Imagine a world without pornography. It might be difficult to see for most, but it may be possible. Pornography is corrupting the minds of the children and teens around the world, causing them to start having intercourse early in life. Children encounter pornography in many places, such as television, radio, music and especially on the internet. According to a sex addiction website called Tech Addiction, in the United States alone, 25 percent of all searches are for pornography, that’s over 68 million porn, or porn related, searches every day. The over use of selling sex should be stopped because it encourages sex at a young age and can also cause harmful effects on the viewers. Sociologist Joseph W. Slade states, “For most Americans, pornography means peep shows, striptease, live sex acts, hardcore videos, adult cable programming, sexual aids and devices, explicit telephone and computer messages, adult magazines, and raunchy fiction. Conservatives might add prime-time television programming, soap operas, Music Television (MTV) and rock music, romance novels, fashion magazines, and all R-rated movies.” Pornography in this context can mean anything. Slade agrees that pornography can be seen almost anywhere. Even magazines like Tiger Beat which are geared towards pre-teens and teenagers have articles such as “How to Look Sexy on Your First Date.” The type of people that magazines, television shows, music and Internet force children to be around may make them think that the “sexy” image is predominant. If one were to type Google.com into his address bar, go to images, turn off safe search, and type in Asian. He might expect to see a few Asian people, maybe a famous Korean pop singer, or a Japanese actress, but instead you see hundreds of pornography image. A child could be writing a report on the people of Japan and accidentally come across these pictures. Images can lead children and teens to more websites that contain pornographic content, there are even some websites now stream porn for free. Websites like Pornhub, Xtube, Redtube, and various other websites make porn even more accessible to children and teens.
With pornography being so easily obtained, most children and teenagers have no choice but to see it at some point during their lives. There are billboards, ads on Facebook, and plenty of music videos that are based around sex. According to a study done by Geoff Herbert, a professor at Syracuse, 92 percent of the Billboard Top 10 in 2009 are songs about sex, genitalia or arousal. Many songs on the radio are censored for profanity, but are not censored for sexual comments. For example, one popular song, Young Money’s “Bed Rock,” was aired for the first time on the radio in 2010. There’s hardly any adult language in the song, but they do allow “my room is the G-spot, call me Mr. Flinstone, I can make your Bed Rock.” It’s a clever rhyme, but the language that is being used is pornographic, and should not be allowed on the radio.
Music from the radio is used on popular television shows. They can be background music to help display emotion, or they can be used to cover the sounds of the actors having sex. A recent study done by Amanda Lenhart, a top researcher at the Pew Research Center shows that 62 percent of children watching television shows feel as if they need to have sex early on in life. With over 75 percent of all shows containing some sexual or mild pornographic content, this is not surprising. In the same study, researchers find that 44 percent of children watch a different television program when their parents are not around, 25 percent of those children choose stations like MTV. MTV used to be a strictly music channel, but now MTV hosts shows like 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore and Real World. In 16 and Pregnant, the actors are allowed to tell the story of how they become pregnant. The content is censored out if there is any inappropriate language used, but they don’t censor out the detail that some of these girls go into. In Jersey Shore and Real World, MTV allows the viewers to watch the actors drink excessively and also see when they are about to engage in intercourse. They use cameras that are placed in the actor’s bedrooms, bathrooms, and various other places around the house. Instead of blocking most pornographic content, MTV just blurs areas that shouldn’t be seen. About 54 percent of children have a television in their room, being alone and watching these programs is hardly a difficult task (Porn Addiction Stats). Watching this programming may cause children to think that it’s okay to have sex early in life, because if they get pregnant at 16, they might get to be on 16 and Pregnant and then make it onto Teen Mom. Sex isn’t allowed on television, but it’s easy to see when a couple are supposedly “making love” in front of the camera. Because sex isn’t allowed on the Television, it should also not be allowed on the Internet. In 2011, there were about 2.1 billion people around the world who use the Internet, and about 45.5 percent, close to 1 billion, are between the ages of 13 and 25 years old (Royal Pingdom).With more than 68 million searches for pornography a day, it’s safe to say that it’s more than likely that most of those 13 to 25 year olds have seen a pop up or a pornographic image of some sort. One might think that viewing more pornography could be harmful to the mind of a child, but according to a study done by researcher and psychology professor Joan-Carles Surís, teenagers exposed to pornography on the internet were least likely to involve themselves in sexual behavior. If the exposed teens were to have sex, they were 70 times more likely to not use a condom. So pornography may not cause more children to engage in sexual activities, but they may be more susceptible to more sexually transmitted diseases and infections. In another study done by Professor Katrien Jacobs, a professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Maryland, the use of pornography became a mind stimulant to help ease the student from any stress throughout the day. It brought the students to a fantasy world. If the student were to watch it more than necessary, or became addicted to the pornography, it would have negative effects, including lower grades and decreased sexual pleasure. Watching pornography at a young age can lower the GPA of many teens and cause them to not want to be in school. The average age at which a child sees their first online pornography is 11. If a pre-teen can find pornography online, it’s a problem, and their problem will only grow into an addiction from there (Porn Addiction Stats). If we stopped over using sex to boost sales, the encouragement of engaging in sex, or sexual activities, at a young age would be stopped as well as its harmful effects on the viewers. If pornography were to be banned from the Internet, parents would feel at ease knowing that their children could use the search engines without accidentally seeing any form of pornography, and children could use the Internet as they please.
Herbert, Geoff. "Sex Sells: 92 Percent of Top 10 Billboard Songs Are about Sex, Study Finds." The Post-Standard. Central New York, 04 Oct. 2011. Web. 02 Apr. 2013. “Internet in Numbers.” Royal Pingdom RSS. Wordpress, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2013.
Joan-Carles Surís, et al. "Associations Between Online Pornography And Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents: Myth Or Reality?" Archives Of Sexual Behavior 40.5 (2011): 1027-1035. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Mar. 2013.
Jacobs, Katrien. “Pornography In Small Places and Other Spaces.” Cultural Studies 18.1 (2004): 67-83. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.
Lenhart, Amanda. "Teens and Sexting." Findings. Pew Research Center, 15 Dec. 2009. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.
Slade, Joseph W. "The Definition of Pornography." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. "TechAddiction." Porn Addiction Stats. Tech Addiction, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.