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Why You Can’t Consistently Fight Sexual Abuse Without Also Fighting Porn

By July 2, 2020No Comments
The following post was originally published in Strength To Fight by Daniel Gilman. It has been edited for content & clarity. 3-minute read.

In the following post, the Canadian anti-porn organization, Strength to Fight, reminds us of some common threads between porn and sexual abuse that, while not always correlated, are too often connected in ways that make a natural fit for an advocate against one, to take a stand against the other.

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Why Being Against Sexual Abuse Meant I Had To Fight Porn

By Daniel Gilman

Everything in me wanted to leave that fight to someone else. I just wanted to combat sexual abuse and human trafficking when I stumbled upon the brutal reality that meant if I wanted to fight those things, I had to turn my attention to fighting porn.

Porn is both private and personal for so many nice and normal people. But I realized that if I was serious about safeguarding Canadians from sexual abuse, I had to take on this fight. I didn’t come to this issue because of family values or religion, as much as I may value and embrace both of those. I came to confront porn because I wanted Canadian children safe from sexual abuse.

Related: How Countless Porn Videos Normalize The Sexual Abuse Ellen DeGeneres Survived

Here’s some of the research I couldn’t look away from: According to Dr. Robert Jensen of the University of Texas in his paper “Pornography and Sexual Violence:” “My own studies and reviews of other examinations of content suggest there are a few basic themes in pornography: (1) All women at all times want sex from all men, (2) women enjoy all the sexual acts that men perform or demand, and, (3) any woman who does not at first realize this can be easily turned with a little force, though force is rarely necessary because most of the women in pornography are the imagined nymphomaniacs about whom many men fantasize.”

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We Should Take The Research More Seriously

Among perpetrators of sex crimes, adolescent exposure to pornography is a significant predictor of elevated violence and victim humiliation. According to the in-depth Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography:

“…Clinical and experimental research … [has] focused particularly on sexually violent material, [and] the conclusions have been virtually unanimous. In both clinical and experimental settings, exposure to sexually violent materials has indicated an increase in the likelihood of aggression. More specifically, the research, … shows a causal relationship between exposure to material of this type and aggressive behaviors towards women.”

I have walked with men to the police station and child services to turn themselves in for sexual abuse. They had been addicted to porn and what they watched turned into what they did and in doing so they, just like the statistics warn us, hurt some of the women closest to them. If we want to protect Canadians from sexual abuse we need to take the warning of this research seriously.

Related: Hallah’s Story – How Porn Influenced Her Sexual Abuse

It’s sometimes tough to remember, but critically important that there is good news in these dark numbers. Realizing that porn is tied to sexual abuse, means that as we fight porn we can make a meaningful difference against sexual abuse. As men and women choose to find freedom from porn, as you begin pointing others toward freedom from porn as well, we will see a dramatic decrease in abuse. Join me in fighting against sexual abuse and porn. Let’s make a difference.

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Why This Matters

This is a cause that can apply to anyone in any country, not just Canada. As is the case in any cause, those who come to the fight each have their own reasons for joining that are specific to them, and to their personal experience.

Related: What Exactly Is “Image-Based Abuse,” And Why Is It So Hurtful?

As we unite under the ways in which porn can be harmful to our minds, our hearts, and society, we start to see the common threads that help us come together and stand up against those harmful effects of porn, especially when it involves harming the innocent.

Live in Canada? Learn more about Strength to Fight and their efforts to equip Canadians to live porn-free lives and build porn-free communities.

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