Politics, News

Here’s why porn ruins reality for teenage girls

When the ‘ideal’ version of a woman's body isn’t met, addicted adolescents turn to aggressive ways.

Australia made headlines this year for its fight with the porn industry.

A recent survey commissioned by the Plan International (Australia) and Our Watch shed light on the struggles of teens in relationships. As part of the survey, girls aged 15-19 from different parts of Australia, were questioned on their relationships. 58% of girls admitted to having received uninvited or unwanted indecent or sexually explicit materials. Though this wasn’t something new, the survey added to the increasing pile of evidence against the porn industry.

According to scientists, pornography is understood to have adverse effects on the human brain. Intense consumption triggers an addiction to porn, which has lasting negative effects to one’s social relationships.

In a survey titled “Don’t send me that pic,” researchers tackled the pressures faced by teenage girls, which included that they were frequently faced with over-sexualized relationships, due to porn-addicted boys.

More girls are forced into relationships that are primarily sexual in nature at a young age. A startling finding shows that 7 out of 10 girls are bullied or victims of online sexual harassment. According to the survey, online harassment becomes common place due to violent pornographic material being available online. Unrestricted access to internet and the increased number of porn sites have made it easier for boys as young as 12 to gain access.

Josie, an 18-year-old participant of the survey, emphasized on cracking down of violent pornography, “This is influencing men’s attitude towards women and what they think is acceptable. Violent pornography is infiltrating Australian relationships.”

Violence in these images have led to the blurring the lines of fantasy and reality. These adolescent consumers have an unrealistic understanding of sex and women.

According to the anti-porn organization Fight the New Drug, most young girls are forced to sext their boyfriends, photos that are then shared – and can possibly become a tool for blackmail and emotional abuse. If the girl breaks up with the boy, her private photos are shared online in the form of revenge porn.

Women’s bodies takes center stage on such sites. Exaggerated and unrealistic standards of beauty are forced upon girls to be “desirable.”

When the “ideal” version isn’t met, addicted adolescents turn towards aggression. The harassment then spills from online to school playgrounds, where girls are reported to be the targets for sexual language and abuse. A report by Australian Psychological Society estimates that 30-40% of sexual assaults reported of children were perpetrated by adolescent boys.

This isn’t only a problem in Australia.

In a report by UK Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, 59% of women between 15-21 years old have faced some sort of harassment in school. The report found that widespread porn could be blamed for the increased number of attacks.

As a result, anti-porn associations are fighting to curb unrestricted access to porn.

Unfortunately, they have been met with fierce opposition from the avid porn consumers. Only time will show what will happen to the porn industry.