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Child Pornography (From Child Abuse and Neglect: Guidelines for Identification, Assessment, and Case Management, P 121-124, 2003, Marilyn Strachan Peterson and Michael Durfee, eds. -- See NCJ-200932)

NCJ Number
Terry L. Rudolph Ph.D.
Date Published
4 pages
After presenting a brief history of child pornography, this chapter defines it, discusses its scope, and outlines its uses.
Although adults have been sexually exploiting children since the dawn of time under the guise of art in paintings, sketches, and other forms of portrayal, it was with the advent of the camera in the mid-1800's that child pornography was born; however, from the mid-1800's to the 1900's, most child pornography remained in the possession of private individuals, with few publishing their collections. The first commercial child pornography magazine, Bambino Sex, was published in 1970 and sold over 10,000 copies in the first week of the issue. Today there is virtually no commercial child pornography sold or produced in the United States. It continues to be produced, traded, and exchanged primarily on the Internet by private individuals; this poses new problems for those charged with enforcing child pornography laws. Child pornography is a visual depiction of a minor (under 18 years old) engaged in sexually explicit conduct and is a permanent record of the sexual exploitation and abuse of a child. Laws against child pornography require that it be a visual depiction, not the written word. Included in the definition of visual depiction are photographs, slides, movies, magazines, books, videotapes, and even film negatives and undeveloped film. Each picture that might be considered child pornography must be determined on an individual basis. Whether or not a photograph of a nude child is child pornography has to be determined from the totality of the facts. Some uses of child pornography are sexual arousal and gratification; to lower children's inhibitions; for purposes of blackmail; as a medium of exchange; and for profit. A case vignette with follow-up questions is provided. 5 resources