Sunday, June 11, 2017

researcher creates virtual child porn

A researcher in Canada is using virtual reality with plethysmography. Interesting work, for those bent that way.
In a maximum security mental health facility in Montreal is a “cave-like” virtual reality vault that’s used to show images of child sexual abuse to sex offenders. Patients sit inside the vault with devices placed around their penises to measure signs of arousal as they are shown computer-generated animations of naked children. 
Patients in a maximum security mental health facility. Not volunteers.
“We do develop pornography, but these images and animations are not used for the pleasure of the patient but to assess them,” said Patrice Renaud, who heads up the project at the Institut Philippe-Pinel.
I must say, so far it sounds nothing like pleasure. Renaud says,
“It’s a bit like using a polygraph but with other measurement techniques.”
Ah. A bit like palm-reading, too, except palm-reading doesn't try to sound scientific.
The patients sit on a stool inside the chamber wearing stereoscopic glasses which create the three-dimensional effect on the surrounding walls. The glasses are fitted with eye-tracking technology to ensure they aren’t trying to trick the system by avoiding looking at the critical content. 
“These guys do not like going through this assessment,” said Renaud, pointing out that the results can be shocking for the patient.
They don't like being treated like monkeys in a lab? Well, there's a surprise.
“It’s not easy for someone to discover he is attracted to violently molesting a kid. He may have been using the internet for some masturbatory activities using non-violent images or videos of children – which is not a good thing. But being tested in the lab and knowing he is also attracted to violence may be something that’s very difficult to understand.”
Is the point to find out what turns people on or to find out whether they will commit a sexual assault?

If they showed VR images of gay porn and aroused someone who previously thought he was straight...would that mean that the guy is likely to commit sex crimes against gays? We had better hope not, since a large number of heterosexuals watch gay porn.

If this study were trying to learn something interesting, it would test a control group of people who have not been arrested and have not suffered from mental illness.

The article discusses the fear that the child porn Renaud develops could find its way into the wild where it could entertain the wrong people.
The lab is under intense scrutiny from ethical committees and the police in Quebec. The computer-generated imagery must be encrypted and stored in a highly secure closed computer network inside the maximum security hospital so that the material doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. 
However, at a time when virtual reality pornography is on the rise, it’s not unreasonable to assume that someone will – if it hasn’t already happened – create virtual reality child abuse images designed explicitly to arouse rather than diagnose pedophiles. 
Thanks to advances in computer graphics, such experiences could be created without ever harming or exploiting children. But even if no children are harmed in the making of such imagery, would society tolerate its creation? Could the content provide an outlet to some pedophiles who don’t want to offend in real life? Or would a VR experience normalize behavior and act as a gateway to physical abuse? [My emphasis, throughout.]
If we are more interested in stopping child sexual abuse than in punishing those who look at illegal images--and that seems to be a big 'if'--then those are good questions. Is there a good application for virtual child porn?
Ethan Edwards, the co-founder of “Virtuous Pedophiles”, an online support group for people attracted to children but who do not want to molest them, argues virtual reality could help prevent real-life offences. 
Edwards believes that, provided the imagery of children is computer-generated and doesn’t involve any real victims, it should be legal, as should life-size child sex dolls and erotic stories about children. 
“I have a strong civil liberties streak and feel such things should be legal in the absence of very strong evidence they cause harm,” he said.

Nick Devin, a pedophile and co-founder of the site, called for thorough scientific research. “The answer may be different for different people. For me, doing these things wouldn’t increase or reduce the risk to kids: I’m not going to molest a kid whether I fantasize or not.” 
It’s a view echoed by Canadian forensic psychologist Michael Seto. He believes that VR could provide a safer outlet for individuals with well-developed self control. 
“But for others, such as those who are more impulsive, prone to risk-taking, or indifferent about the effects of their actions on others, then access to virtual child pornography could have negative effects and perhaps increase their desire for contact with real children.”
It’s a risk that concerns Renaud, who describes VR child abuse imagery and child-shaped sex robots as “a very bad idea”.
He says this as he develops VR child abuse imagery.
“Only a very small portion of pedophiles could use that kind of sexual proxy without having the urge to go outside and get the real stuff,” he said. 
Any research to show that this is true?
It’s not just child sex abuse experiences that are concerning to Renaud, but violent first-person sexual experiences including rape and even entirely new deviances “like having sex with monsters with three penises and blue skin”. 
Mr. Renaud has a very active imagination, it seems.
“We don’t know what effect these sexual experiences will have on the behavior of children and adults in the future,” he said.
Maybe he should put on the VR goggles, strap a device around his penis, and see what his own reactions would be.

1 comment:

Margaret Moon said...

What makes you think that Renaud hasn't already done the test himself?? Maybe many times? Sounds like he's spent a lot of time thinking about alternate scenarios as well. How do we know that this activity is "safe" for this guy?

There is research showing that in places where cp was legal there was less abuse. See the work of Dr. E. Imhof.