Child Pornographyby Carle O'Neil
The production and use of child pornography as an adjunct to this interest, however, has mushroomed in recent years, due to advances in photography,
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Adult interest in children as sexual objects is as old as recorded history. It has been present, more or less, in every culture and society, and looked upon quite differently from one era to another.
The production and use of child pornography as an adjunct to this interest, however, has mushroomed in recent years, due to advances in photography, printing, electronic recording and transmission devices, including the Internet. The technical ease in the preparation and distribution of all kinds of pornography, including child pornography, has furnished the users of such materials an endless abundance of it. Furthermore, the public attitude toward censorship has undergone great change from the restrictive era of Queen Victoria.
“Out of sight is out of mind.” This adage is readily applicable to today’s viewpoint regarding child pornography. With the exception of an occasional “scandal” or news story, the occurrence of child pornography does not loom large in public awareness or concern.
For one thing, the production and use of child pornography is a highly personal, secretive act. Perpetrators generally do their best to avoid discovery and are skillful at avoidance. Victims more often than not maintain secrecy – out of fear, feelings of guilt or because they simply do not know how to report what has happened to them.
For another thing, the public is strongly inclined to deny or disbelieve that the use of children for the sexual gratification of adults can happen – it is a frightful, “dirty” topic best left alone.
Nevertheless, child pornography is a thriving – and growing - activity engaged in by a significant number of consumers for the satisfaction of their particular sexual desires, and by producers for the financial rewards realized from the production and sale of pornographic materials.
Although the open production and distribution of adult pornography is alive and well, safeguarded by the “freedom of speech” Amendment to the Constitution, the official attitude toward child pornography has grown increasingly restrictive. Child advocates agree that the production and use of such materials puts children at risk. In spite of serious restrictive efforts, however, the production and use of child pornography springs from at least two of humankind’s strongest urges – desire for sex and wealth – and is unlikely to wither away.
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