It’s abhorrent to think that in our day and age human exploitation in the form of slavery and sexual trafficking is at such a large scale. Of course it is illegal. But it is underground and more people live in slavery today than during the 1800s. The difference is while most of us look on our past with disbelief that slavery was ever legal, we’re even more disgusted at how it can survive in the dark corners of today’s enlightened society.
It’s a global problem. Many immigrants are forced into domestic slavery after being promised a better life in a different country. But even more dark and frightening are the scores of children forced into sexual abuse and servitude by their captors. They are kidnapped or bought and smuggled across borders to serve the prurient interests of the highest bidders. It’s big business. And it happens in many of the major cities in America.
What drives the demand for such perversion?
It starts with Pornography. According to research by ProCon.org, a nonpartisan group that researches current issues, Johns or customers turn to prostitution because of: Dissatisfaction with marriage, a modern society that emphasizes personal gratification and yet demands long work hours, and a culture of turning to pornography for sexual education and escape.
Clearly pornography consumption affects the mental health of our children, their self-esteem, even their sexual health. Pornography also informs the consumer on sexual attitudes: mainly that people are objects to be acted upon. With abusive sexual acts being normalized, many people seek out th real act. In many countries a majority of men have paid for a sexual experience with a prostitute. You read that right: a majority of men. In the United States it is 20%. Let’s connect some dots. One of the highest searched porn terms is “teen sex”. That’s underage child abuse in real terms. And where do those teens come from? According to Fight The New Drug.org, most are runaways, minority communities are hit hard: blacks and hispanics, and so are young members of the LGBTQ community. All exploited. All enslaved by an industry built on perversion. In many foreign countries it’s even more abhorrent. Parents in extreme poverty sell their children into sex trafficking either knowingly or unwittingly.
The appetite for porn sex has exploded in the digital age.
What can we do about it?
It’s a complex solution of educating the masses on the crippling health effects, seeking regulatory solutions, and giving parents real control over the images their children have access to. I imagine “Porn-free” zones just as there are now “smoke-free” zones. Imagine if all porn, including sexting, could be blocked in schools, libraries, churches, public places where minors access, as well as at home. It’s a tall order, I know. But together we can make it happen.