Its human trafficking Awareness month and I want to shed some light onto the demand side of this issue. The link between pornography and sex trafficking is something that is slowly being brought to light, has been researched in depth and I believe needs to start being exposed for what it is and what it is doing. It’s a tricky topic and can be uncomfortable because it brings the issue closer to home because it is in many homes and pornography has not been a frequently invited topic of conversation. But I feel like to understand sex trafficking we must face the issue of pornography.
First off there is no coincidence that at the same time pornography is at an all-time high as far as views and clicks on the internet and the revenue it brings in, sex trafficking has also reached an all-time high. When men and woman are portrayed as commodities, such as in pornography, it not only suffocates the idea of true intimacy but it drives the desire for more no-strings attached, instant pleasure which feeds the industry and disposes of the human element. Quoted by professor Dr. Gail Dines “The biggest sex educator of young men today is pornography, which is increasingly violent and dehumanizing.” This should tell us something about the sexual health of our society.
The porn industry is a 14-billion-dollar industry and you better believe that traffickers are not wasting the opportunity to force their victims into the production of films for extra income as well as using the films to advertise. Many customers will be men who started with pornography and when the inevitable lure to turn fantasy into reality occurs, a pimp who has very precisely targeted this kind of customer offers an easy solution by providing a girl or woman trafficked just for this reason. The client is most likely unaware that this is not consensual sex but forced labor.
Some have said, and I quote “this is taking it too far and that porn is an innocent act that everyone these days takes part in”. If our culture is conditioning themselves to seeing pornography as a normal part of life for most people than I believe through much research and deliberation that it leads to a slippery slope of finding justifications for purchasing girls, boys, men and woman for sex, many of whom are trafficked. When we start calling anything normal we need to be on our guard in making sure it’s not a justification. The definition of normal has no boundaries, it just means that it’s been around long enough that we are no longer uncomfortable with it. Just because something has become normal doesn’t mean that it is good.
When there is a breakdown on the function and purpose of the family unit, intimacy, and marriage, pornography can take hold of that and thrash it to shreds. It not only hurts individuals and families but it creates a demand that hurts and enslaves many others. I feel very sure that if we do not get a hold of the destruction of pornography we may never find hope in the problem of sex trafficking. I urge us all to weigh the costs and reasons before dabbling in some “innocent pornography”. Also, please be the sex educator for your children, tell them about porn and what it does, don’t let porn teach them. If its awareness month than let’s go into it with eyes wide open.