Porn-seekers finding their way to dermatologic education sites

May 2, 2006

Baltimore -- According to doctors at Johns Hopkins University here,pornography enthusiasts are finding a new source of online images:dermatology Web sites created to educate doctors.

Baltimore - According to doctors at Johns Hopkins University here, pornography enthusiasts are finding a new source of online images: dermatology Web sites created to educate doctors.

According to an article published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Christoph Lehmann, M.D., and colleagues noticed a marked jump in queries for images of genital areas from their searchable archive of clinical photographs. When they assessed request patterns received by the site over a six-month period, they found that though only 5.5 percent of the 7,800-plus dermatological images available on the site involve genital regions, 12 percent of queries for a specific diagnosis involved a genital area. They also found that 37 percent of the requests for an anatomical site involved a genital region, and that 12 percent of the 10,000 free text queries were for images of genitalia. In searches that specified both an age group and an anatomical site, images involving children were 48 percent more likely to be requested than those involving an adult.

When an analysis was done of the top 43 referring sites to the dermatology service, it was discovered that that 21 percent were pornographic or fetish sites - but that these referrals accounted for only 14.3 percent of 141,285 total referrals.

“Anonymous misuse of collaborative archives must be anticipated, addressed and prevented to preserve their integrity and the integrity of the learning communities they support,” the authors wrote.