Where is the outrage?

Below are some brief excerpts from the New Zealand Her­ald. Do my wife, daugh­ter, and per­haps future grand­daugh­ters really have to grow up in a world where depic­tions of graphic vio­lent rape are spread through­out the homes of the nation? Where sex­ual assault and child abuse are dis­sem­i­nated as porno­graphic forms of adult enter­tain­ment? If it is true, per the indi­ca­tors below, that for 50 of the most pop­u­lar porn sites, 90% of the con­tent includes ver­bal and phys­i­cal abuse of women, where is the out­rage from Con­gress and from our country’s civic, activist and rel­gious lead­er­ship? We would never allow this in the work­place or in schools, but we allow ISPs to trans­mit it into our homes with­out any respon­si­bil­ity to offer us safe alternatives.


Two weeks ago, the children’s com­mis­sioner for Eng­land, an inde­pen­dent body that has been doing an in-depth two-year inquiry into the exploita­tion of chil­dren by gangs and groups, pub­lished a report sum­maris­ing the cur­rent research on porn. Sue Berelowitz, the deputy com­mis­sioner, says that it was because porn kept on com­ing up in the evi­dence they were hearing.

The 40,000 research papers the report analysed found “a cor­re­la­tion” between the view­ing of porno­graphic mate­r­ial and those who carry out those vio­lent acts.

“It’s also clear that children’s atti­tudes to sex and sex­u­al­ity are being affected, some­times at a very young age. This mate­r­ial is just a few clicks away. And it’s affect­ing them.”

The aca­d­e­mic debate over porn will no doubt rum­ble on. Porn is so diverse because humans are. It’s also just another area of life in which tech­nol­ogy is out­pac­ing our abil­ity to process it.

The free stream­ing porn sites are only a few years old, and the era of chil­dren with smart­phones in the school play­ground is even more recent. Or, as Sarah Green of the Cam­paign to End Vio­lence Against Women, puts it, we’re only just begin­ning “a global exper­i­ment with our chil­dren. And we don’t know what the results will be.”

It’s not my gen­er­a­tion who’ll live with the con­se­quences. It’s the 11-year-olds. The 12-year-olds. The 13-year-olds. The ones who are typ­ing “free porn” into their friend’s phone right about now.

The graphic details

• 30 per cent - of all inter­net band­width is used for pornog­ra­phy. (Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post)

• 70 per cent - of men and 30 per cent of women watch porn. The aver­age time spent on a porn site is 12 min­utes. (Huff­in­g­ton Post)

• 450 mil­lion - Unique vis­i­tors to porn sites each month. When com­bined, Net­flix, Ama­zon and Twit­ter get 316 mil­lion vis­i­tors. (Huff­in­g­ton Post)

• 90 per cent - of all con­tent included ver­bal or phys­i­cal abuse against women in one study of 50 pop­u­lar porno­graphic web­sites and DVDs. (Vio­lence Against Women)

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