Friday, June 7, 2013

everything is a gateway

Commenter Tom Joad gave me something to think about:
Wow, utterly amazing. You (both) are amazing!!! I don't care if the image is two days old or twenty years old...that little child was still the victim of a terrible crime and continue to be a victim!!!
Again with the once a victim always a victim thinking. No matter how many exclamation points you put on it, it is cruel to insist that someone will always be a victim and can never overcome what happened.
I can't believe to are trying to minimize someone looking at pictures of children in sex acts. Everything is a gateway, don't you understand? Marijuana (can) leads to other (and more harmful) drugs. Just looking can lead to actively participating or manufacturing child porn. Just because it doesn't happen every time doesn't mean we should wait until that person acts out their peverted fantasies; we stop them before they can victimize anyone else!  
His idea of a gateway intrigued me. He thinks child porn is a gateway to actively participating or manufacturing child porn. Could that be true?

If looking at pictures can lead someone to act out something in the images, it must happen in areas other than child porn. Maybe first-person-shooter video games are a gateway to mass killings. Do people who play FPS games eventually end up acting out the images in which they have immersed themselves? With the numbers of people who enjoy those video games, we would certainly have seen the resulting carnage if that were true but mass killings are not on the rise. If a person were inspired by video games to commit mass killings, that person would be only a tiny percentage of the millions who play FPS games.

Is looking at adult porn a gateway to sexually abusing adults? Some evidence actually shows a correlation between increased availability of porn with a decrease in sex crimes. It is possible, again, that someone could be inspired by pornography to do something terrible. Porn is easily and widely available and used by such large numbers of both men and women, the person so inspired would be only a tiny percentages of those who look at porn.

Why would looking at the images in child porn affect the viewer differently? The vast majority of viewers would not move from viewing to acting out the images. Again, if someone did move from viewing to criminal activity because of what he saw in the CP images, that person would be a tiny minority of child porn users.

Tom Joad said,
Just because it doesn't happen every time doesn't mean we should wait until that person acts out their peverted fantasies; we stop them before they can victimize anyone else!
Does the commenter honestly believe that perverted fantasies are limited to those who look at child porn? 

The rest of his emphatic sentence makes as little sense. Do we put video gamers in prison before they commit a mass shooting inspired by the images they saw? Do we put adult porn users in prison before they commit a rape inspired by the images they saw? Do we put window-shoppers in prison just in case they are considering a smash-and-grab?

If the gateway idea were a valid means of deciding who goes to prison, we would be incarcerating young men who look at the Victoria's Secret catalog because the catalog is a gateway to adult porn which is a gateway to child porn.

We don't put people in prison for something we think they might do in the future. We actually are supposed to wait until the crime is committed before we punish someone. 

America is funny that way.


gleakk said...

Do you really not see the difference between young men looking at pictures of adult women which were taken with their knowledge and consent and people looking at pictures of a child being abused? Really?

Marie said...

Yes, I see the difference. Do you see the difference between someone abusing a child and someone looking at a photo?

Lexie said...

How come you make it out to be that your husband is a victim who just so happened to get busted for having perverted fantasies with children. No matter how you spin it the victims are here are those who are forced into child pornography not your husband. Bottom line your husband isn't a victim in this no matter how you spin it. If you want someone to feel sorry for it's those who are true victims who didn't consent to being used in sick child porn. Your husband had a choice nobody put a gun to his head and made him get off to children. The difference between them and your husband is that he had a choice they didn't. How would you feel if it was your family member's photos knowing there is someone sick out there getting off to them?

Marie said...

Isn't it possible that two (or more!) things can be true at the same time? 1. Child abuse is bad. 2. Child porn laws are out of whack. Those two thoughts are not mutually exclusive.

How would I feel if it were a family member in the photos? I would be MUCH more concerned about the circumstances in which the photos were taken than with who is looking at the photos after the fact. Wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

The child pornography statutes do not punish people for whacking off to images, only for possession, distribution, and production. There are those who whack off to the material, there are those who collect the material out of morbid curiosity, and there are those who do not jack off to it, but collect them to sell to those who would jack off to them. It is easy to assume that he masturbated to the images, but we don't know for a fact that he did. Then again you may fire back stating "well if he wasn't going to jack off why did he have the images in the first place?". Like I said "morbid curiosity".

Isabella said...

I think one of the major problems here is the term "child porn". Pornography is legal. Pornography is normal. Adults consent (as a rule)to being involved in porn and make money from their involvement.

When the term "child porn" is replaced with "images of children being sexually abused", it becomes much less "ok".

I am not familiar with American laws for possession of images of children being sexually abused, but I do believe that rehab should be a necessary component of any sentence.

I have no doubt that there are people who have images of children being sexually abused because of "morbid curiosity", and I think that is whyit is important to look at the actual content of the collections. If the person has 5 images sandwiched among all sorts of other things that constitute "morbid curiosity" like snuff, I can concede that the person likely has no pedophilic/hebophilic tendencies.

