3 Ways Porn and Sex Trafficking are Linked

by May 4, 2017Especially for Girls

I became a lawyer so I could fight the injustice of sex trafficking. I wanted to help free the oppressed who were bound in the brothels and back-alleys of the global sex trade.  But I soon realized that fighting injustice required more than daring rescues and prosecutions.

Justice demanded that I recognize the truth: when I consumed pornography I was contributing to the very problem I was trying to solve. Sex trafficking and pornography are two fruits of the same tree, both rooted in the exploitation of human beings.

Clicks Fuel Demand for Sex Trafficking

As a society, we all need to recognize that “clicks” on porn sites fuel the global sex trade. Here are three clear ways porn consumption and trafficking are linked:

#1 Porn consumption increases demand for trafficked women and children. Porn is described as the wallpaper of the digital age and like any other form of media or advertising, it shapes attitudes and influences behavior. Specifically, porn grooms people to accept the idea of transactional, commercial sex by conditioning them to see others as objects, not persons. It also shapes our desires and appetites, creating a push to act out and experience the scenarios, the “sensations” that we’ve seen.  Like husband and pastor Nate Larkin, far too many people who are dabbling or addicted later confess, “Porn took me places I never intended to go.”

While porn increases demand it also erodes compassion.  As studies like this demonstrate, those who are are consumers of commercial sex (porn, strip clubs, etc.) are less likely believe that combating human trafficking should be a priority. To say that porn kills love and justice is not a stretch—it’s social science.

#2 Trafficking victims are used in the production of porn. Millions and millions of internet webpages are filled with people who were first recruited, enticed, and coerced into commercial sex. Many pornography performers have endured abuse, rape, and other forms of violence.

The actual experience of a woman [or man] in the porn industry is grim.The typical performer is in her late teens or early twenties, was likely sexually abused as a child, is probably addicted to drugs, transient, and economically desperate. In all likelihood, she first entered the industry while still a child.

While her background is fraught with abuse and hardship, the typical performer is abused further in the process of making pornography. Not only is she subjected to punishing sexual acts with a continuous stream of strangers, she must deal with grueling schedules, unsanitary conditions, low pay, and terrible health risks.

On average, her hellish stint as a “porn star” will last all of 18 months, after which she is left broke, broken, and bereft of her dignity. –Exploited: Sex Trafficking, Porn Culture, and the Call to a Lifestyle of Justice

While pornographic content includes trafficked victims from around the world, porn consumers aren’t told anything about the performers, including which ones may have been trafficked from an early age. Regular users of internet pornography are likely consuming pornography that includes adult and child victims of sex trafficking.

#3 Under our federal laws, porn production is a form of sex trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” This definition precisely describes the workaday world of porn producers.

The more troubling question is whether “severe” forms of sex trafficking (including force, fraud, coercion, or the use of minors) often occur in the production of pornography.

Most likely the answer is yes. Over the decades, research into the inner-workings of the industry has turned up such evidence. As Shelley Lubben, a former porn performer has publicly testified: “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do…[and given] drugs and alcohol to help [them] get through hardcore scenes…. The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”

Watch Shelley Lubben’s testimony against the “adult” industry:

Porn is inescapable, but we can all #MakeADifference

The false distinctions between pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking are becoming increasingly untenable even as the presence of porn becomes increasingly inescapable.

That’s the bad news. It’s hard and heavy to know this exists, and even harder and heavier to realize the ways we may contribute to such an injustice. But here’s the good news: Precisely because pornography is everywhere, each of us can actually make a difference, right where we are, every day. Here’s how:

  • We can #StopTheDemand for porn and other sexually exploitative content by refusing to consume it. If needed, we can use accountability tools like Covenant Eyes (affiliate link) for support. 
  • We can impact the future by parenting or mentoring well in this sexualized culture. training up our children to live purposefully and respond courageously to the threats in this digital age.
  • Click here to check out Quest: Parenting in a Sexualized Culture. This Christian resource will help you can share a more compelling story of sex, address technology challenges in your home, and create open, ongoing conversations with your children.
  • We can educate others. As the State Department said in its 2013 Trafficking In Persons Report: ”It is everyone’s responsibility to do their part to reduce the demand for commercial sex.”

Let’s End Exploitation!

Remember, trafficking and pornography go hand in hand.  We cannot fight the injustice of one without recognizing the injustice of the other.  Let’s connect the dots and help others do the same. When we all reject exploitation of every kind, all people will have the chance to be free. For more ways you can help, see the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Have you wanted to talk to your kids about pornography, but didn’t know what to say?! I’ve felt that way for quite some time and finally found a solution – Good Pictures Bad Pictures. . . I highly recommend this book to all people with children. A must have for all parents!” – Amazon Review. CLICK HERE to learn more about Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.
Noel Bouché
Noel Bouché is a husband, father, lawyer, and currently serves as the executive leader of pureHOPE, a group whose mission is to shape a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness by providing Christian solutions in a sexualized culture.

Booty Shaking & Sexy Costumes in Children’s Dance: How to Find Healthy Studios That Won’t Objectify Your Kid

This guest post was written by Mary Bawden of DA:NCE (Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited). Is there anything more innocent than a child joyfully dancing? Every spring I’m over the moon with excitement while watching my grandchildren participate in their recitals....

Your Daughter’s Body Image – Healthy or Shameful? 4 Ways to Counteract Toxic Media

Both of my daughters dance. They have an incredible ability (that I don’t share!) to communicate their emotions and ideas through the power of movement. They practice hours on end at home and the studio to push their bodies to new levels. They celebrate their growth...

Calling All Fathers! 4 Simple Ways to Raise Confident Daughters

Fathers are super heroes when it comes to raising confident, secure daughters! Involved fathers can even help prevent the sexual exploitation of their daughters. That’s the message that Dr. Tim Rarick shares at the United Nations, at national conferences on sexual...

I Was Sold on Backpage.com: The Story of Jane Doe

No one knows the real number of children prostituted every year in the United States. Estimates are between 100,000 to 300,000. These are children bought and sold for sex in our own backyard. And, until last week, Backpage.com, an online classified ad platform, was...

Fifty Shades of Abuse: 5 Lies Every Girl Needs to Recognize and Reject

It’s no secret that the Fifty Shades franchise has capitalized on the trend to push porn into mainstream media. When Fifty Shades Freed opens in theatres this month, it’s estimated that Universal Pictures will round out their revenue on this trilogy at $1.2 billion....

#1 Amazon Best Seller

A read-aloud book that’s comfortable for parents and empowering for kids.

Learn More →

Get the Book

#1 Amazon Best Seller

A read-aloud book that’s comfortable for parents and empowering for kids

Grab your FREE Guide!

How do you immunize kids against porn? Learn our 3 Secrets to Porn-Immune Kids!

Your FREE Guide Is On The Way!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This