Is the web to blame for children committing sex crimes?

As experts warn that the rise in access to sexual images is responsible for an increase in children committing sex crimes, Marie Claire asks if the media is to blame.

Children are committing more sex crimes as a result of being bombarded with graphic images online, according to an expert warning yesterday.

There is a link between online pornography and a 12% rise in ten and 11-year olds convicted of sex crimes,’ says Michele Elliott, psychologist and founder of children’s charity Kidscape.

A total of 66 ten and eleven-year-olds were charged with sex crimes in the 12 months from April 2009, up from 59 in the 2006-07. And the number of children imprisoned on remand has increased by a staggering 41% since 2000-01.

‘We are clearly failing our children when so many of them are behaving in this way. Children are bombarded with sexuality all the time,

‘They get to see totally inappropriate images both on TV and online which we need to protect them from,’ said Elliott.

But is the media really to blame for child sex offenders or are there wider issues that are being ignored?

Do you think that the explosion of sexual images now available to young children is causing these crimes, or is this just a convenient scapegoat to explain such shocking behavior?

Perhaps you think that this is a result of their upbringing and parental influences?

Whatever your opinion, Marie Claire wants to hear form you by posting your comment below.

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