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Use of Pornography in the Criminal and Developmental Histories of Sexual Offenders

NCJ Number
106421
Journal
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1987) Pages: 196-211
Author(s)
D L Carter; R A Prentky; R A Knight; P L Vanderveer; R J Boucher
Date Published
1987
Length
16 pages
Annotation
The present study examined exposure to and use of pornography in the familial, developmental, and criminal histories of 38 rapists and 26 child molesters incarcerated at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons; child molesters were significantly more likely to use such material before and during their offenses and as relief for impulse to action.
Abstract
Self-reported questions and anonymous randomized response questions were used. Both the rapists and child molesters reported similar exposure to pornography in the home and during development. The estimated rates of reported pornography were similar in both responses. Therefore, it is unlikely that the results are due to differences between rapists and child molesters in proneness to response bias. Evidence strongly supports the association of pornography with sexual exploitation of children, though it is premature to suggest direct or causal relationships. The hypothesis that pornography relieves pent-up sexual tension that might otherwise be directed at an individual finds support among child molesters. However, pornography may intensify an already active fantasy life. Exploitive rapists and child molesters whose sexual motivation is not greatly object-oriented were hypothesized as being overrepresented among those reporting the lowest influence of pornography in their lives. 4 tables, 3 notes, and 40 references. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1987