Undisciplined Sexuality Fuels Pornography Industry
What has minimized child pornography in the past is now obliterated by the more than 100,000 child porn websites that the U.S. Customs Service currently estimates is fueling a multibillion-dollar industry.
"Once the Internet came to be, law enforcement could no longer control what consumers look at or where they download it from," said Michelle Collins, director of the Exploited Child Unit of the National Coalition for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), according to the Assemblies of God News Service.
Several studies have indicated that pornography is related to greater involvement in deviant sexual practice. Among child molesters incited, 77 percent of those who molested boys and 87 percent of those who molested girls admitted to habitual use of pornography in the commission of their crimes, cited an online network ProtectKids.com.
And the Internet gives offenders easy access to pornographic materials.
"We see an amazing number of cases of offenders who would never risk obtaining materials before for fear of being traced," said Collins. "With the Internet, they can sit in the privacy of their home, or office, and often get away with it."
NCMEC has collected information regarding the identification of 775 children who have been sexually abused in child porn images or videos. That doesn’t include the 1,400 reports of child porn per week that NCMEC’s CyberTipline receives.
The majority of child porn users are "mainstream" porn customers, experts say.
"We have become desensitized to almost all kinds of sexual behavior and attitudes," Gary R. Allen, Ministerial Enrichment national director for the Assemblies of God, told the denomination’s news service. "Undisciplined sexuality in a society leads to a greater propensity toward addictions and perversions, including child pornography."
Outside the virtual world, a community values activist pointed to the problem of the increasing pornography in American society. The laws are not being enforced, said Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values at a meeting at the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in November, according to the Baptist Press.
Hardcore pornography is outlawed in 45 of the 50 states, Burress noted. But it’s still being sold in "the backroom of video stores and in hotel rooms today," he said.
Thus rather than legal action, Burress urged more citizen action such as telling store operators they would go elsewhere if they continued to sell pornography. He also highlighted ministries where women befriend strip dancers and share the Gospel with them by offering help and counseling.
Meanwhile, NCMEC is making efforts to stop child pornography. A coalition of online service providers has agreed to establish a database to help authorities reduce distribution of child porn images. And major credit card companies vowed to work with law enforcement agencies in sharing information to make it more difficult for child porn users to open new accounts and process transactions.