Monday, March 9, 2015

Is pornography contributing to the demand for sex trafficking? If it is, should pornography be regulated?

 Pornography-- A Gateway to Human Trafficking

     Pornography has become so mainstream and common in American society today, many people do not think twice about seeing it or using it. It is laced into our movies, advertising and throughout the internet, making it nearly inescapable for people to see. Though some recognize it's detrimental effects, many see pornography representing their freedom as Americans; They ignore the fact that pornography is extremely harmful to everyone involved: actors, producers, users. It corrupts their minds and hearts and causes them to break down mentally, physically and spiritually. 

Pornography is so easily accessible, approximately 11 million teens access some form of pornography on a daily basis, the majority without their parents knowledge. Young adults, single adults and married adults are as well. According to a 2006 Internet Filter Review*, "Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, 28,258 Internet viewers are viewing pornography, 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines, and every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is made in the United States." 
When you examine the psychology of addiction, there are many interesting commonalities in all types of addictions. One in particular is that whatever they're addicted to, be it gambling, drugs or pornography, the addiction requires an increasing amount of their “drug” to fulfill the thrill. In this way, their addiction is an escalating one. For example, someone addicted to pornography quickly becomes unsatisfied with “standard” adult porn. They may start to seek out porn featuring younger and younger child subjects, or even porn that involves violence. Eventually, when the pictures and videos are not enough, they want a real child victim, or they start acting violent towards their sex partners, to experience what they're seeing for themselves.

Not only is pornography harmful to individuals involved, it has become a leading cause of human trafficking, in particular domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) in America. There are two reasons for this: 
  • Children and adults who are trafficked are forced to participate in pornographic films. They are threatened with violence if they do not participate and rarely get paid to take part in pornography. Many girls are also forced to watch pornographic films and are likely to be exposed to pornography while they are being trafficked. 
  • Children are being filmed in pornographic movies more often, thus more viewers are being exposed to child pornography. This creates a higher demand for it to be produced, and it also creates an insensitivity to the fact that young children and young adults are being forced to perform sexual acts. Without a sensitivity to what is happening, adults become indifferent and accustomed to seeing this, and even seek out opportunities to act on this. Instead of becoming outraged by what they've seen, they take part in buying girls in trafficking rings
The men who are trafficking these young victims are responsible for forcing them to participate in pornographic films. It's not just these men who are forcing them to participate; the millions of teens, young adults, single men and women, husbands and wives who view pornography, specifically child pornography, are creating the demand for more younger and younger children to be part of the porn industry. Because their buying and viewing habits have created an increasing demand, traffickers are quick to respond to this; there is now a vicious cycle of demand for child sex trafficking in our country, largely influenced by the prevalence of child pornography.

There is plenty of evidence that pornography has long lasting, detrimental effects both physically and emotionally for everyone involved. It is our responsibility now to understand how dangerous pornography is and to create an open environment where people feel safe talking about their addictions. There are resources for everyone to gain a better understanding of the issue, and to get help if they are addicted. Start by informing yourselves and the young people around you of the dangers and harms of being a part of pornography. Not only is pornography harmful to the viewers and the people close to them, it is harmful to the women, men and children who are in the films.


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