The porn industry has and will continue to be a public health issue not only for the individuals who work in the industry, but also for societies that actively consume this content, until certain aspects are drastically changed.
“Extensive scientific research reveals that exposure to porn threatens the social, emotional and physical health of individuals, families and communities,” according to Public Health Post.
The “porn epidemic” is said to include the “objectification of and violence against women, the ‘hypersexualization’ of teens and children and the development of ‘emotional and medical illness’ and ‘deviant sexual arousal’ in those who view it,” according to The New York Times.
The correlation between sexual assault and porn is strikingly clear, and with movements like “#TimesUp,” it is important now more than ever to consider where some, but not all, sexual assaults are coming from.
Porn that displays physical aggression or verbal aggression is common and highly popular on porn websites, according to Public Health Post.
It is clear that when it comes to certain aspects of the porn industry—such as certain preferences or fantasies—the responsibility falls upon the content makers to ensure that viewers see both actors consenting. While this may not be everyone’s preference, it seems there is a correct way to portray this content, by handling the subject matter with viewers and sexual violence in mind.
This is often not the case when considering pornographic content—which is something that needs to change. If consent was depicted clearly in certain scenarios shown in porn, it would have less of a harmful impact on the way society and men view sexual encounters.
That being said, certain issues in the porn industry should be completely illegal and are extremely dangerous. For example, child pornography and other extremely graphic and vulgar content should continue to be monitored by porn users and the government. This type of porn actively displays abuse and perpetuates violence in a sexual setting.
In addition to considering porn’s effects on viewers, there are also impacts on those who work in the industry. Porn actors’ rights and consent are often not considered—especially when it comes to females—and this aspect of porn as a public health issue is absolutely unacceptable.
Pornography is a highly contested issue and many individuals have varying opinions, but it’s prominence as a public health issue is undeniable.
Many argue that porn has several proven benefits, such as allowing individuals to embrace their sexuality, exploring likes and dislikes and creating a sexual outlet for individuals who may not have a partner, according to the Huffington Post. At the same time, it is essential that there remain restraints on the industry and that it is highly monitored.
It is a step in the right direction to talk openly and honestly regarding pornography and to demand that the industry creates content that is ethically made and demonstrates consent. Taking this issue from a private to a public setting will allow for the formation of prevention measures against the negative wide-spread effects of certain pornographic content.