In an unsettling study published this week in Springer's Archives of Sexual Behavior, scientists say that legalizing child pornography has led to lower instances of child sexual abuse in Czechoslovakia, Denmark, and Japan. Um, what?! Uh, isn't child pornography, by definition, child sexual abuse?
The findings support the theory that potential sexual offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex crimes against children. While the authors do not approve of the use of real children in the production or distribution of child pornography, they say that artificially produced materials might serve a purpose.
It's unclear whether by "artificially produced" they're talking about animated versions or employing over-18 actors who look younger than they actually are. Either way, yuck. Also, adult-oriented porn is readily available all over the place (even rape porn) and that hasn't stopped rapes from happening.
What might work better is taking a more proactive role in protecting children from predators, and educating people so there's less of a stigma associated with being victimized. Destigmatizing sex crimes will probably make kids more likely to report. This way if a child is sexually assaulted, their abuser is off the streets (or out of their house) and they're able to get into therapy quickly so they don't grow up and continue the cycle of abuse.
Giving the child molester jackoff fodder as a method of lowering molestation rates? No matter what the scientists say, I'm not buying it.
*FYI, while it's illegal to produce child porn in Japan, possession is not criminalized. It's been illegal in Denmark since 1980.