Moral Panics

Fear of perverts watching gymnastics


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Gymnastics New Zealand
Paedophile Hysteria . Index

NZ Herald
September 25 2006; 10:00

Paedophile fear limits cameras at gymnastic champs

Spectator cameras at this week's national gymnastics championships in Christchurch will be registered and labelled to combat the risk of paedophiles taking inappropriate photos of young gymnasts.

The Press newspaper reported today that Gymnastics New Zealand planned to crackdown on cameras, including photo-capable cellphones, at the champs which features 700 athletes, including young people.

Spokesman Dave Worsley said nothing specific had prompted the move. He said Gymnastics New Zealand had the right to confiscate cameras or delete images considered unsavoury.

SAFE sexual offenders programme director John McCarthy said the risk of paedophiles attending the event was small and while he understood the organisers' thinking it seemed overcautious.

He said sadly those interested in explicit images of children were also attracted by normal images of children.

He said people with paedophiliac tendencies could find child gymnastics appealing.

But the great majority of child sex abuse took place within a family environment or by someone known to the child.