Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Dr. J gives the prize for the most misleading headline

“Nearly twice as many children in a nationwide child-porn database were photographed by their parents as were victims of online enticement. The number victimized by parents was nearly seven times that of children exploited by strangers.”

Later in the article, we learn: "What law enforcement tends to be seeing is that the children who are being used to produce these images are kids being abused in bedrooms and basements and living rooms across the United States and elsewhere," said Michelle Collins, executive director of the Exploited Child Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The division is a clearinghouse for law enforcement to share information when children depicted in pornography are identified. Collins said this helps prevent defendants from arguing that the children in their pornography collections aren't real.

Since the program started in 2003, more than 2,300 children have been identified in pornographic pictures and videos, Collins said. Of those, 27 percent were photographed by parents or stepparents; 24 percent by neighbors or close family friends; and 10 percent by other relatives.
Just 4 percent were photographed by strangers. The rest were photographed by coaches, babysitters, their parents' boyfriends and girlfriends, or by themselves, often after being enticed by someone they met online.”

Please note the sleight of hand: at the beginning, we hear about “parents.” only at the end of the article, do we learn that “parents” includes stepparents and biological parents. most studies that break this down by step, bio and cohabiting parents, find that bio fathers are MANY times safer than step parents or mothers’ boyfriends. So the 27% were photographed by “parents or stepparents” and the 4% photographed by strangers, is the basis for the statements that “The number victimized by parents was nearly seven times that of children exploited by strangers.” But almost certainly that 27% is dominated by non-biological “parents.”

I looked at the website for National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and could not find the original data on which these statements are based. If anyone else can find it, please post a comment to that effect. This anti-parent screed should be exposed for what it is: an attempt to frighten people into thinking that parents pose the greatest threat to their own children, and that only the state and its bureaucratic allies can be truly trusted to have the child’s best interest at heart.

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