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Porn’s disastrous effect on our youth

02:03 AM April 17, 2017

A recent study by the Commission on Population (Popcom), “Post-Millennial Filipinos: Renewed Hope Versus Risks,” has once again shown the negative effects of pornography on the youth. The study gathered data on how pornography drives the youth toward early sexual activity (“Cyberporn, social media drive youth to early sex,” News, 3/24/17). With our country experiencing rising rates of teenage pregnancy, coupled with an alarming increase in HIV infections, our leaders and policymakers would do well to incorporate a serious, intensified crackdown on pornography in their programs.

Studies across the world have shown the numerous disastrous consequences of porn use— addiction, sexual dysfunction, destruction of marital relations, escalation to more violent and degrading forms of pornography, and contribution to the worldwide human trafficking scourge. With all these adverse effects of porn use, why aren’t enough measures adopted to root it out of the internet?

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The simple answer may be greed. The greed of pornography producers and distributors who cash in on other people’s degradation and exploitation. Worldwide, pornography is a $97-billion industry, $3 billion of which coming from child pornography.

Several US states, such as South Dakota and Utah, have already marked pornography as a “public health crisis”; and several US lawmakers have introduced resolutions to make porn producers face lawsuits if proven guilty.

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Pornography can also be deemed a health crisis in our country, as the Popcom study has linked its use to the rising sexual activity among the youth. Surely our lawmakers can draft laws and resolutions to combat pornography’s spread in our culture, given the overwhelming evidence about its dangers.

Although it will be an uphill battle in our country because smut and steamy programs and publications are “well-entrenched” here. There are cinemas that specialize in showcasing pornographic movies, while a pornographic magazine is the No. 1 magazine in our country. These media channels are contributing to the development of misogynistic and chauvinist attitudes in our country.

Pornography degrades human beings into objects of exploitation. According to antiporn campaigner Gail Dines, “To think that so many men hate women to the degree that they can get aroused by such vile images is quite profound. Pornography is the perfect propaganda piece for patriarchy. In nothing else is their hatred of us quite as clear.”

The recent arrests of pornographers like Liezyl Margallo, who abused an infant on camera, are only the first steps toward the eradication of pornography. Our law enforcers should be doubly vigilant; especially because in many places, cyberpornography has become a cottage industry, often operating out of homes and involving families and relatives. As for the ordinary citizen, stop using or supporting pornography for it is an industry that destroys lives.

GERARD BIAGAN, [email protected]

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