PORN HARMS: JUST ASK THOSE IN THE INDUSTRY
At the moment there are several government inquiries being held in Australia about porn, young people, and sexualisation. And overseas people are beginning to wake up to the very real dangers of pornography as well. For example, last month a Utah lawmaker introduced a bill to deal with the porn scourge. Here is how one news report covers the story:
A Utah state senator is taking a stand against pornography, blaming skin flicks for creating a “sexually toxic environment,” increasing the demand for prostitution and ruining families. Sen. Todd Weiler introduced his legislation on Friday, asking that the state recognize that porn is creating a public health hazard. He called for a reform to take on the “pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation.” The politician told the Daily News that porn was more addictive than powerful drugs, and the public needed to start seeing adult films as a national epidemic.
“I have read books and I have experts tell me pornography is more difficult to overcome than cocaine,” he said. He compares the public perception of porn to cigarettes in the early 20th century, when doctors and celebrities openly smoked and advertised them as healthy. He said he hopes to shift the public opinion on adult entertainment the same way it has on cigarettes.
It is not just the consumers of porn who are harmed. Those who make the films, especially the actresses, also suffer greatly. The common impression is that porn stars – like prostitutes – are just so happy to be there, and have no problems with what they do; it is just another career choice. The reality is much different.
Simply letting the women tell their own gruesome stories is the best way to proceed here. There are now a growing number of porn stars who have left the business and are telling the world what a lousy hellhole the porn industry is. One of the leaders in all this is Shelley Lubben. Here is part of her story:
She landed in the San Fernando valley with no food and no money. ‘A “nice” man saw I was upset and told me how sorry he was.’ Still shocked and angry about being kicked out the house, so ‘that I didn’t care any more . . . I sold myself for $35.’
Thus Shelley entered the ‘glamorous’ life of prostitution, but the money, jewelry, and gifts soon included bizarre sex with strangers who stalked her, slashed her tires, and threatened to kill her if she demurred from performing certain sex acts. One man tried to kill her with his truck, and she often had to lie her way out of frightening situations. During her eight years as a prostitute and exotic dancer, she had two miscarriages and one birth. Little Tiffany grew up living ‘with a lewd wild woman.’
Now a single mom, ‘Jesus kept tugging at my heart,’ Shelley writes, ‘but I ignored him. I figured, God wasn’t taking care of me, so I had to do whatever I could to survive.’ Most of her prostitution money went for drugs and alcohol to blot out the trauma of her life. To avoid the rapes and arrests for prostitution, she turned to pornography because ‘it seemed safer and more legal.’
However, even prostitution did not involve the brutal kinds of rape and degradation that she endured while ‘starring’ in pornography. Soon she was required to do very hardcore scenes. ‘[O]nly more drugs and alcohol could get me through them. . . . I sold what was left of my heart, mind and femininity to the porn industry and the woman and person in me died completely on the porn set.’ After becoming infected with herpes, I quietly left the porn industry but went back to prostitution to survive.
A more recent article about Lubben contains even more gruesome details on the sordid, dangerous and high-risk world of porn. Says Lubben:
It’s a vicious circle [being] a sex worker, because you’re stripping, taxi dancing, and you just get burned out in prostitution. After prostitution I got burned out, and I was lied to that I would be safe from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and I would make all this money. I was a single parent, so what the heck, might as well do sex on camera. But it was completely and utterly the worst, darkest thing I’ve ever been involved in.
We didn’t use condoms in porn. There’s no condoms allowed, so we’re forced to do unprotected sex – and I can’t tell you how many people alter their tests. Just last year, they had 4 HIV cases, a high bunch out of a very small group of people…we know that most of the porn stars have had an STD at one time or another, and they estimate between 66% to 99% have herpes. They don’t test for herpes, so all these people are involved with rampant STDs.
Even the LA Public Health Department shows they’ve been monitoring and they came up with thousands and thousands [of cases] of chlamydia and gonorrhea. They’re the highest group in California to have that many STDs. So when people click [on porn], they’re contributing to sex trafficking, they’re contributing to STDs, they’re contributing to people who are mostly alcohol to drug addicts. Now I’m speaking of the majority. Not every porn star’s a drug addict, but the majority of them are. And I can’t tell you, when I went through recovery, I had PTSD. I had all kinds of disorders, serious traumas.
Consider just one more sad story, this time of former porn star Veronica Lain. Here is justa small part of it:
The next thing I knew, I was in Las Vegas at a porn convention signing autographs and posing with fans. I wasn’t even famous but yet they made me feel like I was and it hooked me even more. I did some more movies in Las Vegas and did not sleep much at all. I wasn’t even old enough to gamble. You can make a porn movie in Vegas but you can’t gamble or drink. That’s just wrong.
It was all so overwhelming for me so I came back to Colorado but I ended up going to the convention 2 more times again. I loved the attention and by then I was jaded and use to the whole porn world. I continued to work in Colorado doing, movies, parties, prostitution, photos.
