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Why I’m Fighting Exploitation by Taking Part in #RepTheMovement Day

If you’re reading this, it might be because you or someone you know is participating in #RepTheMovement Day. Here’s what that means.

By October 13, 2021No Comments

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you or someone you know is participating in #RepTheMovement Day.

Firstly, welcome to Fight the New Drug’s site! We’re stoked you’re here!

While wearing Fighter gear is awesome, today thousands of Fighters have agreed to rep this movement for real love all at the same time, and it’s more than just a photo op and a great chance to get views on an IG story. This day is all about collectively taking a stand against the normalization and acceptance of pornography and sexual exploitation in our society. And by repping, we’re making a huge impact on people’s lives and the world.

Now, let’s give you some backstory on who we are, and why we’re choosing to fight for real love by taking a stand against sexual exploitation.

Related: Who Is Fight the New Drug?

To the average person, porn may seem like an awkward topic to discuss, but it’s one we are taking shame away from and sparking meaningful conversations about.

To put it simply, science and research are showing how pornography is robbing people of meaningful, healthy relationships and blocking a countless number of people’s true happiness. By taking a stand and fighting for real love, we are not only bettering our own lives and protecting our relationships with those who mean the most to us, we are also bettering our world as a whole.

Allow us to explain by watching this video:

What’s the issue?

Just like it took decades for society to believe the science that proved that smoking cigarettes is harmful, we are learning a similar lesson with porn in our world today.

And since we’re an awareness campaign first and foremost, we’re all about educating by sharing the science, research, and personal accounts that all point to the fact that porn is anything but harmless entertainment.

Here at Fight the New Drug, we’ve been raising awareness on the harmful effects of pornography since ’09. We’re a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we’re also non-religious and non-legislative. We are not out to ban porn, or even talk about it from a moral perspective, but to give people the opportunity to make an educated choice about it. At the heart of what we do, our goal is to stop the demand for sexual exploitation and pornography through allowing educated people to choose for themselves not to contribute.

And if right about now you’re asking what the facts of the issue are, you’ve come to the right place!

What are the facts?

Research has shown that porn negatively impacts the consumer’s brain, relationships, and our society as a whole. In a pornified world that sells the idea that porn is healthy for consumers and good for their relationships, the data tells a much different story.

Let’s dive in for a minute. And if you’re more of a movie person and less of an article person, click below to watch our docuseries for free.

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Brain

Research indicates that porn consumers can become desensitized to porn, often needing to consume more porn, more extreme forms of porn, or consume porn more often in order to get the same response they once did.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. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.10.017COPY  Over time, a porn consumer’s appetite can escalate to more hardcore versions just to achieve the same level of arousal. In fact one 2016 study, researchers found that 46.9% of respondents reported that, over time, they began watching pornography that had previously disinterested or even disgusted them.Wéry, A., & Billieux, J. (2016). Online sexual activities: An exploratory study of problematic and non-problematic usage patterns in a sample of men. Computers in Human Behavior, 56, 257-266. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.046COPY 

Related: Can Watching Porn Make Existing Mental Health Issues Worse?

Many porn consumers are surprised to find that porn can be incredibly difficult to quit. While most porn consumers are not addicts in a clinically diagnosable sense,Willoughby, B. J., Young-Petersen, B., & Leonhardt, N. D. (2018). Exploring Trajectories of Pornography Use Through Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. Journal of sex research, 55(3), 297–309. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2017.1368977COPY  many experts agree that pornography consumption is a behavior that can, in fact, qualify as an addiction in serious cases.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/bs5030388COPY Stark R., Klucken T. (2017) Neuroscientific Approaches to (Online) Pornography Addiction. In: Montag C., Reuter M. (eds) Internet Addiction. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7COPY De Sousa, A., & Lodha, P. (2017). Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction - A clinical review. Telangana Journal of Psychiatry, 3(2), 66-70. doi:10.18231/2455-8559.2017.0016COPY  Regardless of whether someone’s porn consumption is classified as an addiction, compulsion, or simply an unhealthy habit, quitting porn can be a difficult process. Even if it feels daunting, there is support out there, making quitting more possible than ever!

For more empirical data about how porn can harm and rewire the consumer’s brain, click here.

