My Inner Monster Part Two: Porn Is Harmful

As suggested by a fellow INDEVOUR, I am doing a follow up to My Inner Monster. Just as I assumed, certain elements of the conference caused me to hold back tears, to cry (I am convinced that I feel emotions at least ten units stronger than the average person) and of course, to learn.

One of the (many amazing) talks given, one that stuck out to me was given by another fellow INDEVOUR, Ian Pinnell. He gave a side of the story we don’t usually think about – the perpetrators, also known as the Johns. A question was raised during the forum at the end of the conference: do you think pornography in any way contributes to human trafficking?

Yes. It most certainly does.

People are sheep. We follow what we see. Watching something being done activates the same neurological triggers as actually performing the act. Pornography influences the psyche in powerful ways. It has the ability to influence a viewer’s perspective of other people, and of themselves.

  • Non-violent pornography significantly affects a person’s want for physical intimacy, discouraging healthy sexual activity
  • Of the 50 best-selling adult videos 90% contained violence and 94% of that was against women
  • Online pornography has shown a 20% rise in sexual attacks by minors and an increased likelihood of virtual rape by 600%

A study done in 2005 looking at the link between aggression and pornography use proved so strong of a relation that a replication of the study is against ethical regulations. Ana J. Bridges from the University of Arkansas studied Pornography’s Effects on Interpersonal Relationships and found that any amount of porn caused viewers to:

  1. .                 Report decreased empathy for rape victims
  2. .                 Believe that a woman who dresses “provocatively” deserves to be raped
  3. .                 Report anger at women who flirt but refuse to have sex
  4. .                 Experience substantially decreased interest in their partners
  5. .                 Report increased interest in coercing partners into unwanted sex acts

Within this disgusting industry, child pornography is growing the fastest. Eighty-five percent of those arrested for possession of child pornography had personally abused a child and 80% of them were active abusers. While I have maintained gender-neutral language, every statistic I read claimed the perpetrators to be men. This is how one becomes a John. Desensitizing, virtual lies that trick one’s vulnerable brain into thinking certain activities are desired and okay.

This is evidently a large problem that is difficult to solve (how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, and invite a bunch of friends over to help!). As Ian stated at the conference, I believe the largest tool to end such behaviour is prevention; prevention by awareness, education and open conversation.

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I am going to start by filling my little brother’s open mind with TRUTH. The true meaning of woman and what that means his role is as a real man. The reality about the world we live in, and how to recognize and disassemble the lies we hear everyday.

Where will (or was) your first bite of the elephant be?

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6 comments

  1. Eye-opening. I loved the part about open conversation. Things cannot be dealt with if their existence is not first recognized and brought into light. Keep it up!

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  2. I really love that you chose to tackle this topic. It is something I am still reading about and trying to look into more (it will be a future blog post for sure).
    I attended an event put on by the UW International Justice Mission who did a screening of Nefarious, a documentary on human trafficking. After the screening they had a guest speaker who also touched on the damage porn can do. The way she described it is “recorded prostitution, where a majority of prostitutes are abused or sex slaves”. This really challenged me. I have never seen the damage in porn, always thinking its a lot better for people to watch it then to go out and commit the acts. When I asked her about this her response was simple, neither one should be happening.
    If you have any more resources on the effects of porn other than the ones included in your blog I would love if you could share them!

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    1. Thanks, Ian! I understand your point in porn being less harmful than human trafficking, but I’m still unsure about my thoughts towards that. Pornography may not harm as many children, but how many more perpetrators can ‘participate’ from the same video? Does that make it any less harmful? What a mess. I don’t have any other sources regarding porn. I did, however find a blogger who is a victim of human trafficking. She’s Christian, so her healing process is unique to that. Check her out here: http://stonescry.wordpress.com/ …hey, thanks for the re-blog btw!

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  3. Reblogged this on Personal and Global Development and commented:
    Another INDEVOUR in my program wrote an incredible piece about the effects of porn. I will definitely be writing on the topic and its link to prostitution and sex trafficking in the future, but in the mean time I encourage you to take a look at what she has found.

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