Rising Porn Exposure In USA

Issue 44  //  · 

STATISTICS

9.1 MILLION SEARCHES
FOR PORNOGRAPHY
USING
COVID-19-RELATED ITEMS
(E.G. MASKS, GLOVES, MEDICAL SUPPLIES)

11% INCREASE
IN GLOBAL TRAFFIC ON PORNHUB
FROM FEBRUARY TO MARCH 2020
(JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL ADDICTIONS, 2020)

Since the initial onslaught of Covid-19 one year ago, it is startling to see just how much porn usage has advanced alongside this deadly disease. As the pandemic rages on, porn exposure in the US has risen as well. AMBER GINTER explores why.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
With worldwide lockdowns and the pandemic raging on, the demand to be comforted is at an all-time high. People are lonely, so victims are more easily seduced, and sexual means are seen as coping mechanisms to stressful life circumstances. Covid-19 lockdowns have caused a surge not only in the use of websites like Pornhub but also an increase in those seeking help when their intimate pictures are posted online without their permission.

According to Pornhub, 42 billion visits to the site were made in the last year, an average of 115 million visits per day. At the same time, the BBC reported that traffic to Revenge Porn Helpline, a UK-based service for adults experiencing intimate image abuse, nearly doubled in the first four weeks of the pandemic, more than any other reported time. None of this is new — but the pandemic has certainly made things worse.

WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?
While some media posted to pornography sites like Pornhub is consensual, much is not. In a now-famous investigation by New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, it was revealed that Pornhub’s defense from rebuke is that they provide solicited adult images, for adults, and fight to remove videos of rape or abuse. Victims like Serena K. Fleites, 19, however, would say otherwise. Fleites attempted suicide twice after her naked videos were posted on Pornhub by a boy she had a crush on. Her naked videos, since they were taken at 14, are tantamount to child pornography, yet remain online for the world to see.

And she’s not the only one. The Internet is rife with child pornography and videos of non-consensual violence. As porn exposure in the US (and around the world) rises, these precious souls are victimised again and again, for years and years, for as long as these media remain online.

WILL THE SITUATION IMPROVE?
Covid-19 has only amplified what was already in existence — the insatiable hunger for love, devouring lust as a substitute, with the huge increase in traffic to pornography sites as testament.

G.K. Chesterton, an English writer and lay theologian who died 100 years ago, is thought to have said, “Every time a man knocks on a brothel door, he is really searching for God.” Unless people recognise that the false comfort they find in pornography will never satisfy, pornography consumption will continue; there are no immediate, simple, or permanent fixes to end porn exposure for good.

Encouragingly, following Kristof’s journalistic expose on Pornhub, some concrete actions have been taken by the company to make access to non-consensual pornographic material more difficult, including disallowing downloads on videos and improving moderation to remove videos of rape and child pornography. In addition, Visa and Mastercard have blocked the use of their cards for payment on Pornhub. All of these give hope that the situation can improve as more people recognise the evils of being complicit in another’s suffering, or worse still, using their abuse for enjoyment.

WHAT NOW?

PRAY FOR:
– Those whose lives have been compromised by their intimate images being leaked online, or who have been sexually abused for someone else’s pleasure.
– Companies who can make a difference to take a moral stand against child pornography and rape videos, and to stop enabling companies like Pornhub that profit off the sexual exploitation of millions of victims worldwide.
– Those seeking comfort in pornography, to find healthier outlets and find their true fulfilment in Christ.

Amber Ginter
Amber Ginter is a twenty-five-year-old English teacher, author, and freelancer from Kingston, Ohio. She is an active dancer, exercise enthusiast, and mental health advocate.

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