Heart

Over the years, we have received countless messages from partners of porn consumers who feel deeply hurt by their partners’ porn habits. Individuals who learn of their partner’s porn habit often internalize their shame and confusion, asking themselves why they aren’t enough.Szymanski, D. M., Feltman, C. E., & Dunn, T. L. (2015). Male partners’ perceived pornography use and Women’s relational and psychological health: The roles of trust, attitudes, and investment. Sex Roles, 73(5), 187-199. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0518-5COPY  Hundreds of studies show that porn can be toxic to relationships. Porn is not a harmless pastime, especially when it’s hurting a romantic partner.

Related: Is My Partner’s Porn Habit Harming Our Relationship, Or Am I Just Insecure?

As world-renowned relationship experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman wrote about porn, “Intimacy for couples is a source of connection and communication between two people. But when one person becomes accustomed to masturbating to porn, they are actually turning away from intimate interaction. [Additionally], when watching pornography the user is in total control of the sexual experience, in contrast to normal sex in which people are sharing control with the partner… In summary, we are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony.”Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (April 5, 2016). An open letter on porn. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/an-open-letter-on-porn/COPY 

One study showed that those who never viewed pornography reported higher relationship quality—on every measure—than those who viewed pornography alone.Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4COPY  Staying away from porn is a great way to invest in your relationships.

For more empirical data about how porn can fuel loneliness and harm relationships, romantic and otherwise, click here.

World

In a world where porn is so normalized, you’d never guess that it’s also directly tied to sex trafficking. Surprised? Allow us to explain.

Sex trafficking shares a variety of symbiotic connections to pornography. Even in the production of mainstream porn, sex trafficking can still occur—and it happens more often than most people think.Cole, S., & Maiberg, E. (2020). Pornhub doesn't care. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/9393zp/how-pornhub-moderation-works-girls-do-pornCOPY BBC News. (2020). GirlsDoPorn: Young women win legal battle over video con. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50982051COPY  Trafficking is legally defined as a situation in which “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”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.pdfCOPY 

Manipulation and coercion are unfortunately common in the porn industry, which legally qualifies as sex trafficking. Again, there’s no viable way for a consumer to guarantee that the porn they’re watching is truly consensual and free of abuse or coercion.

Related: How OnlyFans Reportedly Facilitates And Profits From Child Sex Trafficking

As long as there’s a demand for porn—especially porn that is extreme, abusive, or degrading—the porn industry will continue to exploit vulnerable people to meet that demand.

In the porn industry, there is virtually no way to guarantee that any piece of pornographic content is truly consensual, ethical, or even legal. The unfortunate truth is that the porn industry has an extensive history of profiting from nonconsensual content and abuse, even ignoring victims’ pleas to remove abusive content.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.htmlCOPY Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY  Virtually every major porn site has had issues with nonconsensual content, abuse, or child sexual abuse material (aka “child porn”). 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.htmlCOPY Burgess, M. (2020). Deepfake porn is now mainstream. and major sites are cashing in. Retrieved from https://www.wired.co.uk/article/deepfake-porn-websites-videos-lawCOPY Kristof, N. (2020). The children of Pornhub. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.htmlCOPY Meineck, S., & Alfering, Y. (2020). We went undercover in xHamster's unpaid content moderation team. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/akdzdp/inside-xhamsters-unpaid-content-moderation-teamCOPY Titheradge, N., & Croxford, R. (2021). The children selling explicit videos on OnlyFans. BBC News Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57255983COPY 

That doesn’t even begin to cover all the ways that porn and sex trafficking are connected.

For more empirical data about how porn fuels violence and is connected to human sex trafficking, click here.

Truth About Porn

Why does repping make a difference?

By now, you might be asking yourself, “But how does simply wearing a tee shirt actually make an impact on such a massive issue?”

We’re glad you asked!

How do we build relationships, convey ideas, and spark social change, as humans? Through relational communication, right? That’s why transparent conversations are an important part of what this movement is, and for the last nine years, we have specially designed merch that is eye-catching and conversation-starting. We’ve also created content that is informative, cool, and shareable, while paying particular attention to the messages we send through our resources so that they are as educational and approachable as possible.

