Children at risk: Legal and societal perceptions of the potential threat that the possession of child pornography poses to society

Suzanne Ost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines legal and social discourses surrounding the phenomenon of child pornography, considering the legal responses to child pornography (particularly when an individual is found to be in possession of such material), and the way in which such material, the child, and the possessor of child pornography are socially constructed. The article raises the question of whether there has been a moral panic regarding child pornography and the possession of such material, but also considers whether there are real reasons to consider that the possession of child pornography should remain illegal. Research studies which aim to establish the existence of a causal link between possessing child pornography and the act of committing child sexual abuse are examined, as is the argument that criminalizing the possession of child pornography reduces the market for such material. Finally, there is an analysis of the possible impact of social constructions of the child as innocent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-460
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002

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