Pornography and the paedophile: is it criminogenic?

  • Dennis Howitt
  • Published 1995 in The British journal of medical psychology

Abstract

There are few case-study-based reports of the role of pornography in the lives of sex offenders in contrast with numerous studies of a survey and statistical nature. Very little is known about the ways in which offenders process pornographic and other erotic materials as part of their offending patterns. The research reported in this study was based on case studies of fixated paedophiles in a private clinic for sex offenders. The men were interviewed about a range of matters including their offending, their psychosexual histories, pornography, fantasy, and sexual abuse in childhood. Commercial pornography was rarely a significant aspect of their use of erotica although some experience of such materials was typical of the men. Most common was 'soft-core' heterosexually oriented pornography. Explicit child pornography was uncommon. However, offenders also generated their own 'erotic' materials from relatively innocuous sources such as television advertisements, clothing catalogues featuring children modelling underwear, and similar sources. In no case did exposure to pornography precede offending-related behaviour in childhood. All of the offenders had experienced childhood sexual abuse by adults or older peers. The relationship of these findings to previous research and implications for legislation are noted.

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@article{Howitt1995PornographyAT, title={Pornography and the paedophile: is it criminogenic?}, author={Dennis Howitt}, journal={The British journal of medical psychology}, year={1995}, volume={68 ( Pt 1)}, pages={15-27} }