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How People Like Jared Fogle Go From “Regular” Porn To Child Porn

By August 24, 2015 No Comments

Last week it was announced that Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesman who gained fame after losing 245 pounds and becoming a weight loss inspiration, will plead guilty to possessing child pornography and traveling to pay for sex with underaged girls. Subway announced that it has parted ways with Fogle due to the allegations.

Fogle has pleaded guilty to charges that involve 14 minors and has entered into a plea deal that is expected to give a sentence anywhere from 5-12 years.

“Jared Fogle expects to go to prison,” Fogle’s attorney said. “He will do his time. He expects to do well. He expects to make amends to those people whose lives he has affected.”

The case against the face of the popular sandwich chain started with an anonymous tip and launched a massive investigation that included sorting through more than 16 smartphones, 10 memory cards and 6 laptops. The 14 victims of Fogle’s abuse were identified after police reviewed more than 27,000 emails, 160,000 text messages, and tens of thousands of videos and images.

The charges officially came against Fogle, a married father of two kids, after federal agents seized computers and DVDs from his home last month in Indiana as part of a child pornography investigation involving the former executive director of the Jared Foundation, Fogle’s nonprofit dedicated to preventing childhood obesity. The former head of the charity allegedly sent Fogle child porn images and videos through text messages and a thumb drive throughout 2011-2015.

Federal documents allege Fogle and a minor arranged to meet through text and online messages, and that Fogle asked her to “provide him with access to other underage minors for purposes of commercial sexual activity” and that “the younger the girl, the better.”

An escalating addiction.

One of the scariest realities of porn use is the fact that after a while, “regular” porn just doesn’t do it for the viewer anymore. Research has shown that porn, just like any other drug, is an escalating addiction. And for some people, porn use can eventually evolve into a curiosity or an appetite for violent porn or even child pornography.

Think about it. Is it logical to think that the first time someone like Jared Fogle viewed porn, that he went straight to searching “child porn” or “violent porn” right off the bat? Of course not. Now ask yourself this, isn’t it only logical to reason that criminals caught for child porn started out by watching regular porn and then slowly progressed into the more extreme, illegal material? The answer is, of course, yes.

Don’t take our word for it. We once talked to a man in jail who had charges against him for over 40 counts of child porn. We asked him how we got into it. He told us, “When you’re a porn addict, the same stuff gets boring. You cycle through different phases.”

This sex offender’s statement confirms the research done by Zillmann and Bryant. In 1984, the two researchers conducted a study that revealed an increased interest in violent porn just from exposure to non­-violent pornography. Zillmann also conducted a study with college freshmen and found that frequent use of pornography requires newer and more bizarre material to achieve the same level of arousal, due to a growing tolerance of sexually explicit material (2000). The study showed that extended porn use creates boredom and dissatisfaction among viewers of both genders (Weaver, 2004).

The fact is that after using any drug for a while, the impulse tends to grow and require more intense stimulation. Just like it is common for gateway drugs like marijuana to lead to harder drugs like cocaine, softcore or “regular” porn can quickly lead into hardcore and even child porn over time.

Child porn has gotten more and more popular.

Child pornography has become more prevalent and larger than we would ever like to imagine. The people who actually get caught for the crime are just the tip of the iceberg. Child pornography is a business that has been expanding virally on the web for years and the material is only getting worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains. Every week there are over 20,000 images of child pornography posted on the web (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 2003). Furthermore, U.S Customs Services estimates that illegal child pornography is offered by approximately 100,000 websites.

Keep in mind, while almost all pedophiles watch porn, not all people who watch porn are pedophiles. But regardless of what causes what, behavioral psychologists discovered over a century ago that when two stimuli are repeatedly paired together, something called classical conditioning takes place.  (Pavlov, 1897). Using this widely accepted scientific theory, we know that when a person is constantly pairing sexual feelings with the image of children on a screen, sexual feelings will continue to be associated in the presence of a child in real life.

Watching videos of violent or child pornography desensitizes and blurs the lines for the viewer to what is and is not appropriate concerning sexuality. One study revealed that if a person sees aggressive behavior that is rewarded, the person is more likely to engage in that behavior than those who were not exposed (Bandura, 1961). This shows exactly how a child porn viewer who constantly sees certain behaviors eventually becomes accepting of it.

At what cost does child pornography come?

We had the opportunity to talk to a girl who was forced into child porn at age five by her mother who was a drug addict. The girl was raped and had pictures and videos taken of her. And when this little girl’s mother tried to get the family out of the child porn business, she was blackmailed by the abuser who threatened to have child protective services take her children away. The family didn’t get out until the little girl and her siblings were “getting too old” and the family had to run away into hiding. Even at the time we talked to her about this over a decade later, she refused to tell us many details about what happened to her in fear of being found.

This girl’s therapist concluded that her post-­traumatic stress disorder was a result of these events from her childhood. She has an inability to trust others, suffers from severe anxiety around people over 40 (the age of the abusers in her past), is dealing with drug problems to cope with the pain, and working through major distortions about sexuality. She informed us that sex trafficking is not just a far away practice but that it’s happening here in regular neighborhoods. She continued:

“I think more should be done in communities and neighborhoods and cities to watch out for child sex trafficking. This all happened to my family in a pretty normal working­ class suburb in the northwest. Child pornography—the making of it, the viewing of it, everything about it— to me is worse than [killing] because I would have been happily [killed] if I knew I was going to deal with living my life feeling dead and empty inside already. But that’s what the viewers and people involved in child pornography get off on. I don’t think it will ever be stopped, but hopefully stifled.”

Not only is child pornography or violent pornography damaging to the viewer, it creates a demand and when there is a demand there will always be a supplier ready to make money off of it. Child porn and violent porn viewers do not appear out of thin air, they develop with a history of “regular” pornography use. Porn use is a slippery slope to ideas and behavior that negatively affect the individual and our society as a whole.

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REFERENCES:

Bandura, A., Ross, D., Ross, A. (1961). Transmission of Aggression Through Imitation. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.

Day, A., Chung, D., O’Leary, P. & C., Ed (2009). Programs for men who perpetrate domestic violence: an examination of the issues underlying the effectiveness of intervention programs. Journal of Family Violence, Vol.24 (No.3). pp. 203­212. NY, New York City: Springer New York LLC

Enough is Enough (2006). Making the Internet Safer For Children and Families. Retrieved from http://www.enough.org/inside.php?id=3K03RC4L00

Pavlov, I. P. (1897/1902). The Work Of The Digestive Glands. London: Griffin. Pavlov, I. P. (1928). Lectures On Conditioned Reflexes. (Translated by W.H. Gantt) London: Allen and Unwin.

Weaver, J. (2004). The Effects of Pornography Addiction on Families and Communities. Washington, DC.

Zillmann, D., Bryant, J. (1984). Effects of massive exposure to pornography. In Malamuth NM and Donnerstein E (Eds): “Pornography and Sexual Aggression.” New York: Academic Press.

Zillmann, D. (1986). The Surgeon General’s Workshop on Pornography and Public Health. Indiana University. Arlington VA.

Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence of Unrestrained Access To Erotica on Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health.