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According to a nationally representative survey of U.S. teens, 84.4% of 14 to 18-year-old males and 57% of 14 to 18-year-old females have viewed pornography.

Wright, P. J., Paul, B., & Herbenick, D. (2021). Preliminary insights from a U.S. probability sample on adolescents’ pornography exposure, media psychology, and sexual aggression. J.Health Commun., 26(1), 39-46. doi:10.1080/10810730.2021.1887980

One study estimates that 91.5% of adult men and 60.2% of adult women in the U.S. consume pornography.

Solano, I., Eaton, N. R., & O’Leary, K. D. (2020). Pornography Consumption, Modality and Function in a Large Internet Sample. Journal of sex research, 57(1), 92–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1532488

According to a 2020 study, the majority of 11-13 year-olds have already been exposed to pornography, with some being exposed as young as 7 years old.

British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC. Retrieved from https://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-classification/research

In one 2020 study, 75% of parents believed their child had never encountered porn. But in reality, 53% of those parents’ children reported that they had seen porn.

British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC. Retrieved from https://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-classification/research

Porn is a significant part of the culture young people are growing up in today, although many remain unaware of how it may be affecting them.

Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn … I Wouldn’t Know Half the Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study of Pornography Use Among a Sample of Urban, Low-Income, Black and Hispanic Youth. Journal of sex research, 52(7), 736–746. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2014.960908

Basics of neuroplasticity

MedicineNet (2021). Medical Definition of Neuroplasticity. Edited by Jay W. Marks. https://www.medicinenet.com/neuroplasticity/definition.htm

Voss, P., Thomas, M. E., Cisneros-Franco, J. M., & de Villers-Sidani, É. (2017). Dynamic Brains and the Changing Rules of Neuroplasticity: Implications for Learning and Recovery. Front. Psychol., https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01657

Basics of the reward center

Guy-Evans, O. (2021). Brain Reward System. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-reward-system.html

Basics of the prefrontal cortex.

Teffer, K., & Semendeferi, K. (2012). Human prefrontal cortex: evolution, development, and pathology. Progress in brain research, 195, 191–218. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53860-4.00009-X

There is an ever-growing body of research showing that pornography addiction is very real.

Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388

Gola, M., Wordecha, M., Sescousse, G., Lew-Starowicz, M., Kossowski, B., Wypych, M., Makeig, S., Potenza, M. N., & Marchewka, A. (2017). Can Pornography be Addictive? An fMRI Study of Men Seeking Treatment for Problematic Pornography Use. Neuropsychopharmacology: Official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 42(10), 2021–2031. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.78

Stark, R., & Klucken, T. (2017). Neuroscientific approaches to (online) pornography addiction. In C. Montag, & M. Reuter (Eds.), Internet addiction: Neuroscientific approaches and therapeutical implications including smartphone addiction (pp. 109-124). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7

Desensitization, or a numbed pleasure response, has been shown to happen in cases of pornography consumption.

Banca, P., Morris, L. S., Mitchell, S., Harrison, N. A., Potenza, M. N., & Voon, V. (2016). Novelty, conditioning and attentional bias to sexual rewards. Journal of psychiatric research, 72, 91–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.10.017

Kühn, S., & Gallinat, J. (2014). Brain structure and functional connectivity associated with pornography consumption: The brain on porn. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(7), 827-834. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.93

Because of desensitization, many porn consumers find themselves consuming more porn, consuming more often, or consuming more extreme forms of pornography.

Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017

Banca, P., Morris, L. S., Mitchell, S., Harrison, N. A., Potenza, M. N., & Voon, V. (2016). Novelty, conditioning and attentional bias to sexual rewards. Journal of psychiatric research, 72, 91–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.10.017

Consuming porn is connected to poorer mental health.

Levin, M. E., Lillis, J., & Hayes, S. C. (2012). When is online pornography viewing problematic among college males? Examining the moderating role of experiential avoidance. 19(3), 168-180. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.657150

Porn consumption is associated with lower self-esteem.

Brown, C. C., Durtschi, J. A., Carroll, J. S., & Willoughby, B. J. (2017). Understanding and predicting classes of college students who use pornography. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 114-121. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.09.008

Porn consumption is associated with poorer body image.

Tylka, T. L. (2015). No harm in looking, right? Men’s pornography consumption, body image, and well-being. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 16(1), 97–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035774

Owens, E. W., Behun, R. J., Manning, J. C., & Reid, R. C. (2012). The impact of internet pornography on adolescents: A review of the research.19(1-2), 99-122. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.660431

Porn consumption is linked to poorer relationship quality.

Perry S. L. (2020). Pornography and Relationship Quality: Establishing the Dominant Pattern by Examining Pornography Use and 31 Measures of Relationship Quality in 30 National Surveys. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(4), 1199–1213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01616-7

Porn consumption is linked to increased loneliness.

Butler, M. H., Pereyra, S. A., Draper, T. W., Leonhardt, N. D., & Skinner, K. B. (2018). Pornography Use and Loneliness: A Bidirectional Recursive Model and Pilot Investigation. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 44(2), 127–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2017.1321601

A 2021 study found that those with compulsive sexual behaviors—which includes people struggling with compulsive porn consumption, experience twice the rate of suicidal ideation—and more than 3x the rate of suicide attempts when compared to the general population.

Valenciano-Mendoza, E., Fernández-Aranda, F., Granero, R., Gómez-Peña, M., Moragas, L., Mora-Maltas, B., Håkansson, A., Menchón, J. M., & Jiménez-Murcia, S. (2021). Prevalence of Suicidal Behavior and Associated Clinical Correlates in Patients with Behavioral Addictions. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(21), 11085. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111085

Nock, M. K., Borges, G., Bromet, E. J., Alonso, J., Angermeyer, M., Beautrais, A., Bruffaerts, R., Chiu, W. T., de Girolamo, G., Gluzman, S., de Graaf, R., Gureje, O., Haro, J. M., Huang, Y., Karam, E., Kessler, R. C., Lepine, J. P., Levinson, D., Medina-Mora, M. E., Ono, Y., … Williams, D. (2008). Cross-national prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideation, plans and attempts. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 192(2), 98–105. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.107.040113

Cherice’s Story

Brain, Heart, World: Episode 1, The Brain. Fight the New Drug, 2018. https://brainheartworld.org/

Nikolaas Tinbergen, butterflies, and “supernormal stimuli”

Barrett, Deirdre. (2010). Supernormal stimulus. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Hilton D. L., Jr (2013). Pornography addiction – a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 3, 20767. https://doi.org/10.3402/snp.v3i0.20767

Porn is considered a supernormal stimulus.

Hilton D. L., Jr (2013). Pornography addiction – a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 3, 20767. https://doi.org/10.3402/snp.v3i0.20767

Goodwin, B. C., Browne, M., & Rockloff, M. (2015). Measuring Preference for Supernormal Over Natural Rewards: A Two-Dimensional Anticipatory Pleasure Scale. Evolutionary Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704915613914

Just like Tinbergen’s butterflies, research has found that some porn consumers report preferring porn to to sexual arousal with a real-life partner.

Sun, C., Miezan, E., Lee, N., & Shim, J. W. (2015). Korean Men’s pornography use, their interest in extreme pornography, and dyadic sexual relationships. International Journal of Sexual Health. 27(1), 16-35. doi:10.1080/19317611.2014.927048

Some frequent porn consumers can become so accustomed to the exaggerated forms of sex they see in porn, that they have a difficult time becoming aroused in real-life sexual encounters, unless porn is also present.

Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017

Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? Results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603

Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnson, J. A., & Ezzell, M. B. (2016). Pornography and the male sexual script: An analysis of consumption and sexual relations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 983-994. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0391-2

Despite porn’s promise of improving consumers’ sex lives, research shows that consuming porn is associated with decreased sexual satisfaction.

Szymanski, D. M., & Stewart-Richardson, D. N. (2014). Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Correlates of Pornography Use on Young Adult Heterosexual Men in Romantic Relationships. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 22(1), 64–82. https://doi.org/10.3149/jms.2201.64

Research shows that people who consume porn tend to become less satisfied in their relationships.

Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141

Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Kraus, A., & Klann, E. (2017). Pornography consumption and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 43(3), 315-343. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12108

Porn consumers tend to be less committed to their partners.

Lambert, N. M., Negash, S., Stillman, T. F., Olmstead, S. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). A love that doesn’t last: Pornography consumption and weakened commitment to one’s romantic partner. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(4), 410-438. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.4.410

Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141

Porn consumers tend to be more accepting of cheating.

Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141

One study that followed couples over time found that consuming porn was the second strongest predictor that a relationship would suffer.

Perry S. L. (2017). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence from Longitudinal Data. Archives of sexual behavior, 46(2), 549–559. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0770-y

Research consistently shows that porn consumers are twice as likely to later experience a breakup or divorce from their partners—even after controlling for marital happiness, sexual satisfaction, and other relevant factors.

Perry, S. L. (2018). Pornography use and marital separation: Evidence from two-wave panel data. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(6), 1869-1880. doi:10.1007/s10508-017-1080-8

“In summary, we are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony.” -Drs. John and Julie Gottman

Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (April 5, 2016). An open letter on porn. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/an-open-letter-on-porn/

“Porn changes the way you think about people. People become objects. People become body parts—they become things to be used rather than people to be loved… I literally had to go to rehab for it.” -Terry Crews

Terry Crews (2020). Dirty Little Secret – Part 1. YouTube, 1 Mar. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4krRkO4sHc

Research shows that people who consume porn frequently are more likely to objectify others.

Skorska, M.N., Hodson, G., & Hoffarth, M.R. (2018). Experimental effects of degrading versus erotic pornography exposure in men on reactions toward women (objectification, sexism, discrimination). The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 27, 261 – 276.

Zhou, Y., Liu, T., Yan, Y., & Paul, B. (2021). Pornography use, two forms of dehumanization, and sexual aggression: Attitudes vs. behaviors. J.Sex Marital Ther., 1-20. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2021.1923598

Researchers of one study found that pornography consumers are “more likely to see women as close-minded, impassive, cold, or mechanical, much like instruments or robots, … [and] to see women as uncivilized, irrational, unsophisticated, or lacking self-constraint, like animals.”

Zhou, Y., Liu, T., Yan, Y., & Paul, B. (2021). Pornography use, two forms of dehumanization, and sexual aggression: Attitudes vs. behaviors. J.Sex Marital Ther., , 1-20. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2021.1923598

Research shows that porn consumption is a significant predictor of sexual entitlement.

Bouffard, L. A. (2010). Exploring the utility of entitlement in understanding sexual aggression. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(5), 870-879. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.06.002

Porn consumers are more likely to forward intimate images without consent

van Oosten, Johanna M. F., & Vandenbosch, L. (2020). Predicting the willingness to engage in non-consensual forwarding of sexts: The role of pornography and instrumental notions of sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(4), 1121-1132. doi:10.1007/s10508-019-01580-2

One study revealed that 1 in 3 underage teens report having seen nonconsensually shared nudes of other minors.

Thorn. (2020). Thorn research: Understanding sexually explicit images, self-produced by children. Retrieved from https://www.thorn.org/blog/thorn-research-understanding-sexually-explicit-images-self-produced-by-children/

Child sexual abuse material (also known as child pornography) is more rampant than ever before.

Keller, M. H., & Dance, G. J. X. (2019). The internet is overrun with images of child sexual abuse. What went wrong?. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/28/us/child-sex-abuse.html

ECPAT. (2021). Summary paper on online child sexual exploitation. ECPAT. Retrieved from https://ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/ECPAT-Summary-paper-on-Online-Child-Sexual-Exploitation-2020.pdf

Predators often use the internet and digital spaces to groom kids, including coercing them into sending intimate photos of themselves.

Thorn. (2022). Online grooming: Examining risky encounters amid everyday digital socialization. Thorn. Retrieved from https://info.thorn.org/hubfs/Research/2022_Online_Grooming_Report.pdf

1 in 12 U.S. adults report that they have been victims of image-based abuse—sometimes called “revenge porn—and 1 in 20 report that they have been perpetrators of image-based abuse.

Ruvalcaba, Y., & Eaton, A. A. (2020). Nonconsensual pornography among U.S. adults: A sexual scripts framework on victimization, perpetration, and health correlates for women and men. Psychology of Violence, 10(1), 68–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000233

Research shows that young people often feel pressured to imitate porn when having sex.

Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn … I Wouldn’t Know Half the Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study of Pornography Use Among a Sample of Urban, Low-Income, Black and Hispanic Youth. Journal of sex research, 52(7), 736–746. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2014.960908

Studies have shown that between 35% and 88% of popular porn scenes contain physical violence or aggression. In other words, even by the lowest estimates, at least 1 in 3 porn videos shows sexual violence or aggression.

Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0

Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: a content analysis update. Violence against women, 16(10), 1065–1085. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210382866

Similar to portrayals of violence and aggression in heterosexual porn, research has found that nearly 1 in 3 gay porn videos contains sexual violence or aggression.

Fritz, N., & Bowling, J. (2022). Sexual behaviors and aggression in gay pornography. J.Homosex., 1-21. doi:10.1080/00918369.2022.2093688

One study found that about half of popular porn videos (49%) contained verbal abuse.

Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C., & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: a content analysis update. Violence against women, 16(10), 1065–1085. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210382866

Research shows that women are almost always the targets of violence or aggression in porn—about 97% of the time.

Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0

In one study, 25% of 18 to 24-year-olds listed pornography as the most helpful source to learn how to have sex. In other words, 1 in 4 young adults reported thinking that porn is a better sex education source than qualified sex educators, communication with their partners, or medical professionals.

Rothman, E. F., Beckmeyer, J. J., Herbenick, D., Fu, T. C., Dodge, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2021). The Prevalence of Using Pornography for Information About How to Have Sex: Findings from a Nationally Representative Survey of U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults. Archives of sexual behavior, 50(2), 629–646. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01877-7

Research also suggests that pornography can actually make young people more sexually illiterate—in other words, it’s actively spreading harmful misinformation about sex.

Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Herbenick, D., & Paul, B. (2021). Pornography vs. sexual science: The role of pornography use and dependency in U.S. teenagers’ sexual illiteracy. Communication Monographs, 1-22. doi:10.1080/03637751.2021.1987486

Studies show that people who consume porn frequently are more likely to support sexual violence.

Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2016). Men’s Objectifying Media Consumption, Objectification of Women, and Attitudes Supportive of Violence Against Women. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(4), 955–964. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0644-8

Seabrook, R. C., Ward, L. M., & Giaccardi, S. (2019). Less than human? Media use, objectification of women, and men’s acceptance of sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence, 9(5), 536–545. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000198

Studies show that frequent porn consumers are more likely to carry out sexual violence in real life.

Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., & Kraus, A. (2016). A meta-analysis of pornography consumption and actual acts of sexual aggression in general population studies. Journal of Communication, 66(1), 183-205. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12201

Goodson, A., Franklin, C. A., & Bouffard, L. A. (2021). Male peer support and sexual assault: The relation between high-profile, high school sports participation and sexually predatory behaviour. 27(1), 64-80. doi:10.1080/13552600.2020.1733111

Rostad, W. L., Gittins-Stone, D., Huntington, C., Rizzo, C. J., Pearlman, D., & Orchowski, L. (2019). The association between exposure to violent pornography and teen dating violence in grade 10 high school students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(7), 2137-2147. doi:10.1007/s10508-019-1435-4

Research shows that mainstream porn often promotes racism.

Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2021). Worse than objects: The depiction of Black women and men and their sexual relationship in pornography. Gender Issues, 38(1), 100-120. doi:10.1007/s12147-020-09255-2

Abujad, I. M. (2021). Desiring empire: The colonial violence of “Hijab pornography”. In N. Zouidi (Ed.), Performativity of villainy and evil in anglophone literature and media (pp. 55-69). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-76055-7_4 Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76055-7_4

Zhou, Y., & Paul, B. (2016). Lotus blossom or dragon lady: A content analysis of “Asian women” online pornography. Sexuality & Culture, 20(4), 1083-1100. doi:10.1007/s12119-016-9375-9

Research shows that porn can encourage gender inequality.

Hald, G. M., Malamuth, N. N., & Lange, T. (2013). Pornography and sexist attitudes among heterosexuals. Journal of Communication, 63(4), 638-660. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12037

Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0

Seabrook, R. C., Ward, L. M., & Giaccardi, S. (2019). Less than human? Media use, objectification of women, and men’s acceptance of sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence, 9(5), 536–545. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000198

Consuming porn can fuel the abuse of performers in the industry.

Donevan, M. (2021). “In this industry, you’re no longer human”: An exploratory study of women’s experiences in pornography production in Sweden. Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence. 6(3) doi:10.23860/dignity.2021.06.03.01

Sexual abusers often show their victims porn to normalize the abuse they will experience, which is a type of “grooming”.

International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. (2017). Online grooming of children for sexual purposes: Model legislation & global review. ( No. 1). Retrieved from https://www.icmec.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Online-Grooming-of-Children_FINAL_9-18-17.pdf

Lanning, K. V. (2010). Child molesters: A behavioral analysis for professionals investigating the sexual exploitation of children. (No. 5). National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Retrieved from https://www.missingkids.org/content/dam/missingkids/pdfs/publications/nc70.pdf

Sex trafficking is a commercial sex act that is brought about by force, fraud, or coercion, or where someone under 18 is involved.

Polaris. (2020). 2019 data report: The U.S. national human trafficking hotline. Retrieved from https://polarisproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Polaris-2019-US-National-Human-Trafficking-Hotline-Data-Report.pdf

According to cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, pornography was the 3rd-most common form of sex trafficking.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106–386, Section 102(a), 114 Stat. 1464. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-106hr3244enr/pdf/BILLS-106hr3244enr.pdf

Alia’s Story

Fight the New Drug (2021). What Led Me Into the Mainstream Porn Industry || Alia’s story. YouTube, YouTube, 5 July 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaRfimlPD2Y

Jessa’s story

Fight the New Drug (2020). Jessa’s Story: I Survived Being Sold Into Child Porn & Sex Slavery. YouTube, YouTube, 17 Mar. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pikvDbl31sU

Examples of sex trafficking in the porn industry:

Marzulli, J. (2012). Victim of sex trafficker Glenn Marcus tells tormenter she carries ‘scars of torture’. New York Daily News. Retrieved from https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/victim-sex-trafficker-glenn-marcus-tells-tormenter-carries-scars-torture-article-1.1033743

Fight the New Drug. (2021). “GirlsDoPorn” recruiter and performer sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking. Retrieved from https://dev.fightthenewdrug.org/girlsdoporn-performer-sentenced-to-20-years-in-prison-for-sex-trafficking/

Van Syckle, K. (2019). 22 women say they were exploited by porn producers. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/style/girls-do-porn-lawsuit-testimony.html

Kristof, N. (2021). Why do we let corporations profit from rape videos?. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/opinion/sunday/companies-online-rape-videos.html

Burgess, M. (2020). Porn sites still Won’t take down nonconsensual deepfakes. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/porn-sites-still-wont-take-down-non-consensual-deepfakes/

Snow, A. (2017). The sexual coercion epidemic in porn. Daily Beast. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-sexual-coercion-epidemic-in-porn

Prague Morning. (2020). Czech casting: Women lured by modeling gigs, manipulated into shooting porn. Retrieved from https://praguemorning.cz/czech-casting-women-lured-by-modeling-gigs-manipulated-into-porn/

Cole, S., Maiberg, E. & Koslerova, A. (2020). ‘Frankenstein’s monster:’ images of sexual abuse are fueling algorithmic porn. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/akdgnp/sexual-abuse-fueling-ai-porn-deepfake-czech-casting-girls-do-porn

Adegoke, Y. (2019). Why are people silent about the abuses and exploitation in porn? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/15/why-are-people-silent-about-the-abuses-and-exploitation-in-porn

The Star. (2016). Tricked into porn: Japanese actresses step out of the shadows. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2016/10/05/tricked-into-porn/

Burke, M. (2019). Florida man arrested after videos of missing teen surface on pornography website. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/florida-man-arrested-after-videos-missing-teen-surface-pornography-website-n1072141

FOX 13 News Staff. (2021). Clearwater man kidnaps, beats woman, threatens more violence unless she opens OnlyFans account, police say. Fox 13 News. Retrieved from https://www.fox13news.com/news/clearwater-man-kidnaps-beats-woman-threatens-more-violence-unless-she-opens-only-fans-account-police-say

Mohan, M. (2020). ‘I was raped at 14, and the video ended up on a porn site’. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51391981

City News Service. (2021). Navy sailor charged with cyberstalking woman, posting videos on Pornhub. Times of San Diego. Retrieved from https://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2021/08/04/naval-seaman-charged-with-cyberstalking-woman-posting-videos-on-pornhub/

