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Professor Leary Speaks at Notre Dame Conference on Societal Effects of Pornography



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Catholic University law school Professor Leary was a panelist for “Pervasive Porn: Exploring the Personal and Social Costs of Pornography,” held on Jan. 31, 2015 at the McKenna Conference Center at the University of Notre Dame. 

She was among nearly a dozen speakers who convened for a daylong discussion that sought to “Provide sound scholarship along with personal testimony and therapeutic experience in an effort to better understand the personal and social costs of pornography in modern society, and to explore means of addressing the porn problem with a specific regard for the well-being of the youngest and most vulnerable among us.”
The conference included four panels on various issues with pornography, including addiction and psychology, the negative effects on pornography’s participants, the theological perspective on pornography and philosophical approaches to the human dignity.
According to Notre Dame’s student run newspaper, The Observer, Leary’s contribution to her panel discussion addressed child sexual abuse images as they pertain to the law and our language.
“Language communicates values and morals. You call something ‘child pornography,’ a seemingly innocuous term that creates the suggestion that it’s pornography with young-looking adults. It’s not. It’s a child sex abuse image,” Leary said.

She also said such pornography has long-term effects on the victims, and the victimization doesn’t end. Leary said the young actors have to live knowing the images are still being viewed.