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Every Day, Millions of People Watch Porn. Does This Impact Society at All?

By April 26, 2019 No Comments
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Why is it that each one of us fills with hope and excitement when someone says, “You have the ability to change the world?” Why is the popular mantra “change starts with you” so powerful?

It’s because we all want to believe that we uniquely matter, and that if we set our minds to making positive changes, we can have a significant impact on the world.

Individuals are connected to the bigger movements of society and humankind, and we make decisions based on this belief every day. Will my recycling a plastic bottle save the planet? No, but it is part of the whole, and that whole does have the potential to protect our planet.

What about with porn? You’ve probably heard this, or even said it yourself:

A person watching porn isn’t affecting anybody else, so it’s not that big of a deal.

There’s a similar principle at work here—every individual’s personal porn habit has a larger global impact, but it isn’t necessarily for the betterment of the world.

As we discussed, billions of individuals make up the whole of society. The whole couldn’t exist without the individual persons. Consuming porn may seem like an isolated, personal decision experienced in the private comfort of your room, but its impact isn’t contained within your incognito window.

Related: Having A Porn Habit Isn’t Just A Personal Thing, It Affects Your Partner Too

Individual porn consumers are anything but passive participants in this global industry—they are the primary drive.

Of course, before we get too ahead of ourselves, we do not believe in shaming those who watch porn. The fact is most porn consumers aren’t aware of the personal or broader consequences of their decisions. And it’s even more sensitive for those who are struggling with the addictive nature of porn.

We simply want to raise awareness about the significance of our individual choices regarding porn. It is often not as “personal” as we may think.

Truth About Porn

The nature of demand

The porn industry is a global giant valued at up to $97 billion, and continuing to grow each year. Check out these stats that detail every minute of web traffic to Pornhub during 2018 alone:

115 years worth of video uploaded

92 million visitors to the site each day

10,498 hours of video watched every minute

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Needless to say, an industry with that kind of activity and scope reaches the levels it does because of consumer demand. These astronomical numbers are made up of every single individual consumer out there. Each person who clicks a video online ticks those stats up a little bit.

Pornhub’s Year in Review reports are the byproduct of careful monitoring every minute of every day of consumers’ activity on the site. Not to sound creepy, but porn companies are totally watching and recording what each person clicks online so that they can produce and distribute more tailor-made content, continuing the profitable cycle of supply and demand.

Related: How A Porn Habit Can Hold Athletes Back From Their Best Performance

The word profitable is key. This is a money-driven industry, which means that power players will produce what brings in the money. Categories like “gangbang” and “teen” rank among the most searched terms on Pornhub, along with other categories that capitalize on degrading and unacceptable fantasies involving children, minorities, animals, etc. If those individual porn-consuming sessions add up to create a demand picture like this one, then those problematic categories are going to continue to get funding, attention, and support from industry leaders.

And every one of those categories is fueled by a collection of individuals clicking.

No porn is exempt

What if someone doesn’t watch the more hardcore categories like that? Couldn’t you say that it’s possible to contribute to the demand for “more acceptable” porn if they only watch “normal” stuff?

In reality, even the more “vanilla” genres of porn have proven negative effects. Content on any level of intensity could easily involve a victim of sex-trafficking or be produced by a corrupt agency that mistreats and manipulates porn performers.

Related: Would “Exploitation-Free” Porn Be Harm-Free For Consumers?

Basically, the various elements of the porn industry are so interconnected and so full of unacceptable and sometimes illicit practices on every level that having a positive impact on the world by clicking on any form of porn is highly improbable. Even watching a more tame clip is telling the industry as a whole: “hey, I like what you guys do, keep it up.” If you look at it as a moment of personal pleasure that fuels an industry that profits from addiction, mental health issues, and social justice nightmares—it doesn’t seem worth it, does it?

The way to have a positive impact is to not click, to ditch porn in favor of hobbies and relationships that have a clear, positive impact on your life and on the world.

Individual decisions make positive change

An individual’s consumption of porn can be inextricably linked to the broader problems of the porn industry. But the opposite is true as well! If one person chooses to ditch porn and pursue real love in his or her life, the positive effects ripple out from there to his family and friends, romantic partner, and the world.

Your decision to leave porn behind can inspire others to do the same. And as demand lessens, the industry weakens. Choosing to ditch porn is powerful—the change does start with each of us.

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