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Legal and Clinical Issues in Interpreting Child Pornography on the Internet 

Legal and Clinical Issues in Interpreting Child Pornography on the Internet
Legal and Clinical Issues in Interpreting Child Pornography on the Internet

Lisa Murphy

, Rebekah Ranger

, and J. Paul Fedoroff

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date: 23 October 2021

Child pornography existed long before computers and the Internet, but the Internet has become the most versatile medium for accessing illegal materials. The increasing number of individuals who create, possess, and distribute child pornography has raised concern regarding the use of the Internet by individuals who have a sexual interest in children. Currently, professionals face controversies regarding the definition and impact of child pornography. These issues are then affected by the nature of the actions depicted in child pornography, the different professional perspectives examined, and variation among international jurisdictions. This chapter focuses on legal and clinical issues in defining child pornography, while providing an overview of the breadth of the issue of online child sexual exploitation. Difficulties in creating an international legal definition of child pornography are discussed and comparisons are made on the intersection of legal and clinical significance of problematic pornographic materials.

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