Child pornography link to abuse of children unclear, forensic psychiatrist says

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If someone downloads child pornography onto their computer, is that an indication they're a pedophile, or might become one in the future? That question is gaining the attention of forensic psychiatrists as never before, thanks to recent legislation making possession of Internet child pornography a federal crime constituting an unlawful transmission of information across state lines. "A large number of cases are going to court and attorneys are calling us, wanting to know what is the reason this person has child porn on their computer," said Dr. Humberto Temporini, a forensic psychiatrist at UC Davis Health System. The answer is often unclear -- not least because Temporini and his colleagues are still in the process of developing a standardized way to evaluate the risk, or lack of it, posed by someone who collects kiddie porn on the Internet. [...]

According to Scott [associate professor of clinical psychiatry], two federally commissioned studies, one in 1970 and the other in the 1980s, failed to find a strong correlation between viewing erotica and acting out sexually. He said that the decriminalization of pictorial pornography in several northern European countries in the 1960s and 1970s was not accompanied by an increase in the frequency of rape. Case studies of sex offenders -- which Scott describes as potentially limited because they depend on self-reporting -- have also not shown a clear link between pornography and the commission of sexual crimes.

source: 'Child Pornography Link To Abuse Of Children Unclear, Forensic Psychiatrist Says'; www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061027153001.htm; ScienceDaily; 27 October 2006