Q: I need advice for a friend (really!). She was checking her e-mail, and her husband had been acting a little weird around the computer, so she looked to see what he'd been looking at. (Apparently he's a little computer-dense and didn't clear his history.) She assumed he was looking at porn, but the search strings included pre-teen and animal. These two have always had problems. They basically are together because of their 10-year-old son. I'm surprised they made it this long.
I'm just wondering: Does just looking at the stuff online make someone a creepy perv? Who knows if it was just the one time or if he is only interested in pre-teens and animals? The pre-teen stuff is clearly concerning. She's pretty much ready to pack up and get out. Maybe their son is the one looking at it, in which case, the pre-teen seems much more appropriate!
A: The animal porn I'm more likely to chalk up to the curiosity of a 10-year-old boy, or even a grown man. Dudes are generally more into shock and gore than we ladies are, and I'd be less concerned about weird stuff like that. Even I've seen pictures of a chick with a horse (a fact I'm not proud of). Photos and videos of pre-teens in sexual situations, however, are a serious matter, and your friend should not ignore their existence.
Ten-year-old boys don't look at naked photos of girls their own age. They wanna look at big boobs and close-ups of vulvas surrounded by pubic hair the likes of which they've never seen, so I sincerely doubt the kid is the culprit. My finger points to Dad, which means your friend should be acting on her concerns. Not all fans of child porn sexually abuse children, but some do. Regardless of that fact, what her husband is looking at is an exploited child in an extremely harmful situation. It's not only illegal to force a child into that situation, it's also illegal to perpetuate it by producing, uploading, downloading, e-mailing or texting child porn.
Whether your friend chooses to leave her husband is her business, but I would ask her to consider something, even if she's already got one foot out the door. Her husband is wired wrong. There is an intrinsic error within the pedophile brain that causes its owner to be sexually attracted to children, whereas the owner of a healthy adult brain is attracted only to others mature enough to reciprocate that desire. Children can't comprehend sexual attraction; anyone who's witnessed an 8-year-old grumble about cooties understands that. This guy most likely also understands that, but he either hasn't learned how to control his impulses or doesn't believe that he should.
This is where rehabilitation comes in. I don't believe that psychological or religious therapy can or should be used to "cure" an individual's inherent sexual identity. I do believe that, with conscientious therapy, your friend's husband can develop a better understanding of his urges and how they are hurtful to his family, as well as how to control them.
Child pornography is a crime of the highest moral order, and it's not taken lightly by our justice system, either. Last month, the FBI replaced Osama Bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list with Eric Toth, a former third-grade teacher accused of producing child porn. Unless your friend is interested in being the No. 1 topic at back-yard barbecues and church potlucks for the next few years, she needs to confront her husband now before his secret is discovered by a 10-year-old slumber party guest and subsequently the police.