Related: How Can Porn Harm Consumers, Relationships, And Society?

You’re not reading this article by accident. You didn’t visit our website by some fluke (probably).

You’re here because you saw a tee, or clicked a link, or read an article, and you’re wondering what this is all about. And millions of people, just like you, are wondering the same thing, and are having their minds and hearts opened to a new way of thinking about an issue that has no doubt affected each one of our lives, whether we realize it or not.

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Our hope is that our resources inspire individuals to make the decision for themselves to take action and decrease the demand for sexual exploitation. And the best part about that is hundreds of thousands of people are making that decision daily, and they’re spreading the word right now and telling us all of the ways that this fight for love is growing—and ultimately that is changing our world.

Related: Porn Is Fueling Sexual Harassment Cases In Schools—Here’s Why

This is how the revolution against a multi-billion dollar porn industry, with dangerous influence over consumers’ minds and hearts begins. This is how we change the conversation around porn, one face-to-face conversation or post-share at a time. One by one, it might seem small, but together, our collective efforts are making and have already made a real difference.

All around the world, our generation and the next are starting to take notice of pornography’s harmful effects and are speaking out against it more than ever before. It is up to us to choose to speak up and speak out against sexual exploitation, rather than turn a blind eye to the harmful epidemic impeding on our society. It is up to us to fight for love.

What does “repping the movement” actually do?

So, back to #RepTheMovement Day. The truth is, this day is so much more than just getting a tee, taking some pics, and sharing it with some friends. This is much bigger than that.

Repping this movement is literally representing the stand you’re taking against porn and sexual exploitation, and the stand you’re taking to fight for real love. If you want to continue to further the impact you’re making, share the research we’ve gathered and made easily accessible and start conversations with your friends and family, share FTND’s translated resources for non-English speakers, or have us come and present in your community.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Fight The New Drug’s Three-Part Docuseries

All of these things, no matter how small they seem, make a huge difference and visibly move the needle on an issue that is embedded within our culture.

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What is Fight the New Drug actually doing to help?

Since Fighters all over the world have generously agreed to say YES to sharing the facts on the harms of porn, we want to be clear about where the funds from donations and tee shirt purchases go, and why that support is so massively important to continuing to help educated individuals on the harmful effects of pornography.

Related“Fighter Club”: How You Can Make A Lasting Impact With Fight The New Drug

The fact is, a large part of our organization is fueled by Fighters just like you purchasing conversation-starting gear or making donations. That support directly helps to mobilize our education and awareness campaign that has reached hundreds of thousands of people through live presentations, thousands of others through our three-part documentary series, and millions of people around the world through social media.

Not to mention our present and future projects that will continue to educate vast numbers of people and add to this tidal wave of social change.

But if you want more detailed information about what you’re supporting by donating to this organization and repping the movement, we break it all down in this article.

One big resource our supporters have made possible is our three-part documentary series, available to watch for free. Check out the trailer for our series, right here:

How can you join in?

There are over 7.7 billion people in the world.

According to the world’s largest hardcore porn site, Pornhub, 42 billion videos were viewed on that site in 2019 alone. That’s over 5 videos viewed for every person on the planet.

If pornography is a global, estimated $97 billion industry, what can a single person—1 of 7.7 billion people—do to fight this?

The reality is, a lot. One little drop can send out far-reaching ripples. And luckily, you are not alone. We have millions of Fighters repping the movement all over the world, and we believe in changing the status quo. If one drop can break the surface tension and create a ripple effect, a lot of drops can make some serious waves.

Related: What You Support When You Buy And Wear Fighter Gear From Fight the New Drug

The first step to joining this global community is to become a Fighter and taking a stand against sexual exploitation. You can also sign up to partner with us on a monthly basis by joining Fighter Club!

JOIN FIGHTER CLUB DONATE NOW

Next, share the facts and spark those conversations, even if it’s from someone asking about your tee while you’re out buying groceries. It all matters!

In the end, all the little steps add up to big changes, and it’s all part of our global initiative to change the conversation around porn, forever.

And the good news is, we’ve already made a measurable impact. Are you in?

Get involved by becoming a Fighter. Bring FTND to your school by booking an event. Or even join our street team to educate your community on the facts of porn’s harms.

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