The porn industry is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. It brings in a whopping $14 billion annually. Countless people engage in the purchase of porn entertainment. So what’s wrong with porn you might ask? Besides the overwhelming statistics that contribute porn to the downfall in most marriages, the inability to form and maintain healthy sexual relationships and the debilitating effect on our sexual health in general, there is a much darker and more sinister side to the world of sexual entertainment. Check out this blog I found on PornHarms.com.
Written by Hysen Sisco
Morality in Media has launched stoptraffickingdemand.com, a site dedicated to educating about the links between pornography and sex trafficking. Specifically, that the demand for trafficked women and children is due in part, to the proliferation of pornography. In a four-part series, I will discuss each of the main ways pornography significantly contributes to trafficking.
The United Nations defines human trafficking in Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons as:
the recruitment … by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, … of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services…
According to this definition, many performers in pornography are sex trafficked. The filming of these performers is carried out by fraud, deception, threat or use of force, coercion, and abuse of power or vulnerability for the purpose of prostitution, sexual exploitation, and forced labor. The fact that many are underage when they begin, in their mid-teens, is an additional definition of sex trafficking.
Performers may enter willingly into the business, but face a harsh reality once they’re in. They will sign contracts stipulating what scenarios/acts they are and are not willing to perform. Then their directors, photographers, agents, and other performers will ignore these limitations, initiating them into the business with the exact scenarios or acts they are contractually prohibited to do. If the performer protests against doing something they feel uncomfortable or unsafe performing, they are threatened with physical abuse or other forms of blackmail.
Pornographers exploit and abuse their power over the performer. Activist, lawyer and professor, Dr. Catherine A. MacKinnon explains, saying:
[Performers] usually ‘consent’ to the acts only in the degraded and demented sense of the word (common also to the law of rape) in which a person who despairs at stopping what is happening, sees no escape,… is often trying to avoid being beaten or killed, is always economically desperate, acquiesces in being sexually abused for payment, even if, in most instances, it is payment to someone else.
The abuse of porn performers by their superiors and other performers is well documented. They are subject to violence and coercion throughout the filming process so the pornographers can get what they want out of them. They are beaten, choked, degraded, and verbally abused by the other performers during filming. Much of what happens on film can be defined as sexual assault at best and rape at worst. If performers do not act as though they are enjoying the sexual abuse, they are physically abused after filming. Many are forced to take drugs so they can keep performing scene after scene or to be unaware of the physical trauma to their bodies.
Other performers will not be honest about what STDs they carry and will continue to work, putting their co-workers in danger of preventable diseases. The use of condoms is discouraged—even disallowed—on set, despite the immense health risks and laws requiring condoms.
These circumstances combine to produce a hostile environment of sexual exploitation and forced labor where performers are prostituted for repeated private consumption. Most porn users do not realize the harsh working conditions and abuse the sex trafficked performers endure for the viewer’s fleeting enjoyment.
Please visit stoptraffickingdemand.com for more information and ways you can help.
March 15, 2014 | Categories: Blog, Social Issues | Tags: commercial sex, human rights, human trafficking, physical abuse, Porn, Pornography, sex trade, sex trafficking, social issues, social justice, women and children | Leave a comment