Why do we continue to support an industry that destroys lives? Why do we so eagerly consume products that cause harm to those producing them? I’m talking about the pornography industry. Maybe you’ve seen posts about this industry or the hashtag “cancel porn” all over social media. Maybe you’ve heard of some of the negative effects porn can have on a person. Either way, many people are unaware of just how harmful this industry can be.
This is a touchy subject, and there are so many different opinions and views on this industry. But, regardless of what your current beliefs are, I want to share some statistics with you. Every second, it is estimated that nearly 30,000 internet users are watching porn. About 35% of all internet downloads are pornography related. Globally, the pornography industry generates just under 100 billion dollars - the United States alone makes 12 billion of those dollars. These are some shocking facts that make it clear that this industry is much more prevalent than most people realize.
Those statistics might be surprising, but they are not the reason I am calling this a harmful industry. I have some more facts about the industry that do, however, explain this. Just this past December, Pornhub removed hundreds of thousands of uncertified videos. Most of those videos featured minors - children under the age of 18. The key word here is “children”. Some of the most popular searches on Pornhub contain the words “young”, “teen”, “fourteen year old”, “underage”, and other similar terms. This is child pornography, and this is not okay.
One specific example of this is Serena K. Fleites. Several years ago, at just fourteen years old, her life was completely changed. She sent some seemingly harmless videos to a boy she had been talking to. He asked for more, and, thinking nothing of this, she sent them. It turns out that he had been showing these videos to his friends and they were, at some point, uploaded to Pornhub. From that moment on, Serena’s life was changed. Nevermind the embarrassment she must have felt knowing her classmates had seen these vulnerable videos, she also faces several other struggles. She dropped out of school, struggled with homelessness, still has a very hard time getting a job, and has dealt with addictions and suicidal thoughts for years. This is just one story of many. Despite the fact that minors being exploited in that way is illegal, it is also just unacceptable. Although Pornhub removed some videos featuring minors, there are still so many that are being made and being posted without any consequences. With this all being brought to light, it is easy to see that the pornography industry can be extremely harmful to those on the producing side of things.
Another issue with the industry is that it can cause harm to the minds of those that are watching the videos. The consumers of porn are also often harmed by the industry. In today’s society, “hookup culture” is very popular, and many people take part in “friends with benefits” relationships. Studies have found that people who watch porn are more likely to later skip using protection while engaging in sexual activity. With “hookup culture” being so popular, this can be dangerous.
It also affects consumers because it fills their minds with false information and false expectations. Pornography is generally more of a performance than reality. If young children are exposed to it, which they often are, they will be shown things that are not always true. Oftentimes, pornographic videos are very violent. If young minds are being fed this, they will begin to believe that to be what sex is. A skewed understanding of sex can seriously hurt their future relationships because they will be bringing in many unrealistic expectations. This is a problem, especially if they have not yet learned what sex is. It’s important to recognize the negative effects this industry can have on a person’s mind and future relationships.
The pornography industry causes so much more harm than most people realize. Both those featured in the videos and those watching the videos can be seriously hurt in the process. Because porn is so prevalent in today’s society, I urge you to consider all of this information before choosing to support this industry.