If we are looking at people with large collections, or groupings of children, or hundreds and thousands of images, or labelled folders based on age, description, child, then we have much more of a problem as far as likely pedophilia/hebophilia go. If the images tend to focus on a particular age group or body type, again, we are looking at something that is a problem.

LizaMoore said...

Okay, let's say that the person taking the pictures of YOUR child being abused goes to prison. You and your child move on. Then a few years later you find out that the pictures were uploaded to the internet. You find out that people caught with child pornography have been looking at the pictures of YOUR child being sexually abused. Do you really think you'd be okay with that? Do you really think you'd be able to say "They were just looking. It doesn't hurt my kid at all."

Marie, I've read every word you have written on this blog and on the prison forum. I've tried to give you the benefit of the doubt because I can't imagine my husband betraying me and my family like this. I can't imagine my life being turned upside down because of something like this.

But after reading all of this, it's obvious that you don't get it and you don't want to get it. Your husband is the only one at fault in this situation. The cops invading your house were only doing their job. Yeah, it sucks that they scared you and your children. However, I'd rather them scare you and your family than to be shot because they knocked nicely on the door and met up with a gun. Their safety comes before the criminal's safety well being. If your husband hadn't been looking at child porn, your home wouldn't have been invaded.

I agree with some of what you post. I don't think the sexual offender list is fair. There are a lot of people that shouldn't be on it. However, I have zero problem with your husband being on it.

You've made your choice to stick with your husband. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with you posting all this crap about how it isn't abusive to look at child pornography. Until you or your children have been photographed in sexually abusive situations, you don't have the knowledge to say anything about it.

Marie said...

Liza, following your reasoning: Until you have had law enforcement officers running through your house with their weapons drawn when the kids are home--refusing to show you the search warrant, you don't have the knowledge to say anything about it. Correct?

Not even I think that is correct.

Anonymous said...

"They were just looking. It doesn't hurt my kid at all."
Marie is correct those people were looking. The only harm that comes out of all of this is the emotional/psychological harm from KNOWING that your pictures are on the Internet available for the entire world to see, but what you stated seems as if looking = direct abuse as if the child has extra-sensory perception. There are court cases that fight for acquisition of restitution for the victims of sexual abuse, but sometimes the judge denies it because they believe that the viewing of the images directly causing harm to the victim is a very a tenuous link to establish.

The most common argument used today is "every time the image is viewed, the child is re-victimized again" and this is usually stated by law enforcement spokesman all over the country from local, state, and federal agencies, but is never backed up by logic, but hey when the subject is child pornography just turn off your brain right?

As for the sex offender registry I believe it should either be only for physical offenses or abolished entirely because it does not work.

If you have the time read this:

Tom Joad said...


You are looking at this the wrong way. The things that you say are gateways (window shopping, video gamers, adult porn) are all LEGAL! Meaning, these things aren't against the law. Images of children engaged in sexual acts or of a sexual nature ARE ILLEGAL! You are defending what your husband did and that is wrong.

Your husband has a perversion that involves kids. Perversions aren't a learned behavior; they are cultivated over time with the indulgence in fantasies that can eventually become a reality. First, there's the desire to see children engaged in sex acts; then there's the collection of images and videos. Then, the thought and/or desire to make (manufacture) those images or videos. One simply doesn't stop their perversion without being caught in the act or ultimately, acting out. They may know it's not normal but the desire is so strong that they will continue to seek it out however they can. Do some reading about philia's and you'll see that those that have them can't stop themselves on their own.

Your gateway (Victoria's Secret catalog--adult porn--child porn) doesn't even make sense. In your mind it may but that is because you are trying to defend what your perverted husband was caught doing. Your comment "Again, if someone did move from viewing to criminal activity because of what he saw in the CP images, that person would be a tiny minority of child porn users" is attempting to give legitimacy to what your husband did. So, he didn't get caught manufacturing child pornography but if left to his own devices, would he have? That's why it is illegal to possess child pornography (and not illegal to possess adult pornography or play violent video games or go window shopping). Adult porn is created when there are consenting ADULTS that are considered the majority and know what they are doing. Children aren't capable of making that cognitive decision.

Your earlier statement "Again with the once a victim always a victim thinking. No matter how many exclamation points you put on it, it is cruel to insist that someone will always be a victim and can never overcome what happened" is also ludicrous. You clearly haven't had the opportunity to meet and speak with victims of crimes (of ANY crime) to know that it's not the fault of the victim for being victimized. You imply that it IS their fault if they can't "get over" what ever it was that made them a victim. I wouldn't wish that on anyone (even you or your family) but I suggest you use your tenacity and penchant for defending what is wrong and talk to families of victims or the victims themselves to see the damage of what you husband did, and what you are defending, actually causes to people.

sd said...

So just because something is illegal people have a higher potential of doing something harmful to another individual or engaging in other illicit behaviour? might want to think that one over ....

lucrezaborgia said...

