Pornography is permeating many sectors of society. Profiteers indifferent to pornography’s harms find easier, faster and higher incomes via new technologies of cable and Internet. Porn has become easy to access, is inexpensive and secret. Child pornography is less and less likely to be blocked. Society’s institutions are becoming targets of porn profiteers. Government employees are becoming increasingly both users and purveyors of porn.
Pornography is a hidden public health hazard exploding in part because very few are recognizing it, are numbed by it, are not taking it seriously, are afraid of not appearing liberal enough, are ashamed it has affected their loved ones or hesitate to confront porn’s profiteers. Porn has negative consequences on sexuality. It negatively impacts the development of youth. It induces distress and upset because youngsters are unable to psychologically process obscene images [Media Awareness (2000), Mitchell KJ (2003b, 2007), Von Feilitzen (2000), Wigley (2000)]. Pornography negatively influences attitudes and behaviors. Pornography viewers are more likely to perceive women mechanically, as reptilian sex objects after exposure to sexualized media environments [Valkenburg (2007), Ward (2002, 2006)]. Intimacy is minimized or lost.
Impacts include (1) normalizing response to disgusting materials, (2) numbing response to explicit material requiring new materials to sustain interests or arousal (which causes the profiteers to sell more and more disgusting materials), (3) reducing trust of friends, (4) more yearning of non-exclusive sex with a partner, (5) negative perceptions of family and childcare, (6) approval of undiscriminating sexual behaviors as the norm [Zillman (2000)]. Pornography can enculturate individuals into the pedophile subculture.
Pornography negatively impacts the way porn users structure sexuality and their expectations from intimate relationships. It affects the sexual, social, physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional development of men, women and children. Pornographic images have a traumatic impact on the brain, and the psychological welfare of children and teens. Women are made to measure themselves as undesirable if they do not match porn’s images ever exacerbating to whet appetites normalized to disgusting materials.
Use of pornography increases abuse in marriage [Hinson Shope (2006), Internet World Stats (2008), Ryu (2004), Wildmon-White (2002)]. Pornography users often solicit their wives to perform pornographic scenes, to use porn and force their wives to perform humiliating sexual acts. Many of the profiteers of pornography are embedded in male dominant cultures which deem such acts a wife’s duty [Laaser (1996), Hinson Shope (2006), Ryu (2004)]. The effect of porn on children is devastating [Eastin (2006)].
Pornographers are sociopaths. They advertise “well paid acting” jobs in newspapers and online and snatch vulnerable girls. They do not care about the health of a community or its inhabitants. In worsening economy, pornographers travel to communities devastated by job losses to solicit young girls and even boys. Parents are often under such economic pressure to supervise and guide their children. When criminal activity seeps into government, it is an indicator of the growing power of organized crime. A government insider gives credibility to crime. Recent news reports of senior lawyers at the SEC using their entire days using government computers to view pornography is the proverbial tip of the government iceberg. Some investigators believe the porn business is even more widespread in government. Many agencies’ department heads condone and even find sexual excitement themselves in knowing they can authorize their team’s pleasures.
The pornography industry does not discriminate against children. In fact, porn profiteers solicit children. One scheme involved advertising messages directing children in morning TV cartoons. “They’re using our children to spread filth,” said one mother. Porn is accidentally happened upon when opening emails or searching the Web. Parents can do little to completely protect their children from pornography. Parents monitor their children’s playmates and do not let them play with strangers. Parents need to be much more proactive with the Internet. Parents need to be as vigilant with the Internet and teach children online safety. Parents, teachers, and community members must all become aware of the risks and consequences of exposure to porn.
Resources need to be set aside for educating parents, teachers and community members. Children require protection from accidental access to obscene and pornographic materials. Children using the Internet should be continuously supervised. The computer should be out in the open, in the kitchen or living room, not in a bedroom or alcove. Parents should review rules of Internet use with their children, and the rules should be clearly posted. Filters are inadequate because they require constant updating of obscene and pornographic websites. “Text filters” are somewhat better. There are no filtering systems for cell phones or iPods which can transmit porn.
Government can only do so much. It can prosecute profiteers but parents cannot wait. We must be proactive, become informed, protect our own families and communities and remain vigilant. Porn marketers are a lot more sophisticated than we are. We must find out who they are and put them out of business.
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"Dedicated to providing the most accurate peer-reviewed research on the harm from pornography, along with relevant news and opinion."
This outstanding website comprehensively addresses the harms of pornography in regards to all of the following categories: addiction, brain science, children, cybersex, family, Internet, Internet safety, marriage, men, psychological, prostitution, relationships, research, self image, sex trafficking, sexting, sexual violence, societal, STDs, teens, and women.
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At AntiPornography.orgwe are working to prevent and combat the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual slavery, as well as all other forms of sexual exploitation, through public education and advocacy. We are:
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ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS GROUPS AND WEBSITES:
Saavi Accountability -- The only online accountability program that works with all online addictions. It is also the only program that sends notifications instantly via text message to an accountability partner so that they can be supportive when an individual needs it the most at the point of weakness, while they are accessing the online content. The software was created by a young man (26) who overcame his addiction and is trying to help others.
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(Note: The No Porn Northampton FAQ is in the bottom half of their sidebar. In addition to the usual questions about pornography it addresses questions and concerns about activism against sexually oriented businesses such as "adult bookstores.")
"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking: It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves -- porne means females slaves, eros means love -- so pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica, and to disentangle violence from sexuality."
Gloria Steinem, 2006
For information about Gloria Steinem's important work of fighting against the harms of pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including videos and an audio interview, please see our page on Gloria Steinem. Click here.
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