porn problem

The porn industry

The porn industry has a world-wide turnover of tens of billions of dollars per year. It is hard to put a precise figure on it as there are no recent reliable studies, but it is a big industry. Most internet porn is made in an unregulated environment. It often shows activities that are potentially very dangerous to health. For example there is extensive use of “barebacking,” that is, anal sex without condoms. HIV is still one of the most deadly diseases on the planet, ranking number 2 on the list of infectious diseases by the World Health Organisation. In 2014 it killed about 1.4 million people.

Most heterosexual pornography portrays sex that is misogynous, violent and coercive. It frequently contains scenes of real or simulated rape and sometimes shows incest. These shocking scenes sear deep impressions in the brain. Images once seen cannot be unseen. Such material is not hard to find. It is particularly stressful for young people who have reported on recovery sites that these images can cause long term, nightmarish flashbacks.

The thrill of looking at shocking material causes dopamine to soar making them want to come back again and again. This desensitises the brain over time and can lead to emotional numbing. Research shows that youth who watch high levels of internet porn have a lower reaction to street violence and are less willing to intervene.

A basic law of economics is that where there is a demand, there will be a supply. The addictive nature of internet pornography means that desire for internet pornography will continue to increase. Just as drug addicts need more of a substance to get a hit, so too do porn addicts need more novelty, intensity and diversity of material to get their fix and avoid the negative fallout from withdrawal of stimulation. As tolerance to one level of material no longer produces an effect, demand for more shocking material will continue too. The porn industry is only too happy to supply it.

Download a video about how the porn industry operates.

This is a general guide to the law and does not constitute legal advice.

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