Huddersfield University expert: ‘Paedophiles are born attracted to children’
May 14 2010 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A CHILD protection expert believes paedophiles are born with a predilection for children.
Dr Bernard Gallagher, a Huddersfield University researcher, was speaking after a report by online watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found child pornography was now quicker and cheaper to access than ever before.
“I think people are born attracted to children,” he said.
“But in the same way that men who are born heterosexual don’t necessarily go out there and attack women, someone who is attracted to children won’t necessarily go out to attack children.
“You have to differentiate between the attraction and acting on that attraction.
“The underlying condition isn’t treatable but whether people act on it is.
“The worrying thing is the impact on offenders of the availability of child pornography.
“It legitimises their interest and a small minority of those will then act further and go on to sexually abuse.”
The IWF said paedophiles were increasingly taking advantage of free image-sharing websites to reach customers.
The growth of such sites, as well as blogs, message boards and social networking, had opened up new opportunities for the vile trade.
The IWF, which is receiving increasing numbers of complaints, said legitimate free online services were “vulnerable” to exploitation through the storage, sale and sharing of illegal images.