The appalling story of the murder of Ana Kriegel, whose killers were sentenced on Tuesday 5 November, forces us to confront with urgency the problem of pornography and young people. One of the two boys who killed Ana had downloaded more than 12,000 pornographic images, some of which were very violent. What must we learn from this?
Richard Leonard SJ is an Australian Jesuit with a Ph.D in film studies. Part of his work involves research into the effect on education of all kinds of media inputs, including pornography. In interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, Richard stresses that pornography is a problem for people of all kinds and all ages, but that in recent times access to this content has become available to younger and younger people. He notes that it is a multi-billion-dollar industry which has as a model the distribution of free content so as to get people addicted. And all the research signs, he adds, point to the fact that, as with any other addiction, users quickly look for more extreme stuff – especially violent and degrading material – and they need more and more of it.
Listen to the full interview above.