Younger Singaporeans drawn to child porn

Clinical psychologist Matthew Woo currently sees about five clients aged between 15 and 17 for such issues.
Clinical psychologist Matthew Woo currently sees about five clients aged between 15 and 17 for such issues. PHOTO: REUTERS

Younger Singaporeans are seeking treatment after finding themselves drawn to images of children being sexually abused.

Clinical psychologist Matthew Woo of the Adelphi Families and Youth Centre said that easy access to child pornography online may have contributed to more people, particularly youth, developing an unhealthy interest in such material.

He currently sees about five clients aged between 15 and 17 for such issues.

About five years ago, such clients were in their mid-20s to 30s, and came to him after they had committed a sexual offence, or had been outed by family members.

"Some websites are blocked, but it takes a while for sites to be detected and taken down," said Dr Woo. "It may start with curiosity, but if they continue it could escalate to paedophilia. Early treatment is advisable."

 
 

People may be attracted to child sexual abuse imagery due to "deviant sexual interests and fantasies", said Ms Jeanie Chu of the Resilienz Clinic. In some cases, individuals may have paedophilic disorder, she added.

Seow Bei Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Younger Singaporeans drawn to child porn'. Print Edition | Subscribe