Porn Fuels Prostitution

Porn Studies > Porn in the News

Anna Hodgekiss, 8/10,05 - The growth of internet pornography has seen the demand for prostitution in Australia soar.

Sex abuse expert Mary Anne Layden will tell a NSW parliamentary forum today how Australia's increasing appetite for prostitution has led to more women being trafficked into the country than ever before. Dr Layden is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania who specialises in treating victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and addiction.

"Internet pornography and the legalisation of prostitution have driven up demand through a set of beliefs that imply that this behaviour is normal, acceptable, common and doesn't hurt anyone so the person has permission to continue to behave in that way," she will tell the forum, hosted by state Labor backbencher Kristina Keneally and the NSW Working Party on Illegal Non-Citizens in the Sex Industry.

"Examples include 'All men go to prostitutes', 'Women like sex mixed with violence', and 'Children enjoy sex with adults'."

Dr Layden warns that as the demand for prostitution increases, with internet porn being both anonymous and available 24 hours a day, supply is failing to meet demand. "There are not enough women in Australia who have been raped as a child, are homeless, or have a drug addiction, to be prostitutes, because in reality these are the women who end up in this situation.

"In this case, you have to deceive or kidnap women and children from other countries, take their passport, beat them up and put them into sex slavery.

"And not only is the demand for harder pornography rising, but people who use porn are much more likely to commit sexual offences. It's a dangerous circle."

Dr Layden was the keynote speaker at the first national Sexual Integrity Forum at Parliament House, Canberra, yesterday. The Canberra forum was organised by Warwick Marsh, of the Fatherhood Foundation, to promote a national conversation on sexual exploitation.

Dr Layden says religion has helped many beat addiction, but she believes prevention is better than cure, and urges parents to use internet service providers that filter pornography. She has testified before the US Congress on the effects of pornography, prostitution and the international trafficking of women.

Her clinical experience and research has found that 70 per cent of pornographic hits on internet sex sites occur during the day on business computers.

In addition, 40 per cent of sex addicts will lose their spouse, 58 per cent will suffer severe financial loss, and up to 40 per cent will lose their job.

Research carried out in the US has found that 38 per cent of women have been sexually molested by the time they are 18, and one in eight women will be raped and 50 per cent sexually harassed in the workplace during their lifetime.

The Australian

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