Child Pornography Study

The Express, UK

Rogers, Jon, & Pallenberg Monica
IssueJuly 10, 2017
Type of WorkJournal article

Shocking study shows just half of those who watch child porn are paedophiles.
Around half the people who view disturbing pornographic images involving children are paedophiles, a new study has revealed.

 A study in Germany has looked at who watches child pornography.

Jens Wagner, who works at Charité Berlin at the Institute for Sexual Science and Sexual Medicine, is working with the prevention network ‘Kein Täter werden’ (not becoming an offender).

Mr Wagner revealed that while “more than half” of people who watched footage or looked at images of child pornography were paedophiles, at least a third of those who looked at such images did not fall into that category.

He investigated the child porn platform ‘Elysium’ on the dark web and its 87,000 users who exchanged photos and videos of abused children, arranged meetings to abuse, which was sometimes put online immediately.

He said: “This includes, for example, professional traders who deal with the images to make money, or sexual sadists looking for images in which people are humiliated and degraded.”

Along with the collectors and traders of such images, Mr Wagner also identifies those he describes as “morally/sexually promiscuous” who are driven by the allure of breaking taboos.

Mr Wagner said: “The latter often have problems with addiction, antisocial tendencies, or problems regulating their feelings."

Previous research carried out in the US in 2011 appears to support Mr Wagner’s findings.

Janis Wolak, an American sociologist at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes against Children Research Centre, investigated more than 1,700 criminals who had been convicted of possession of child pornography.

In her study ‘Child Pornography Possessors: Trends in Offender and Case Characteristics’, she describes three types of consumers who are interested in child pornography without being paedophilic.

It also names [1] the traders who make a profit with the photos and videos of abused children, and [2] the morally and sexually promiscuous people who consume everything that is new and a possible taboo.

She called the third group [3] the "Sexually Curious": users who had stored only a few child pornographic pictures or videos on their hard drive and said they were simply curious.

The users of the child pornography network "Elysium" now have to face a police investigation.

Mr Wagner emphasised that the project at the Charité could not help with this, of course - they could however help paedophiles who were afraid they might commit a crime in the future.