Yes Porn Stars are also prostitutes! Anything and everything that had to with sex work I did it. I learned to depend on men to take care of me. I wanted a father so much. I was young and loved the attention and money. Porn was not “glamorous” though. I definitely did some things I did not want to do. I saw girls gagged and choked on the set during filming. I was one of those girls who was gagged and choked. I also saw empty douches and enema boxes laying around. I also met women who couldn’t work because of STD’s. I was treated like meat and saw other women going through the same, or worse. I would stay up and party all night on drugs. I wasn’t even old enough to drink.
At about 20 years old, I flew out to Los Angeles and stayed for a month and a half in Hollywood! Wow, I was a real “porn star” now. Everything seemed pretty great up until I started getting terrible abdominal pains so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed. I was so sick that I went to a clinic and found out I had several bacterial infections and Chlamydia all at the same time! The medicine made me throw up and I hated it. I came back home to Colorado and decided to work at a topless bar for about 2 years to get away from porn.
I also started drinking heavily. I was trying to kill the pain with alcohol and pot daily. I went back to prostitution and I turned tricks out of my apartment. I risked my life over and over and tried to quit many times. I tried to get regular jobs here and there. I wanted out so bad. But I pretty much did sex work off and on from the time I was 18 until age 32. The money was always there and I didn’t know anything else.
On Lubbens’ home page she provides this helpful collection of shocking information, not only about the negative impact on porn workers, but other bits of information as well:
Porn Industry Statistics
- 36 porn stars died that we know of from HIV, suicide, homicide and drugs between 2007 and 2010.
- 66% of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease.
- 2,396 cases of Chlamydia and 1,389 cases of Gonorrhea reported among performers since 2004.
- Over 100 straight and gay performers died from AIDS.
- 26 cases of HIV reported by Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), since 2004.
- 70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females according to County of Los Angeles Public Health.
- Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among performers is 10x greater than that of LA County 20-24 year olds.
- The largest group viewing online pornography is ages 12 to 17.
- More than 11 million teens regularly view porn online.
- There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, 420 million pornographic web pages, and 68 million daily search engine requests.
- 50% of men and 20% of women in the church regularly view porn.
- Of 1351 pastors surveyed, 54% had viewed Internet pornography within the last year.
- Of all known child abuse domains, 48 percent are housed in the United States.
- At the 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a gathering of the nation’s divorce lawyers, attendees revealed that 58% of their divorces were a result of a spouse looking at excessive amounts of pornography online.
- Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online, and the content is becoming much worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains.
- Worldwide pornography revenue in 2006 was $97.06 billion. Of that, approximately $13 billion was in the United States.
Porn harms everyone it touches. It certainly harms those caught up in this sordid industry. It is time to say no to porn.
Porn Study Reveals A Lot About Teens
Jan 30, 2016 by Tony Perkins
As far as most young people are concerned, ignoring garbage is worse than watching it! That’s just one of the shockers in a blockbuster pornography study the Barna Group plans to release this spring. When asked, most teenagers (56 percent) say “not recycling your trash” is “usually or always wrong,” compared to the 32 percent who think watching porn is wrong. Unfortunately, the news gets much worse for parents of the next generation. While teen sex may be down, watching it is not. Most high schoolers and young adults are turning to pornography “because it is less risky than actually having sex.”
But that’s not necessarily true, studies say. There are plenty of dangerous side effects to pornography that can destroy lives just as easily as promiscuity. Pornography creates problems in marriages, children, and even society.
Men who look at pornography are more likely to feel dissatisfied in their marriage — making it a prime pathway to infidelity and divorce. At its core, pornography is a love-killer.
In one analysis, the more porn a man was exposed to, the more likely he was to prefer that women be submissive and subordinate to men. And as MARRI’s research bears out, men with this addiction also have a higher tolerance for things like rape, sexual aggression, and promiscuity. Child sex offenders, for instance, are more likely to view pornography, which helps fuel the demand for sex trafficking.
And if you think adult entertainment spares you from disease, think again. Pornography leads to sexual permissiveness, which is the gateway to STDs. It’s physically devastating, too — even fundamentally altering the brain! And yet, women are more into pornography than ever — a sad irony for an industry built on their exploitation.
In a world where these images are a cell phone away, parents need to be especially vigilant. “Sexting” is rampant, Barna Group found. A whopping two-thirds of teens told the researchers that they’ve gotten a nude photo on their phone (41 percent have sent one).
As discouraging as Barna Group’s findings are, they may be exactly what pastors and parents need to hear. It’s time for America to wake up to the fact that too few Christians are talking about the problem of pornography. And until they do, there’s no one to blame for the country’s cultural condition but us.
CHILDREN AND PORNOGRAPHY
As has been documented so often, porn impacts everyone and is exceedingly harmful. Of real concern is the easy access children have to pornography nowadays. One older study found that 10 to 15-year olds can readily access porn sights, and they have a “remarkably blasé” attitude towards Internet porn. They even said porn filters were unnecessary and unwelcome.
And a study by the former Australian Broadcasting Authority found that almost half of Australian children who use computers have been exposed to pornography on the Internet. They usually stumble upon the objectionable material while searching for something else, or by unsolicited emails. The study says this happens even though 84 per cent of parents supervise their children’s Internet use.
