The Child Pornography Industry
The pornography industry nets approximately $13 billion dollars of revenue in the United States, alone. Illegal child pornography revenue is around $3 billion annually and is one of the fastest growing businesses online (Top Ten Reviews, 2005). In 2014, the Internet Watch Foundation found 31,266 individual child abuse domains or URLs, a 137% increase from 2013. Today, there are estimated to be more than one million pornographic images of children on the Internet, with 200 new images posted daily. The U.S. Customs Service estimates that there are more than 100,000 websites offering child pornography — which is illegal worldwide. The fastest growing demand is for images depicting the worst imaginable type of abuse and images of the youngest children. Of P2P users arrested in 2009, 33 percent had photos of children age three or younger and 42 percent had images of children that showed sexual violence. More than half of all illegal sites reported by the Internet Watch Foundation are hosted in the United States. Illegal sites in Russia have more than doubled from 286 to 706 in 2002 (National Criminal Intelligence Service, 8/21/03). One can only imagine how much free child pornography transfers hands on an annual basis. Who is possessing all of this child pornography?
What does an Internet viewer of underage pornography look like?
Federal child pornography charges are leveled against judges, politicians, doctors, teachers and other well-regarded members of society more frequently than you would ever imagine. If you remember in 2015 alone, Glee co-star Mark Salling, TV producer on Law and Order Jace Alexander, and the Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle were all arrested for possession of child pornography. National Juvenile Online Victimization Study found that men who view child pornography include those who are:
- Sexually interested in prepubescent children (pedophiles) or young adolescents (hebephiles), who use child pornography images for sexual fantasy and gratification
- Sexually compulsive, meaning they are constantly searching for new and different sexual stimuli
- Sexually curious, downloading a few images to satisfy that curiosity
- Interested in profiting financially by selling images or setting up websites requiring payment for access
These offenders weren’t concentrated in any specific geographic location, and their levels of income and education varied widely. Two-thirds were single, about one-quarter lived with children under the age of 18 and about one-quarter had problems with drugs and alcohol. In 2009, similar to 2006, about 20 percent of the offenders were between the ages of 18 to 25; while the majority of men who viewed child pornography were 26 or older. The National Crimes against Children Research Center reported the great majority of those arrested were non-Hispanic white men and less than 1 percent were women.
Possession of child pornography is a felony under federal law and in every state. If you know of anyone producing or promoting child pornography, please report them through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline: 1 (800) 843-5678. If you are concerned about what you or a loved one has been looking at while online, seek the help of a professional who specializes in this area.
References used in this blog:
 Ropelato, Jerry. Top Ten Reviews. Top Ten Reviews, Inc. 5 December, 2005. http://internet-filter-review….pornography-statistics.html
My Kid’s Browser: http://www.mykidsbrowser.com/internet-pornography-statistics.php
International Watch Foundation 2014 Annual Report: https://www.iwf.org.uk/accountability/annual-reports/2014-annual-report
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, POP Center, The Problem with Child Pornography on the Internet, Guide No.41 (2006), by Richard Wortley and Stephen Smallbone
Enough is Enough web site: http://www.enough.org/inside.php?tag=stat archives#3
J Clark Baird, web site of a Kentucky criminal defense attorney, http://kyfederalcriminallawyer.com/practice-areas/federal-child-pornography-charges/