Psychologist provides insight into child exploitation ring case - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Psychologist provides insight into child exploitation ring case at West Springfield High School

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. -

The West Springfield High School Parent Teacher Student Association held a meeting Monday night in the wake of a child porn scandal that has rocked the school. There was no word on whether the scandal was on the agenda.

The PTSA declined to speak to the media, school officials blocked reporters from the campus and parents also refused to comment before or after the meeting to FOX 5.

Two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old, who are athletes, have been charged as police say they targeted six girls at area high schools as part of an online child porn distribution ring.

The teenage boys are charged with possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation and facilitation of child pornography.

We talked to Andrea Bonior, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who offered some insight in this case. Dr. Bonior, who is on the faculty at Georgetown University, says the reported accusations that the three boys got girls drunk, had sex with them, sometimes when they had passed out, and had made sex tapes, which were passed around and posted online, are disturbing. She says sometimes peer pressure forces young people to engage in behavior that is daring just to get noticed.

Dr. Bonior says parents need to talk to young boys to instill values. She says sometimes by the time they have reached 15 years old, they have seen so much pornography that they depersonalize and objectify women.

Bonior says parents have more control over this kind of behavior than they think. She says they can stop sexting by controlling whether or not their kids have a phone. She suggests making rules so that computers are always used in a common area of the home and never in a bedroom.


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