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Pornography Breeds Sex Trafficking and Slavery – Even the Free Stuff

Many people think abusing slaves for profit is something that happened long ago, or in far away places. Dustin Murphey gives a hard hitting report with research that shows it is happening right under our nose. 

It’s Happening Right Here in America

Sex trafficking is not restricted to foreign countries. It occurs in America. Remember Seagram’s heiress, Clare Bronfman? She pleaded not guilty in a Brooklyn court for her role in a sex-trafficking cult, NXIVM. “Smallville” actress Allison Mack is also charged with sex trafficking for her involvement with NXIVM. Actress Frida Farrell made a movie, Apartment 407, about her own sex trafficking experience.

A 2014 government report found that sex trafficking is moving off the streets and to places like Miami, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, and the Internet. A place our children spend much of their time. A place ripe with pornography. In 2016 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime executive director stated that pornography is a reason why some victims are trafficked. Pornography is a form of, or at least contributes to, human sex trafficking.

To understand how this is, “human trafficking” and “commercial sex act” are defined. This article then discusses the connections between human trafficking and prostitution, the parallels between pornography and prostitution, and how pornography increases the demand for prostitution and human trafficking. Last, it is argued that because pornography at least contributes to sex trafficking greater online protection is needed, like, for example, the Democrat introduced a bill in Rhode Island and the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (HTPA).

What is human trafficking?

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain a commercial sex act.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 includes in the definition of sex trafficking the recruitment and obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act. It is a form of slavery.

What is a commercial sex act?

A commercial sex act is, simply, the exchange of something of value for a sex act.

Human trafficking and prostitution

Human trafficking reduces an individual to either a commodity with a price tag for sale or an object to exchange between others. Trafficking is not restricted to sex but encompasses the sex industry. In sex trafficking people, mostly women and children, are traded, sold, exploited, or feel compelled to perform sex acts for financial gain. The victims are rendered into slaves abused for someone else’s profit.

Over the past decade, the sex industry has exceedingly expanded to involve sexual exploitation of persons involving activities related to prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and other commercial sexual services. The National Human Trafficking Hotline maintains the most extensive data on human trafficking in the U.S., and sex trafficking is by far the number one case for trafficking. The top five industries and venues for sex trafficking are illicit massage/spa businesses, hotels and motels, residences, online ads, and escort services.

Prostitution and Pornography

Prostitution and pornography are the same: individuals sell or trade his or her body to engage in sex acts with another for profit. Sex is the means to the money. Prostitution can include filming the sex acts, where pornography is the recording of sex acts. Some pornography is filmed in one of the top five sex trafficking venues listed above. The pimps and madams of pornography are not managing women on the streets but instead run big businesses, like Vivid Entertainment, Wicked Pictures, and online sites. They manage women and men on sets.

Webcams and Sex-cams

Many webcam sex chat rooms, online escort services, or live sex-cams, are hosted by pornography big businesses, individuals in the porn industry, or are advertised on pornography websites. Webcam sex exploitation includes trafficking children and luring women into online “modeling.”  Online sex services may lead to escort service or pornography.

The U.N. Secretary-General told the Seventh United Nations Congress “it is hard to make distinctions (if any should be made) between prostitution and other sexual services, including those of the pornographic media.” He discussed how many say prostitution is a “victimless” crime, involving free choice, but the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur found it was far from victimless. Instead, the Special Rapporteur said prostitution violates the human rights of those involved; it produces victims and is a form of slavery.

Pornography, Prostitution, and Trafficking

The production of pornography creates a demand for prostitution and trafficking because the pornography industry is itself a form of prostitution and trafficking.  “As a form of prostitution, pornography creates demand for women and children to be supplied for sexual use to make it…” As a form of “commercial sex acts,” pornography creates a demand for trafficking because consuming pornography is an experience of purchased sex.

Here is how it works: purchased sex in the porn industry involves paying individuals to have sex on camera, exploiting the recorded images for profit. The consumer, in turn, views a human person as an object for self-pleasure. Arguably, the viewer becomes a participant with the porn big businesses in the selling, trading, buying and exploiting of humans as commodities. The men, women, and children in porn images are the servitudes of traded sex for profit.

The viewer stimulates the porn economy through purchased sex. This financial stimulation of the porn market increases the demand for paid sex through the means of the media. Paid for by the consumer and by porn business owners. In turn, big businesses continue to profit off of sexual exploitation.

This is sex trafficking because a person is regarded as a mere commodity and object to trade for something of value; pleasure for the consumer, money or drugs or promises for the women, children, or men, and money for the madams or pimps of big porn businesses. As a result, the above cycle fosters a cultural acceptance of trading bodies for money and pleasure.

Dr. Gail Dines (a famous feminist who writes on porn’s effects) says that pornography is a key ingredient in the demand for sex trafficking.

“Pornography creates a climate in which violence and exploitation of women and children are both tolerated and tacitly encouraged.”

The Need for Online Protection

All states have anti-human trafficking laws that create criminal penalties for traffickers seeking profit for forced labor or sexual servitude. Most states require proof that traffickers compelled their victims into labor or sexual servitude through force, fraud, or coercion. Some states focus only on physical force, while others include psychological control, financial threats, drug addiction, or legal harassment.

While these laws are good many states are supporting other laws, like the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act (HTCEP), because it accounts for online activity. The HTCEP is used here as an example to show the efforts taken to protect individuals from online human trafficking. The HTCEP reduces crime by making obscenity more inconvenient to access.

Democratic Senator Frank Ciccone introduced a similar bill in Rhode Island (a similar bill was introduced in New Jersey). The RI bill would require the manufacturers of electronic devices to include a filter with the capability to block sexual content and/or patently offensive material after the filter was turned on.

Constitutional Concern

Some may raise Constitutional concerns of the government regulating free speech to watch sexual content online. First, the government already regulates some conduct and protects its citizens from obscenity. Politicians/lawmakers regulate, for instance, school choice, sex on campus, sugary sodas, medical insurance, and obscene material. Therefore, it is not a matter of whether the government can regulate conduct but a matter of what conduct should the government regulate. Put another way, the government can protect those who are victims of online sex trafficking and subject to obscenity. The debate is how should the government protect individuals from online sex trafficking? One solution is the above bills because they would enable enforcement.

That “Free” Smut online Isn’t for Fun — It’s Coerced by Violence and Extortion

Many believe that when they watch porn they are watching men and women who freely chose to have sex on camera for fun and money. In some cases, some women may have a “good experience” exploiting themselves, so they say. Overall, this is not the case (and here and here). Sex trafficking uses not only violence, but false promises or forms of control or manipulation to keep victims involved in the industry. According to this Huffington Post blog article blog article drugs, alcohol, physical abuse, blackmail, threats, deceitful enticing, promises of fame and money are used to get girls to perform what the porn producers’ desire. All of this makes it difficult for sex workers in the porn industry to escape the clutches of the big porn businesses’ pimps and madams.

The solutions are pending before our government. Meanwhile, we need to pray that our politicians continue to work towards an end to this “industry.”

 

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


This article, Pornography Breeds Sex Trafficking and Slavery – Even the Free Stuff is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
https://bellarmineforum.org/2018/12/16/pornography-breeds-sex-trafficking-and-slavery-even-the-free-stuff/
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

Dustin P.J. Murphy

Dustin is an attorney with the Federal Government and has a LL.M specialty in International & Operational Law. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and did M.A. work in philosophy.
  • Joel says:

    Fine research. Thank you for addressing this connection.

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