In a recent essay published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Gerard Bradley discusses the “ubiquity” of pornography in today’s society, emphasizing its widespread acceptance as well as its influence on the non-pornographic. “Up to one-quarter of all search engine requests relate to pornography; pornography sites attract more traffic monthly than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined,” shares Bradley.
“Pornography is now a force in enough persons’ lives that it affects the social customs, expectations, and prospects of nearly everyone in or looking for a romantic relationship, including those who have no traffic with pornography,” he continues.
Considering the lack of regulations relating to pornography distribution, “the same market features that contribute to the explosion in adult usage…portend considerable intrusion of pornography upon the unwilling.”
And just how is pornography being marketed? Author and lecturer, Mark Dery argues that “online pornographers aim to grab users ‘by their eyeballs’ by showing them images amazing in their novelty, eccentricity, or extremity in order to mark themselves apart from what is already familiar.”
No wonder recent statistics reveal that 70% of America’s children aged 15-17 report viewing online pornography, with the average age of first exposure happening at age 11.
Recognizing that no government appointed commission has studied pornography and its effects in over 20 years, Bradley admonishes the United States to appoint a new commission. This commission would be “charged with investigating and describing the present, and probable future, harmful effects of today’s unregulated market for pornography upon the well-being of the American people.” They would also provide recommendations “to protect society from pornography’s harms, and to reduce its footprint in our common life.”
To read the complete essay, click here.