The Easiest Way to Stop Human Trafficking? Stop Watching Porn

The Easiest Way to Stop Human Trafficking? Stop Watching Porn

By Megan Steyskal-Rondeau

The six degrees between viewing pornography and creating victims to feed into the world of human trafficking is startling to say the least. How can a harmless internet search lead to an extreme violation such as sex slaves? Yes, sex slaves; because if we are going to be speaking to our youth then we should call a spade a spade. Supply and demand is basic economics: If we didn’t have the huge demand for (more extreme and degrading) porn, we wouldn’t need the supply of sex slaves. So we need to STOP the demand for porn. See the connection?

Link 1: Viewing Pornography fuels sex trafficking: where there’s a demand the supply will be met. Highest in demand (and easiest to victimize) are young girls who most likely have been abused, have been exposed to porn and to who it has become normalized. Reaffirm with your teenager the consequences of viewing pornography; not just what it can do to them but to those grossly affected by it as emphasized in Link 2 and 3.

Link 2: Pornography is just like other addictive substances, porn floods the brain with dopamine. That rush of brain chemicals happening over and over again rewires the brain’s reward pathway ultimately changing the make-up of the viewer’s brain. This can result in an increased appetite for porn. Pornography physically changes the brain and has more drastic results in youth whose brains are still developing; the addiction damages the part of the brain that helps you think things through to make good choices- the brain’s limit setting system. (Bostwick, 2008)

EEK_SexTrafficDiagram-page-0

Link 3: Like any other addiction once a porn user starts to involve themselves in the fantasy they find themselves getting aroused by things that used to disgust them or that go against what they think is morally right. And once they start watching extreme and dangerous sex acts, these porn users are being taught that those behaviors are more normal and common than they actually are. Studies have shown that watching even non-violent porn is correlated with the user being more likely to use verbal coercion, drugs, and alcohol to push women into sex. This abuse creates victims. (Zillman, 1984))

Link 4: Research indicates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually victimized before adulthood. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, n.d.) With their self worth damaged youth will escape from their destructive environments. 46% of homeless youth left their home because of physical abuse. 17% left because of sexual abuse. (DoSomething, n.d.)

Link 5: Runaways become easy targets for predators becoming the supply to meet the demand. It is also important to warn our teenager that traffickers also recruit in schools and shopping malls. They use psychological techniques, act as “secret” boyfriends to young girls, buying them things –and then they start to ask for things “if you really loved me, you’d have sex with my friend.” You can pass victims everyday on the street and not realize it –especially because many of the young women and men that are initially victimized and pushed into this modern captivity get attached to their captors and can’t find a way out. (Richardson, n.d.)

Link 6: Becoming a victim of Human Trafficking.

 This cycle is self-sustaining– creating porn addicts who become abusers who create victims who then supply the demand for the addicts. Protecting our kids from the internet involves us as parents to openly speak to them of the reality that this starts and ends at home.

For more information on this subject, check out our book How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography. It is also available in Spanish.

Megan is a thirty-something single mom who has worked in Pharmacy for the past 15 years.  When in “time-out” (of her own accord) she reads and writes, then reads some more. You can find her blog at www.theaccidentallibrarian.com.

Follow Us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter!

Citations:

Bostwick, J. M. and Bucci, J. E. (2008). Internet Sex Addiction Treated with Naltrexone. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83, 2: 226–230; Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain That Changes Itself. New York: Penguin Books, 63.

Zillmann, D., and Bryant, J. (1984). Effects of Massive Exposure to Pornography. In N. M. Malamuth and E. Donnerstein (Eds.) Pornography and Sexual Aggression. New York: Academic Press.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children). Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.enough.org/inside.php?id=3K03RC4L00

DOSOMETHING 11 Facts About Homeless Teens. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-homeless-teens

Richardson. (n.d.). Most Doctors Couldn’t Spot A Human-Trafficking Victim If They Saw One. Could You? Retrieved March 25, 2015, from https://www.yahoo.com/health/most-doctors-couldnt-spot-a-human-trafficking-113961841042.html

Human trafficking awareness usa. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.humantraffickingusa.org