A more recent study found that nearly one in five Australian children has been approached online by a stranger. And 47 per cent have been exposed to pornographic or other inappropriate material. Another study found that one in six children as young as eight have been exposed to porn while on the Internet, and that 40 per cent of children aged between eight and 13 have found websites they know their parents would forbid them seeing.
A still more recent Australian study found that 97 per cent of girls under 15 had seen Net porn, while 100 per cent of boys under 15 had seen it. Other research paints a similarly depressing picture: “An estimated 70 per cent of boys have seen pornography by the age of twelve and 100 per cent by the age of fifteen. Girls are also increasingly exposed to pornographic images… Australian author Joan Sauers found that 53.5 per cent of girls twelve and under in Australia have seen pornography, 97 per cent by the age of sixteen.”
And a US study of 1,500 teens found that 42 per cent of Internet users aged 10 to 17 said they had seen online pornography in the past year. Two-thirds of these said it was uninvited. Other recent figures are also greatly concerning: “The average age of first exposure to porn is 11, but children as young as 6 are asking their parents about pornography they saw on the smartphones of older children.”
What is worse, children accessing porn on the Internet and elsewhere are now acting out what they have seen. For example, child protection experts are warning that Internet porn is creating a new generation of sexual predators as young as six years of age.
The Children At Risk Assessment Unit in Canberra has warned of a huge increase in kids under ten sexually abusing other kids, mainly because of browsing porn sites on the Internet. A social worker at the Unit said that many of the kids thought that pornography was the Internet’s sole purpose.
But let’s put a human face to all this. Consider for example this tragic case from the UK:
A 13-year-old boy told a UK court that he raped his 8-year-old sister after viewing pornography at his friend’s house. The teenager told police he “decided to try it out” on his sister because she was small and “couldn’t remember stuff,” reported theLancashire Telegraph. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on Monday in a Magistrates Court to rape, indecent assault, and inciting a minor to perform a sexual act on him. The boy has been released on bail to live with his family while his sister is receiving support from specialist officers.
However we sadly have many other similar cases of this occurring. The same article goes on to say this:
But the 13-year-old rapist is not an isolated incident. There have been numerous cases in recent years in which children acted out what they saw in pornography.
-November 2013: A different 13-year old UK boy pleaded guilty to raping an eight-year old girl when he was 10. A pornography addiction since age 9 was said to have played a significant role in his crimes.
-March 2013: Two boys aged 14 and 15 admitted to a British court that they were re-enacting scenes witnessed in violent online pornography when they beat, brutalized, then raped a 14-year-old girl they had tied to a chair.
-March 2013: A UK report found that thousands of British children had committed sexual offenses. In all, 4,562 minors – some as young as five – committed 5,028 sexual offenses over a three year period from 2009-2012. Experts blamed “easy access to sexual material.”
-January 2012: Children’s aid and sex abuse organizations in Australia largely blamed 414 cases of children sexually abusing other children on the explosion of pornography made accessible to children.
-August 2012: A 13-year-old Canadian boy pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping a 4-year-old boy who lived in his foster home. The boy said the idea came from watching “gay porn” on his foster parents’ home computer.
-April 2012: A child therapist reported a case of a 13-year-old boy who raped his 5-year-old sister after developing a “complex fantasy world” warped by “two years of constant porn use.”
Also consider this horrible, and very recent story:
Liz Walker was only six years old when an older girl from up the street squashed in next to her on the school bus and excitedly whispered “Hey do you want to see something?” It was a magazine she found under her brother’s bed and full of graphic pornography. “I felt this sense of disgust, but also arousal,” Ms Walker remembers. “I was catapulted into an awareness of my sexuality I wasn’t ready for. In my six-year-old brain I thought that’s what you had to do to get noticed.”
She started looking at porn every afternoon after school, and trying out the scenarios she saw on other children. Her early sexualisation saw her lose her virginity at 12 and have multiple sexual partners during her teens. “I was seeking out those sexual interactions wherever I could because I had been conditioned to think that’s what women did,” Ms Walker recalls. “I had a reputation as a slut from a very young age.”
She ended up binge drinking and taking drugs to cover up her “emotional deficit”, and spent her late teens and early 20s in and out of psychiatric wards. And she attributes it to that fateful morning on the school bus. “It was all because of seeing that porn once. Before that I’d had no sexual awareness, I had a healthy home environment, there were no other contributing factors.”
Ben Shapiro offers a helpful – and shocking – summary of what we are dealing with here in his 2005 book, Porn Generation:
Internet porn doesn’t only affect adults. Kids are the hardest hit by the internet porn hurricane. The average age of first Internet exposure to pornography stands at eleven years old. The largest consumers of Internet porn are kids aged twelve to seventeen. The statistics are incredible: 80 percent of fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds report having had multiple exposures to hard-core porn, and 90 percent of eight- to sixteen-year-olds report having viewed porn online, most while doing their homework.
Yes exactly right. It is time to take a stand against the porno plague. It is harmful to adults, to relationships, to societies, and it is especially harmful to our children. Enough is enough.
Right now there is a federal inquiry into this subject. You have one more month to put in a submission. Please do, no matter how short. Our children need protection. See here for details.