Little research has examined public support for criminalising viewing and distributing child exploitation material (CEM). Using an online survey of 431 undergraduate students from Australia, we explored perceptions of the harmfulness of CEM. The majority of respondents agreed that viewing and distributing CEM lead to further production and had a negative effect on victims. Although 93% of respondents agreed that CEM involving real child victims should be illegal, 22% did not agree that CEM involving pseudoimages should be illegal. Those who demonstrated higher levels of agreement with explanations of the harmfulness of CEM were more likely to be female, to have achieved postsecondary qualifications, to have never viewed pornography, to support censorship of pornography, and to believe that CEM involving pseudoimages of children should be illegal. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Prichard, J., Spiranovic, C., Gelb, K., Watters, P., & KRONE, T. (2016). Tertiary education students’ attitudes to the harmfulness of viewing and distributing child pornography. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 23(2), 224-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/13218719.2015.1042419