Once again Arizona legislators are bound and determined to prohibit any kind of sensible, fact based, age appropriate sex education in AZ.  Without sex education in school, children get their sex education on line and that’s not good.

January 28thDr. Gail Dines, Professor Emerita of Sociology and President of Culture Reframed spoke about the issue for Central Phoenix Inez Casiano NOW.  The audience for the predatory porn industry is 11-year-old boys as eleven is the average age most children first see pornography on the internet.  Because the boys have no sex education at school and most parents don’t know how to or won’t discuss sex at home, boys find porn and think it’s sex.  It’s not.  The porn industry, and it’s a mega-industry run by a few corporations, is grooming boys to be perpetrators.

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The reach of pornography into our society is nearly incomprehensible. Thirty-five percent of all downloads from the internet are pornography.  Pornhub traffic in one day is more than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. (Huffington Post May 2013) Pornhub is one of the top 10 internet sites up there with Facebook and Google.  Forty million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites, and 25% of all search engine requests are pornography.  That is 68 million per day. www.businessindider.com/14-amazing-facts-about-internet-porn-2010-6

The 2019 statistics showed: 42 billion visits, daily average of 100 million, 962 searches per second, uploaded 4.79 million new videos. If you watched every porn video on the internet, and started in 1850 for 24-hour-per-day, you would still be watching. Since the pandemic, knowing more men would be home and have more time, Pornhub made much content free and visits in the U.S. increased by 40% at 3 a.m. If Pornhub can get the men hooked, then they go on to more extreme and paid sites. Internet porn has made it affordable, aaccessible, and aanonymous which increases the reach considerably.

The parent company of Pornhub is Mindgeek. It tries to hide behind a description as an IT company but in fact it is the Amazon of porn.  Daily uploads to Mindgeek are equal to half of all the content in Netflix.  These are real people committing real crimes against other real people uploaded for the “entertainment” of others. Pornhub publishes violent and torture-related themes and free pornographic videos featuring rape, sexual assault, and child pornography. Mindgeek tracks your viewing and feeds you more and more violent and extreme porn thus acclimating you to more violence against women and children.

After the expose of Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, Visa and Mastercard started investigations and Mindgeek was called to testify.  Since the expose, Pornhub has promised to clean up its act but there is no possible “clean up” of industrial-scale porn. When a product is so inherently harmful like smoking and fossil fuels and porn, you cannot be “socially responsible” about it. It has to go.  Mindgeek has fought regulations and liability for harm for years and can’t be expected to have a social conscience now.  They were just sued by two under-aged trafficking victims.

Some still think that porn is harmless but 40 years of  peer-reviewed research have found that those who watch porn have:  Limited capacity for intimacy, more likely to use coercive tactics/includes sexting, increased engagement in risky sexual behaviors, increased likelihood of perpetuating sexual harassment and rape, increased anxiety/depression, habitual/addictive use, and erectile dysfunction.  Even more scary is the finding that “…clinical experience and research evidence are now accumulating to suggest that the Internet is not simply drawing attention to those with existing pedophilic interests, but is contributing to the crystallization of those interests in people with no explicit sexual interest in children.”
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02668734.2013.847851?scroll=top&needAccess=true  Watching porn is not just titillating pedophiles, it is actually creating them! Dr. Dines interviewed two different men in prison for child rape who told her that they actually had no interest in children but just wanted something more extreme because they were bored.

One study of the actual “product” was analyzed in 2016 and of 304 scenes analyzed, 90% contained at least one aggressive act if both physical and verbal aggression were combined. (Ana Bridges, et al., Violence Against Women).  A survey of parents in 2016 found that “Half as many parents thought their 14 to 18-year olds had seen porn as had in fact watched it”…

“Depending on the sex act, parents underestimated what their kids saw by as much as 10 times.” (Maggie Jones, New York Times, February 7th, 2018 (Indiana University Survey, 2016))

Today “main stream” porn consists of: Gagging, rough anal sex, ejaculation on face, ATM, hair pulling, and spitting in her face.  Pornhub has over 100 categories including:  Amateur and Big Tits and especially for teens Blow Job, Fetish, MILK, and Rough Sex.  Some of the “tags for teens” are Small Tits, Solo Female, Virgin Pussy, Defloration, Virgin, and First Time.  Photos of fruit and water drops are used to indicate the kind of porn the child wants so if the parents walk in, they won’t notice.

Instagram and snapchat have made porn available to teens on the ubiquitous phone. One thousand selfies are posted a second; 93 million selfies are taken per day.  The American Psychological Association report on our hyper-sexualized culture found that girls learn to self-objectify that can lead to Increased levels of:anxiety, depression, body-loathing, risky sexual behaviour, early pregnancy,  STDs, suicidal ideation, dropping out of school, self-harming, and sexual victimization. http://www.apa.org/PI/women/programs/girls/report.aspx

Culture Reframed, https://www.culturereframed.org, a non-profit organization that Dr. Dines set up after 30 years of studying the problem takes a public health approach. It is multidisciplinary and collaborative with specialists in pediatrics, developmental psychology, neuroscience, sex education, adolescent therapy, and sociology.  They have teaching modules and conversation scripts for parents/educators/medical professionals for talking to tweens and teens that discuss boundaries, consent, healthy relationships, toxic masculinity, technology and other issues.  All the modules are free.

Dr. Dines gives us warning signs: Withdrawal from family/peers/activities, closes device when parent enters room, spends excessive amounts of time in bathroom, secretive about online/offline friends, lack of sleep, starts using precocious sexual language, mood shifts/depression/anxiety, has access to extra money/buys expensive products, and sexual behavior not developmentally appropriate.

No one is able to avoid pornography on the internet. Appropriate sex education can inoculate them against its harms and open the door to discussion with the parents about things they observe on line.  Since our legislature seems incapable of understanding this or following the science, parents need to take charge themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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