Child pornography made easily accessible through the internet has created a new group of criminal offenders. Once convicted of downloading prohibited material, sentencing usually means going to jail. Some offenders have also committed contact offenses by engaging in sexual activity with minors, but not all. I will argue that internet offenses comprise an unusual crime, for which offenders are harshly treated and arguably are made into scapegoats, according to Girard's definition. While I will invite controversy in some of what I will argue, I affirm that viewing this material should remain illegal and appropriately prosecuted. The "passive" downloading of child pornography is an offense. To see child pornography is to witness a crime in progress. Any support for this industry is aiding and abetting child sexual assault and is rightly considered criminal, and this extends equally to the downloading of images. Naturally we should do everything possible to protect all children from any form of sexual exploitation, but internet-mediated child pornography is possibly one of the most malignant forms of such exploitation.
|Title of host publication||Violence, Desire and the Sacred|
|Subtitle of host publication||René Girard and Sacrifice in Life, Love and Literature|
|Editors||Scott Cowdell, Chris Fleming, Joel Hodge|
|Place of Publication||New York, USA|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
STEVENS, B. (2014). Internet Offenders as Girardian Scapegoats. In S. Cowdell, C. Fleming, & J. Hodge (Eds.), Violence, Desire and the Sacred: René Girard and Sacrifice in Life, Love and Literature (2 ed., pp. 183-192). Bloomsbury.