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Just a few decades ago, pornography was something that was, for most people, hard to come by. Even for someone growing up in a city like Guwahati in the 80s and 90s, pornography was still a farway thing. There were a few book shops at Panbazar where a very few so-called adult magazines were available, but those were bought only by the adults. For most people, pornography was the dark side of the society, rarely talked about. Over the last few decades, our society has changed significantly due to globalization. The most striking change is the sexualization of our society. Today, the sexualization of our society has brought in pornography everywhere. We live in a society that is almost completely awash in pornography. Most of the bookshops are full with such magazines. Telephone-based pornography is available nowadays. We don’t have to go out to find porn videos and images. It comes to us, to our home, with complete privacy. Porn websites are free in the internet. Anyone and every one can have access to online porn videos and images in their computers, laptops and smart phones anywhere.
Pornography is a problem that is causing immense harm to our society. Like cancer, pornography doesn’t kill quickly, but eventually it will kill us. It’s ruining a major section of the society. The victims of pornography are everywhere. Women and children are most affected by pornography. Today, women are objectified as never before.
Pornography is training men and women to use each other, rather than love each other.It’s divorcing sex from love, relationships and self-sacrificial service. And it is addictive. Pornography addiction is ruining families, harming children, increasing prostitution andspread of sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS) in the society.It’s also linked with increasing incidences of sexual harassment, on-the-job sexual harassment, sexual assaults and rape, sexual exploitation of children, sexual homicides, sexual trafficking and violent sex crimes in the present society. Pornography addiction also increases the number of sex offenders in the societyby increasing the tendency to act out sexually the behaviours viewed in the hardcore porn videos. This behaviour frequently grows into a sexual addiction which the victims fail to dissociate from. No matter what the negative consequences are, the victims are finding difficult to stay away from it.
Pornography addiction causes immense harm on families in a number of ways. It can destroy a family by ruining marriage. It is usually the men who become addicted to pornography. The porn-addicted husband may lose sexual interest in his wife; he may act out his perverse or violent porn-fuelled fantasies with his spouse; or he may choose instead to act out with prostitutes. This may spread sexually transmitted diseases to the family. He may also spend thousands of rupees feeding his addiction. Sometime the wife may be addicted also to pornography. These can destroy a marriage. Even if the addiction doesn’t destroy a marriage, it can cause the innocent spouse great pain.
Children are also harmed when addiction to pornography ruins their parents’ marriages.
Child sexual abuse becomes a concern when adults’ interest in pornography includes teens, incest or child pornography. Pornography addiction destroys sexual lives of many young men and women. Pornographic videos have become so easily available these days. This will have a deleterious effect on their ability to make a marriage work and even their willingness to enter into a marriage.
The children may see such videos and images when the parents view it, or may find it in parent’s computers, laptops or smart phones. And with the advent of the internet, children are being exposed to online porn videos and images at an earlier age and to more extreme content. Most exposure begins when children are in the ages 13 to 18 years. This early exposure to pornography can lead to an addiction that twists and deforms a child’s normal development, destroying their innocence. Apart from sexual addiction, children are also harmed when they receive a misplaced sex education from viewing pornography, which depicts promiscuous, perverse, degrading and violent sexual behaviours. They grow up with a distorted and evil understanding of sex. The female children can get wrong ideas from pornography. Children are harmed when they are sexually abused by other children or adults who imitate the behaviour that they viewed in pornography. They are also harmed when they are deceived by pornography into thinking that it is correct to send photos or video to others, that they have taken of themselves while being nude or partially nude or while engaging in sexual conduct.
Children are harmed when their addiction to pornography follows them into adulthood and prevents or ruins their marriages, costs them their jobs, or contributes in making them sex offenders.
Pornography is one of the greatest evils to ever afflict a society. Without doubt porn is killing us. What can be done about it? We need to fight against pornography. We need to acknowledge its pervasiveness in our society. Studies show that if people can be kept away from pornography until they are fully developed, say, in their mid-20s, their likelihood of ever using it are immensely reduced. The addiction rates for those who are not exposed to pornography as children are very low. Parents must take necessary steps to keep their kids away from pornography. The Government must take necessary steps to maintain a decent society as its citizen have right to live and raise their children in a decent society. The pornography addiction is one such issue and reducing the supply through enforcement of obscenity laws will help reduce addiction. Enforcement of obscenity laws will also send the message that pornography is a moral evil. In particular, children and young adults need to hear that message. Moreover, there is a need of professional counselling to help deal with pornography addiction. We need all the help that we can get to deal with this major social problem.