Stop the Demand

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Sex trafficking is a matter of supply, distribution, and demand. Experts are now seeing more and more that pornography fuels the demand by promoting the belief that women are sexual commodities. This e-book will give you the information and actions necessary to make a difference.

8 thoughts on “Who Buys Sex? Linking Porn and Human Trafficking

  1. Straying after the eyes leads to tangible consequences. The evil inclination will NEVER EVER be satisfied unless it is chanelled. Is there any chance of fighting the sex trade it is an all encompassing all engaging which affects absolutely everyone WITH NO EXCEPTION. What is the way forward?

  2. Is there any chance trying to fight the WORLD against this. Even when it is not pornography images of ill clad women arouses the evil inclination and from there it spirals out of control

  3. This essay is silly. First of the number of 100 billion on porn is a crazy inflation straight out of Gail Dines propaganda. Even setting that aside and admitting that porn is everywhere the link between porn and trafficking is tenuous at best. Unfortunately this subject is hard to discuss rationally. Most people will only take away the horrific image of bloody pajamas. Trafficking and sex tourism is evil plain and simple. But the notion that consenting ADULTS looking at sexual images of other consenting ADULTS in sexual situations is to blame is ridiculous and not born out by anything other than anecdotal speculations. No science backs up these claims. If the link was that strong we’d see many more people engaging in this behavior. In reality only a very very small number of porn users will ever fly around the world to have sex with children. Whether it be violence and video games or guns and mass shootings you will always have outliers in which you can hang your hat and blame. All serial kilkers look at pornigraphy but we can all agree that its foolish then to extrapolate that all porn users are serial killers. This is no different. These travesties happening to one child is one too many. The reality is we need to look more at poverty and the deterioration of the family to understand what allows this to happen. History is rife with sexuslly exploited children. Its just that now we can see the global picture. By confusing the issues you dillute the very real need to stop this abomination.

    • I disagree. As a consenting adult watching porn, I am endorsing the idea that women should be able to sell their bodies for money, that sex can be commodified and industrialized. This is a clear message taught by pornography, and there are many studies showing the impact of habitual porn use on sexual beliefs. There is also little doubt that the johns who represent the demand side of sex trafficking are themselves influenced by these beliefs.

      I agree there are a multitude of factors at play here (familial concerns, societal concerns, etc.). I also agree that few who watch porn ever themselves pay money for sex (from prostitutes or trafficked individuals). But those who are heavily involved in anti-trafficking movements have had a growing concern about the influence of porn. They see sex trafficking as the ugly tip of a very big iceberg, and that iceberg is the sexualization of children in media and the commodification of sex in culture.

  4. Even as someone who watches pornography I’m concerned about its ubiquity in culture. I was exposed to it at a young age and now look at what could be considered light erotica. Since I’m someone who doesn’t fall into the category of going from playboy to kiddie porn that this shades my view on whether its the bogeyman or not.. A lot of what I see available IS disconcerting. It’s more of a modern equivalent to a freak show than anything tittilating in a sexual sense. I can see blocking it from children. The British are trying a .xxx for adult material that you’d have to opt into when buying Internet. That is an equitable solution for exposure to kids.
    Unfortunately unless you are sex negative I feel the only true way to criticise this is to criticize pure capitalism. (by this I mean legal porn, not trafficking prostitution or child porn). The reason for this is the “industrialization and commodification” that you speak of is what pure capitalism does to everything. The people making iPods in china or stripping metals out of computers for little money are exploited in a totally ugly fashion.
    As to the studies you speak of please post a few links if you could. I’m open to all arguments. Unfortunately many anti porn people quote the likes of Gail Dines who uses anecdotes and hyperbole to back up her ideas (all while making a tidy profit off the sex workers she so despises).
    Finally, what is your solution? A ban on pornography? At what point do we start? Is it actual sex, simulated sex, nudity, bathing suits, knees, ankles or hair? Laws aren’t the answer to stopping porn societal values would need to change. I’d also argue that if this is as bad as you say I think it’s probably more a symptom than the disease. Women have been devalued since way before porn became so prevalent.
    Thanks for the response BTW.

    • Hi Robert,

      I’m not advocating change on a political level. While I think there could be merit to that in specific instances, I’m not proposing political maneuvering as the solution to the industrialization of sex. Pure capitalism is a philosophy of commerce, and when unchecked by other values, it can demoralizing. Nations as political entities can espouse pure capitalism, but that does not mean that her citizens need to be guided by that alone. I am advocating cultural change: a change in mindsets and attitudes.

      As for the studies about the impact of porn on sexual beliefs, I could point you to a few studies that might interest you.

      The research done by Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant about the impact of video pornography on sexual attitudes and beliefs is noteworthy. After exposing groups to differing amounts of video pornography numerous times over a 6 week period, they studied the correlation between the amount of pornography consumed a variety of other factors: sexual satisfaction, attraction to casual sex, the belief that minors should be protected from seeing porn, the acceptance of premarital sex, the trivialization of rape, the support of women’s rights, beliefs about the commonness of sexual practices in the broader culture, and gender stereotypes. You can find their stuff published here:
      – Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant, “Effects of massive exposure to pornography,” in Pornography and Sexual Aggression (New York: Academic Press, 1984)
      – Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant, “Shifting preferences in pornography consumption,” Communication Research 13 (1986); 560-578
      – Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant, “Pornography’s impact on sexual satisfaction,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 18 (1988): 438–453
      – Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant, “Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography on Family Values,” Journal of Family Issues 9 (1988): 518-544

      In 2007 by Jochen Peter and Patti M. Valkenburg, a study of 2,305 Dutch adolescents aged 13-20 years old, found sexually explicit Internet material significantly increased uncertainties about sexuality and increased favorable attitudes toward uncommitted sexual exploration. Specifically, exposure to sexually explicit online movies was significantly correlated to the belief that women are sex objects. You can find that in Sex Roles, volume 56, p.381-395.

      In a Communication Monographs study called “Men’s Behavior Toward Women After Viewing Sexually-Explicit Films: Degradation Makes a Difference,” 71 male undergraduate students were divided into 3 groups. Each group watched 10-11-minute video segments: a sexually-explicit and degrading film, a sexually-explicit educational film, and a non-sexual film. Later the men were placed side-by-side with a woman in a seemingly unrelated social experiment.– Viewers of the sexually-explicit film displayed more dominance and anxiety, ignored contributions of their partner more often, touched their partner for longer periods of time, and averted their partner’s gaze more compared to viewers of the non- sexual film.– Viewers of the sexually-explicit and degrading film spent longer periods of time averting their partner’s touch and gazing at their partner’s face, interrupted their partner more, advanced to touch their partner more, and made more sexual references compared to viewers of the sexually-explicit film.

      In a meta-analysis of 46 studies published from 1962 to 1995, comprising a total sample of 12,323 people, researchers concluded pornographic material puts one at increased risk of:– developing sexually deviant tendencies (31% increase in risk),– committing sexual offenses (22% increase in risk),– and accepting rape myths (31% increase in risk). You can read about that in Jill Manning’s “Hearing on pornography’s impact on marriage & the family,” she presented to the U.S. Senate in 2005.

      Bear in mind, I wouldn’t claim that pornography alone is the culprit behind problematic sexual beliefs. Far from it.

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