Janice Shaw Crouse

These developments are not merely another increase in a continuum. By the mid-1980s, child porn was almost completely eradicated; it was too difficult and expensive to deliver and very risky to produce or purchase. Back then, peddlers and purchasers of child pornography had to know someone to make the connection to receive pornography, usually in a brown paper envelope. With the advent of the Internet, however, the porn problem re-emerged and exploded exponentially. With a click of the mouse, child pornography is available now from any computer. In addition, the continuing quest for something new and different drives those in the grip of pornography to demand images of younger and younger children and images that are more and more graphic and violent. Some experts believe that there is a tipping point at which those who engage in what they call “online sexual deviancy” decide to act out what they have seen and, thus, become a danger to the children around them. We know that those who harm children are usually adults whom the child knows well — an uncle, cousin, neighbor, or teacher. We also know that many who access child pornography are what the experts call “explorers,” meaning that they got started viewing child pornography because of the easy access. These “explorers” spend many hours and thousands of dollars surfing child porn websites.

Peer-to-peer contacts are another avenue for transmitting and receiving child pornography. An article in the Buffalo News last year revealed that at least half of the child pornography produced is traded for free. The traders download free images off the Internet and then barter them to obtain other images. This development is very troubling to authorities and to parents because it increases the demand for and supply of pornographic images among the “explorers.” Child molesters take pornographic photographs or video images of family members or neighborhood children and then trade those images. Amazingly, officials at the CyberTipline estimate that 60 to 70 percent of the child porn reports they receive involve this type of activity. Undercover police officers in eighteen countries scoured online sites for free child pornography in chat rooms, news groups, bulletin boards, and Internet networks. They found that the most activity was in the United States, which accounted for more than one-third of the proposed transactions.

That’s just what we needed. Instead of America, the home of the free and brave, we now have the distinction of being the land of the porn addicted, cowardly child sex slavers.

Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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