The connection between pornography and child sexual abuse

How harmless is porn really?

By Angela Roberts | @writer_ange

Angela Roberts takes a deeper look into the links between increased pornography use and child exploitation

With the increased prominence of the internet in our everyday lives and particularly the ease at which it can be accessed, pornography has become increasingly less of a ‘taboo subject’.

Some may say that pornography is relatively harmless with sexually explicit material all around us. As the saying goes, sex sells! But do we ever stop and consider what it is that is actually being sold and how and the damage it may cause?

The Oxford Dictionary defines pornography as ‘Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.’ This makes it sound very technical and somewhat meek. Meek! Not for those children whose lives are forced to change because of it.

Porn – where do we draw the line?

‘Porn addiction’ is a relatively new term and its rapid prevalence would appear to coincide with the increased use of the internet. As with other addictions, such as drug and alcohol addiction, for an addict, using porn releases pleasure hormones such as dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin and endorphins. This is what keeps addicts coming back for more and wanting to achieve a bigger buzz.

With all addictions, as they develop, achieving this buzz becomes increasingly more difficult. For a drug addict, this may involve the more frequent use of harder drugs. For example with an alcoholic, higher quantities of alcohol are needed to reach that ‘buzz’. For the sex or porn addict, it means accessing harder, more taboo imagery or practices in order to get the same heightened fix.

With porn, this desire for more ‘taboo’ material could manifest itself within the realm of violence or even younger subjects. It may seem far-fetched, or hard to imagine, so how does someone make that leap from watching legal adult pornography to stepping into the horrifying world of child pornography and exploitation?

In a clip from Darkness to Lights YouTube video on The Relationship between Pornograpy, Trafficking and the sexual abuse of children it highlights “In the legal adult pornography, there are many depictions of children and teens as sexual objects and commodities”, so it’s saying that it’s normal to be sexually aroused by children and teens……it feeds the demand for children.

So, though the actors in these films may be legal of age, the image that is being created is that they are much younger, making some feel that it is OK to barearoused by children and young teens. Also in many porn films on legal sites, the notion that the women is childlike in her body language is very common, therefore normalising the idea / sexual concept of having sexual intercourse with someone under the legal age. And having control over the women as well as playing on the idea of a “daddy figure”.

Overstepping the boundaries

The organisation Sold No More which focuses on child trafficking issues in the community note that there is generally a gradual pattern of behaviours that occur leading up to the exploitation of children. They state that offenders ‘begin with ‘harmless’ soft core, adult pornography. Move to hard-core adult porn. Graduate to child porn. Look for younger and younger children [and] eventually, many will want to experience what they see’

Ted Bundy, the notorious serial killer charged with the rape and murder of 30 women and children, spoke of his own porn addiction prior to being executed in 1989. Bundy said of porn‘ ‘Once you become addicted to it….like other kinds of addiction…I would keep looking for….more graphic kinds of material….you keep craving something which is harder’

Supply and Demand

Unfortunately, it is not just individual preference and behaviour that needs to be considered here. Porn and sex alike are an industry in their own right and like any industry, the driver is supply and demand. Therefore, so long as there are people wanting to see or experience illegal sexual acts with children, there will be a demand for it to be supplied. This can be achieved in many forms, from illegal organisations producing and supplying child pornography, to actual human trafficking.

No matter what the situation though, this involves child exploitation of some form when it involves a minor. Whether it be directly or indirectly. A person may not even need to be physically present with a child to inadvertently be contributing to the abuse of that child.

So, as long as someone harbours a desire to view images of children, and actively seeks out this content, there will be someone out there willing and able to provide those images. Someone else’s child, who is vulnerable and unable to defend themselves from this abuse. Pornography suddenly doesn’t seem so harmless now, does it?

About Breathe News 257 Articles
Breathe News provides reactionary commentary on various aspects of contemporary culture, focusing on the misdeeds of political figures, the actions of governments, and global economic inequalities. We address socio-political issues through the use of multimedia content to tell a story from all angles. Breathe News aims to implement and promote change by informing our readers about a given problem and appealing to people's sense of justice. An informative, entertaining news site propelling social impact during turbulent times.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply