The Relation Between Porn and Human Trafficking: How Many Clicks Does It Take To Enslave Her?

by Sexuality and Chastity, Sin, World's View

Today’s video brings to light a horrifying and saddening subject, and it’s high time more of us speak out against it. Indeed, it’s hard to figure why, when every other cause and issue seems to take up residence in our collective awareness, our society is reluctant to look honestly at the problem of pornography and its inevitable links to human trafficking. To explain, I would like to share a great article found at CovenantEyes.com.

We often hear today about the horrors of sex trafficking, both overseas and in the United States. We are appalled at those who would hold women and children as sex slaves, deny them their human rights, and make them mere objects for sexual pleasure. But, meanwhile, pornography is tolerated, accepted, openly defended, and even celebrated. Society views sex trafficking as something we ought to combat, yet it sees pornography as simply another genre of entertainment.

Porn: Human Trafficking At Your Finger Tips



This collective failure to draw the links between sex trafficking and the realities of pornography is a serious disconnect that we must address. As individuals who seek to oppose sex trafficking, we need to understand its connection to pornography. In this post, we will look at how pornography drives demand for sex trafficking, how victims of trafficking are used in the production of pornography, and, finally, we will see that the production of pornography constitutes sex trafficking under current legal definitions.

1. Porn drives demand for sex trafficking

According to Shared Hope International’s report the demand for sex trafficking, pornography is the primary gateway to the purchase of humans for commercial sex. Why this is so becomes clear when we think critically about what pornography is and how it affects its consumers.

Pornography comes from the Greek words porne, meaning “prostituted woman” or “prostitution”, and the word graphos, meaning “writings.” If we can begin to comprehend that what is depicted in pornography is not simply sex or sexuality, but commercial sexual exploitation, we can begin to rightly appreciate the negative and corrosive effects of this content.

Catherine Mackinon, a feminist professor at Harvard Law School, says that “consuming pornography is an experience of bought sex” and thus it creates a hunger to continue to purchase and objectify, and act out what is seen. And in a very literal way, pornography is advertising for trafficking, not just in general but also in the sense that traffickers and pimps use pornographic images of victims as specific advertising for their “products.”

In addition, viewing pornography and gratifying oneself with it ends up short-circuiting the sexual process. This creates a drug-like addiction which distorts the individual’s view on sexuality. It also trains the mind to expect sexual fulfillment on demand, and to continually seek more explicit or violent content to create the same high.

As Victor Malarek put it in his book The Johns: “The message is clear: if prostitution is the main act, porn is the dress rehearsal.” Pornography becomes a training ground for johns/tricks. When pornography is the source of sex education for our generation, the natural outcome is a culture of commercial sex and sex trafficking.

2. Trafficking victims are exploited in the production of pornography

Many women and children who are being sexually exploited and trafficked are also being used for the production of pornography. Sometimes acts of prostitution are filmed without the consent of the victim and distributed. On other occasions victims are trafficked for the sole pursose of porn production. In today’s era of webcams and chatrooms, the lines between interactive pornography and virtual prostitution websites have been blurred. According to Donna Hughes, “porn and internet sex shows are markets for trafficked victims.” Truly, pornography is another avenue for women to be trafficked.

Porn actors and actresses are often construed as no different from those who chose to have any other career in the entertainment industry. There is little cultural understanding that many of those involved in pornography are otherwise victims of sex trafficking. Despite this lack of general awareness, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which created our current federal legislation against sex trafficking, it states that people are trafficked into and exploited in pornography.

3. Porn production is a form of trafficking

Under the TVPA sex trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” The realities of the porn industry are perfectly described in the definition of sex trafficking in TVPA.

A commercial sex act is “any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.” Pornography qualifies as a commercial sex act in two ways. First, the production of pornography involves the payment of individuals to perform sex acts before a camera. Most performers in the industry are paid for the different films or photoshoots. Because they are produced by recording actual events, real men, women, and children are actually engaging in sexual acts, often repeatedly to get the desired shot. In this way, the production of pornography is without question a case of commercial sex acts, in this case, performed on camera.

To read more, click here.

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