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Viewing child pornography does not seem to increase risk of abusing children, study concludes

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2876 (Published 14 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2876
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Viewing child pornography does not, in itself, seem to be a major risk factor for committing physical sexual abuse of children in the future, concludes a follow-up study of men who were convicted in a Swiss child pornography investigation but who had no convictions for hands-on sex offences (offences involving physical contact with the victim) against children.

    “There is ongoing debate about whether people who view child pornography pose a risk of committing sex offences against children,” explained a member of the research group, Frank Urbaniok, a forensic psychiatrist with the Canton of Zurich Department of Justice. “And there have previously been few studies looking at the association between consumption of child pornography and subsequent sex offences.”

    It is generally assumed that people who download child pornography are paedophiles, said Jérôme Endrass, head of the research department at the Criminal Justice System …

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