Fight the New Drug. (2021). Sean’s story: What it’s like to be a male survivor of child sexual exploitation. Retrieved from https://dev.fightthenewdrug.org/what-its-like-to-be-a-male-survivor-of-child-exploitation/

Fight the New Drug. (2020). “They raped me at gunpoint”: True stories from a former escort and porn performer. Retrieved from https://dev.fightthenewdrug.org/they-raped-me-at-gunpoint-true-stories-from-a-former-escort-and-porn-performer/

Hassan, A., & Van Syckle, K. (2019, ). Porn producers accused of fooling women get sex trafficking charges. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/us/porn-sex-trafficking.html

Consent in the porn industry is virtually impossible to guarantee, given the lack of reliable consent verification, age verification, content moderation, ethical exit interviews, etc.
Although Pornhub prides itself on its moderation and age verification processes, it has faced repeated lawsuits from individuals exploited on the platform.

Pornhub sued by 40 Girls Do Porn sex trafficking victims. (2020). BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55333403

Ritter, M. (2021). Pornhub sued for allegedly serving nonconsensual sex videos. CNN Business. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/17/tech/pornhub-lawsuit-filed/index.html

Dokoupil, T., Kaplan, M., & McDonald, C. (2021). In a new lawsuit, more than 30 women accuse pornhub of profiting from videos posted without their consent. CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pornhub-lawsuit-nonconsensual-videos/

Porn performer quote: “I was severely abused on set a few times… and had to say on camera at the end [that] I was fine. In fact, one time I said, ‘no, I am not okay,’ and they screamed at me that I couldn’t say that and get paid.”

Fight the New Drug. (2021). Not all porn is consensual. Don’t believe it? Just ask these performers. Retrieved from https://dev.fightthenewdrug.org/these-performers-expose-abuse-consent-issues-on-porn-set/

While some porn consumers turn to content creator porn sites to try and ensure that the content they’re consuming is ethical, sites like OnlyFans also have a history of profiting from nonconsensual content, trafficking, and even child sexual abuse material (aka “child porn”).

Titheradge, N., & Croxford, R. (2021). The children selling explicit videos on OnlyFans. BBC News Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/ews/uk-57255983

OnlyFans creator quote: “Every time I posted something, my followers would say, ‘That’s good but it’s not enough,’ I felt like I had to keep getting more extreme. I told myself that I was empowered and wanted to pretend that I was, but I felt horrible… I couldn’t stop, because everyone was telling me I had to keep going. I was being forced—honestly, it felt like that.”

Agnew, M. (2020). How influencers are being talked into porn on OnlyFans. The Times. Retrieved from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/onlyfans-influencers-online-sex-workers-porn-sr55qhx9h

Research suggests that amateur porn tends to promote the same—or even worse—violent, problematic, and toxic depictions of sex as mainstream porn.

Klaassen, M. J. E., & Peter, J. (2015). Gender (in)equality in internet pornography: A content analysis of popular pornographic internet videos. 52(7), 721-735. doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.976781

Research shows that shame tends to drive people back to porn, rather than motivating them to develop healthier habits.

Gilliland, R., South, M., Carpenter, B. N., & Hardy, S. A. (2011). The roles of shame and guilt in hypersexual behavior. 18(1), 12-29. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.551182

A 2021 study found that although most porn consumers don’t really care about potential mistreatment of performers in the industry, 70% of those who do learn about exploitation in the porn industry take some form of action to combat it, including changing their porn habits.

Tollini, C., & Diamond-Welch, B. (2021). American adult pornography consumers’ beliefs and behaviors related to pornography studios mistreating their performers. Sexuality & Culture, doi:10.1007/s12119-021-09872-3

Garrett’s video

Fight the New Drug (2020). Garrett’s Story: How He Raised Awareness On The Harms Of Pornography In A Unique Way. YouTube, YouTube, 8 Apr. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zmDg7l3UXY

Over 46% of young people reported that they saw online porn for the first time when it just “popped up”, and 22% reported that someone else showed it to them when they weren’t expecting it.

Martellozzo, E., Monaghan, A., Adler, J.R., Davidson, J., Leyva, R., & Horvath, M.A.H. (2016). ‘I wasn’t sure it was normal to watch it’. London: NSPCC. Retrieved from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1187/mdx-nspcc-occ-pornography-report.pdf