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Dutch Therapists Suggest Virtual Child Porn for Pedophiles

Instead of looking for ways to teach pedophiles to control their urges, two Dutch sex therapists have sparked outrage in the Netherlands by calling for the legalization of "virtual" child porn in order to help relieve their criminal urges.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Amsterdam hospital sexologists Rik van Lunsen and Erik van Beek say that allowing perverts to view drawings or computer-generated images of children would "regulate their desires."

"I think that repressing your fantasies can lead to frustration and ultimately, for some types of pedophiles, to a greater likelihood of doing something wrong," van Beek told the Dutch media.

"If you make virtual child pornography under strict government control with a label explaining that no child was abused, you can give pedophiles a way of regulating their sexual urges."

His co-worker agrees and voiced a growing opinion in the academic community that some forms of pedophilia can be healthy.

"We don't make enough of a distinction in public debate between 'healthy' paedophiles, people who are not pedosexually active, and delinquent pedosexuals," van Lunsen said. "We're not responsible for our thoughts or our fantasies, we're only responsible for one thing - our actions."

All virtual sexual representations of children were outlawed in the Netherlands in 2002.

The comments sparked outrage on Dutch Internet forums, especially because the two run the sexology department at Amsterdam's University Hospital.

"It's preferable for pedophiles to learn to control themselves in a different way," said a spokesman for the Dutch branch of the Defense for Children International charity.

Former parliament speaker Gerdi Verbeet agreed, saying the concept is "really not a good idea. It would be an enormous responsibility for the government, and it also may not be possible to tell the virtual images from the real."

Psychotherapist Jules Mulder of the prestigious De Waag clinic believes the proposal could actually endanger children all the more. "The proposal isn't really pertinent and for some people it will certainly increase the likelihood of going through with sexual abuse."

However, a Dutch lawmaker named Myrthe Hilkens from a liberal party has submitted questions on the issue for consideration by a justice minister and is expecting a written reply in the coming days.

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