The Perils of Pornography
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The issue is pornography. Spiritual leaders warn it destroys families. Police find it connected to more crime, and therapists claim for some it plants the seeds for child sex abuse.
You don't have to hide a "nudie" magazine under the mattress anymore to take a peak at pornography. You can find it at work, online, the grocery store, some shops it's all they sell. Society embraces pornography now more than ever. But experts said some use it to create a fantasy sex world where children are victims.
"He had her undress and made her watch it with him, " said the mother of a child rape victim.
The mother of three said five years ago her boyfriend had sexual intercourse with her three year old daughter. He had been watching a "porno", and forced the toddler to re-enact what he was watching.
His pornography habit was no secret, she just thought it was normal.
"He's a typical guy. He had a couple of movies. He kept them locked in a trunk at the end of the bed," said the mother.
What the couple didn't realize, sex experts consider pornography the building blocks for child sex abusers.
"It creates a delusion or distortion of what sex is all about, that sex is control and performance, with a lack of intimacy," said Sexual Behavior Psychotherapist Michael Henry.
Henry has worked with people with sexual behavior problems for over twenty years. He and others said an overwhelming majority of the child sex offenders they see are addicted to pornography.
"An individual who has gone onto commit a sexual offense, those have a history of porn use almost invariably," said Sexual Behavior Psychotherapist Mathew J. Cummings.
It starts with things like suggestive music. Once addicts have dulled their senses they move on to material more explicit.
"It's not going to provide a peak experience for them and so they're wanting to go into something a little more riske or a little more deviant in some form," said Cummings.
Police who arrest child sex offenders said for some it consumes their lives.
"He's taking that briefcase or that backpack or whatever and he's going off to work or school or wherever he's going and he's got these images with him and he's got these photos with him at all times," said Sgt. Randy Maynard, Kennewick Police Detectives Unit.
But pornography alone won't cause you to abuse children. Therapists said most offenders they've treated combine porn with either an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or they've been a victim of physical violence, witnessed physical or sexual violence as a child, been abandoned by a parent, or feel emotionally neglected.
"When those things are combined with pornography it sets the stage for this young person not having any idea as to what relationships are all about, and what's a healthy relationship," said Henry.
Offenders act out their fantasies on children who can't fight back. And people like the mother of three must forever question who they let approach their children.
"My step brothers, everybody comes in my house that's left alone in my house I always question it," the mother said.