"We don't put people in prison for something we think they might do in the future. We actually are supposed to wait until the crime is committed before we punish someone."

Exactly. Everyone in America knows that possession or distribution of child porn is illegal, including your husband. He was put in jail for a crime. Stop playing the victim on his behalf and blame him for your current hellish life.

Children who have had photos taken of their abuse do feel victimized each and every time that photo viewed. Why? Because they are told about it. They get a fancy letter in the mail each time they are identified. Just knowing that there are photos out there of themselves is enough to give some victims a lifetime of PTSD. You would know this if you actually talked to victims instead of spent all your time trying to defend someone who is not worthy of it.

LizaMoore said...

As someone who has pictures of my 12 year old self and her stepfather all over the internet, I know all about this subject.

Marie, all I'm saying is that your husband is in prison because he sought out child pornography. If he had stuck with adult porn, you'd be living the life you led without your home being invaded. My house was invaded as a child by law enforcement. It was scary but in the end, it was the start of my healing and I am thankful every day that there are laws that helped me out of my situation because the adults that were in charge of me sure didn't do anything but hurt. I pray that your own children are safe. Your postings really make me question whether they are or not. Your denial is very suspicious.

Tom Joad said...

@sd--You're getting your statistics messed up. For example, the majority of serial killers have what's exhibited what's called a triad of sociopathy--cruelty to animals, bedwetting, and and fire starting (inconsistent discipline as a child may also fall in this category). This doesn't mean that one who exhibits these signs will become a serial killer; it merely says that a majority of serial killers exhibited these signs. It can be used as a predictor of future activity.

If we have the ability to predict future behavior and can respond adequately to stop that behavior, don't you think as an intelligent species that we should be required to do so? This doesn't mean locking anyone up because they exhibit non-illegal symptoms (give the mentally ill the treatment that they deserve to help prevent violent crimes from occurring); it means spend the time and money determining the signs of illegal activity before they happen and provide the necessary treatment to stop that.

In Marie's husband's case, he had already stepped across the line of exhibiting pedophilic tendencies to actually participating in illegal behavior by downloading and viewing child pornography. If there was something that he was doing prior to the downloading, it should have been caught and treatment should have been given to him. Because we don't know everything about how a mind works, we might not know the specific triggers of what causes pedophilia but what is known is it is a learned behavior and is not something that 'just shows up'. Is it his fault that he didn't (or "couldn't") stop his sick fantasies prior to making them a reality? We may never know that answer but I do stress that more needs to be done to learn how to stop these types of crimes by treating the perpetrators before they indulge in that sick behavior.

sd said...

Children who have had photos taken of their abuse do feel victimized each and every time that photo viewed. Why? Because they are told about it.

okay so if they are not told about it they are not victimized? correct? the laws really should be looked over... i mean the department of justice says "Once an image is on the Internet, it is irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever." so is there really any point in going after the downloaders? (assuming it was obtained for free and not paid for) its really a big waste of time and money....regardless of any laws those pictures will always continue to circulate for eternity even after they die and then the next generation of individuals will look at them and the cycle goes on and on.

things that must be looked over/revised are the laws, sex offender registry, and restitution for downloading images. as much as the governments cause for wanting to protect the cheeldren is noble, but also radical we are essentially throwing people in jail for content that will continue to roam the internet regardless if that person is put away for 2 months 10 years...

Allison G said...

Majority of people that view Child Pornography DO move on to commit actual sexual abuse.

"We don't put people in prison for something we think they might do in the future. We actually are supposed to wait until the crime is committed before we punish someone."

This is illogical. A woman is being threatened and stalked by her ex-boyfriend. But since he has yet to actually do anything we're just suppose to wait. So he eventually beats her up or kills her, and THEN we have to punish him?

Sparky7 said...

Wow. Lady, there are blogs out there from real victims of child porn. It is really sick reading your pov. I could feel compassion for you if you expressed more pain from your husbands actions but you were going to stick by him. Calling this "just pictures" has to be horrifying for any victim of this heinous crime.

I know someone who accidentally downloaded something looking for "signs" of abuse because she was concerned about a young neighbor. She was so horrified and traumatized. She called me hysterical. I told her to all the cops immediately. Do you know...the link she clicked on had live cams of real time children being drugged and raped? Do you know it was her horror and reporting of this that busted the ringleaders?

I also know an ICE senior officer. You have the gall to liken what they see as just as bad. To see this man tell me through tears he's horrified at what kind of world his kids are in...that is NOTHING even close to someone getting off on a child being hurt like this.

I tear up reading some of the blogs from people who have been through this. I am shocked you are still defending and minimizing this. People like you break my heart...but probably not as much as the victims and their families.

I have no doubt you need an outlet. I find it extremely hypocritical you hid this from people in your real life out of fear for you and your children, yet, you blast this on the Internet, basically criticizing others for their pain or shock. It's done in a very passive aggressive manner, which allows you to appear a victim.

Shame on you.