PORNOGRAPHY: A ROAD MAP TO RAPE?

INTRODUCTION

Pornography (often known as porn or porno) is the depiction of sexual subject matter that arouses an individual sexually. It is introduced to the audience via animation, writing, film, video, and video games, magazines etc. Currently, the foremost subject addressed in pornography is the indulgence of pornographic actors, models in filmed sex acts, photoshoots.

Pornography has been prevalent since ancient times but it has developed in the latter half of the 20th century. In the contemporary world, this line of business is now better than ever due to the introduction of home video and the Internet. The sudden boom is enjoyed by the performers, production staff and ushers for growth in the industry.

INTERNET PORN

Internet pornography is any pornography that is accessible over the internet, primarily via websites, peer-to-peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. The development and public accessibility of the worldwide web in the late 1990s led to the burgeoning of Internet pornography. Around 35-40% of internet downloads are pornographic. The unwanted pop-ups, ads etc. related to pornography is experienced every day by internet users. There is no posed age restriction, hence, internet pornography can corrupt young minds. The hidden web-cams, video recorders etc. to expose women sexually and loss of their sanctity is the overbearing cost of Internet pornography. It can lead to safety threats and destroy public order.

The use of the dark web to access censored acts violates an individual’s privacy and can lead to serious repercussions such as depression, anxiety etc. At present time there is paramount use of the internet as it’s easily accessible to all users, thus, it does not take a considerable time for any media to go viral over the net which results in cyber-crime. The commercialization of pornography results in internet porn being the primary source of profits. This impedes the use of the internet. Even though measures such as internet censorship are taken by the government, it is ineffectual. The dark web resurfaces due to censorship and illegal and prohibited content such as child pornography, non-consensual porn etc. becomes readily available. It is a curse of technology. To curb the primary source of porno, i.e., internet pornography, corrective and regulatory measures are needed. It can stop the roots of pornography to grow deep into society.

EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY

Pornography can have negative impacts on an individual’s personal and professional lifestyle. It hurts adults, children, couples, families, and society. Some impacts are porn addiction and co-occurring disorders, sex trafficking, rape, sexual assaults, hampers the life of young adults/ teenagers etc.

Is the temporary pleasure worth the consequences?

Just for temporary pleasure, one must not engage themselves with porno as it has long term effects on the human mind and behaviour. Porn is the cause and Porn addiction is the effect. Some individuals are addicted to the mirage of porno which results in co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, mood disorders, sex addiction, substance use disorders, memory problems, smoking and tobacco use, erectile dysfunction. Relationships are not valued and it can break romantic relationships as ‘Real naked women are considered bad porn’.  Such addicts face many hurdles but can’t turn their back on pornography without assistance/help. Counselling, talk therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are a must and then withdrawal becomes easier.

It is noted that most teens are introduced to pornography before their teenage years. They are susceptible to porn risks as it corrupts their mind. The effects of porn in a teenager’s life are concentration problems, low motivation increases odds of teenage pregnancy, hinders sexual development, raises the risk of depression and creating distorted expectations which hinder healthy sexual development. Hence, parental control and government regulation are necessary as no age verification is required on pornographic websites, just a click on 18+ (adult) and you are in for the night. 

It is a well-known fact that reeling into pornography results in physical and verbal aggression in an individual which disrupts their lifestyle and leads to an unconducive environment. Marital dissatisfaction, infidelity, divorce, financial struggles are some established problems in society. Other problems are ignored to date.

Sexual crimes are influenced by pornography as per statistics but the correlation is not prevalent. Partners of battered women have been reported to have read or viewed significantly greater amounts of pornographic materials than those in a comparison group, while among survivors at a rape crisis centre, 28% reported that their abuser used pornography and that for 12%, pornography was imitated during the abusive incident. Exposure to pornography raises the bar for aggression against women.

Uttarakhand High court cited the rape of a 10th standard girl from Dehradun by four of her seniors. The four accused told police that they raped the girl after watching pornography on the Internet. Prajwala NGO pleaded to the court to stop the rampant circulation of rape videos through the mobile application WhatsApp. This is a threat to women in our nation. As said “Precaution is better than cure”, hence, legalities related to pornography should be regulated as per the need of the hour.

Pornography is termed by some as ‘Moral Cancer’ in society. According to me, it is a boon that can be a bane. It depends on usage, accessibility etc. Society needs to be more accepting of the porn industry and it should be a subject matter that can be addressed in public. Everything has an advantage and disadvantage but it depends on which perspective we want to focus on and how we can improve it shortly.

CONCLUSION

Whether porn should be legalized in India or not has been a heated argument for decades. To state, some advantages of pornography are it can help to release stress, improve sexual acts etc. Not all men are predators and post-exposure to pornography doesn’t turn them into one. They acknowledge their sexual needs and attain pleasure in the act. Thus, to frame every man out there as an assailant is a wrong notion. Not only do women face sexual crimes but men fall prey to it as well. Just because there is a huge gap in the ratio does not mean there is no crime against men. In this scenario, are women to be blamed? If the answer is yes, then our society is in danger as the victim-blaming game will proceed till one race exists or one man.

Therefore, banning or declaring pornography as illegal is not the solution. Sex Education should be mandatory for everyone so that more informed decisions can be made before an individual indulges in a sexual act. If uneducated, young people have relevant knowledge regarding porn then there is a broad outlook and indulgence in any sexual activity may not result in unforeseeable circumstances.

Prostitution should be legal so that individuals can be sexually aroused without coercion, force on any random woman. Red-light districts should be in every city so that sexual pleasure is not a concern. These are some measures that can be taken to uproot the disadvantages of pornography. Other than the above-mentioned solution the government can make, amend laws and regulate policies on pornography. Cyber-security laws should be prevalent. This will ensure a safe space for everyone.

We live in the 21st Century and its high time concerns related to the porn industry are discussed without any embarrassment, disgust to ensure a haven for members in the porn industry. If that happens it will automatically benefit our society and hopefully, the effects of pornography can then be somewhat eradicated.

Author(s) Name: Aashansa Varma (MIT-WPU, Kothrud, Pune)

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