid priests rather than these crackpots? Perhaps it's the same set of egos pointed out in the other article on stopping the Iraq war by meeting with dissident Dem politicians?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 4:28 PM ET USA

    The viewing of porn is virtual rape. Jesus had it right, but we must broaden his comments to committing lust in hearts over ANY human being of any gender and age.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 2:11 PM ET USA

    Hmmm.....the point the author of the article seems to miss is that images of child pornography ALWAYS involve the abuse of a child in the making of that image(except for cases where the image is computer generated). This is why possession of child porn is a crime.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2007 1:56 PM ET USA

    Porn is altogether evil. I believe porn distorts men's thinking; converting other people into objects for personal pleasure. This very dehumanizing influence is what creates turns men into rapists, especially date and non-stranger rape; men who, without this influence would never do such things. Many men and some women struggle with the temptation to view porn. We must love and support those who struggle against this vicious temptation. But all those who embrace porn are potential rapists.