Afternoon Voice’s thought-provoking, thematic, well-researched and eye-opening editorial “We should focus on protecting young minds from porn addiction” with a strong focus on child pornography, made me think and research further on this. It is rightly pointed out in your story that “Parents should have more quality conversation with their children instead of keeping it bottled up. If they open up, then children feel easy to communicate with them without a fear of being judged.” Porn addiction is rampant today. More and more disturbed parents and spouses have been seeking help, and there is even a growing concern in schools. It hurts child’s spirit and infects mind with unclean thoughts.
Pornography consumption is not something that can easily be stopped. Once the appetite for it has developed, it actually increases. Recently the Central Bureau of Investigation has smashed an international child pornography racket, being run for the past two years through a WhatsApp group that had 119 members from 18 countries. Porn or no porn should be decided by the common man and not by a bunch of bureaucrats. Pornography has existed for centuries and there has been a debate about whether pornography is socially or morally acceptable but as it involves adults, there is no law that is broken. But when children are involved in sexual exploitation, pornography is openly regarded to be a heinous crime in multiple nations. Adolescence goes downhill when there are too many restrictions. When obscenity becomes a commodity, it threatens to corrode the very bedrock of ethics on which a healthy society is founded. In such cases, sex education should be made compulsory for students before they reach puberty so that they understand sex and its functionality. Many schools focus exclusively on academics, paying little attention to effective counseling of adolescents. There has to be a policy to reduce the focus in the area of sex in general if our women and children are to be protected globally. At an individual level, pornography addiction, including ‘cyber porn addiction’ is one of the most notorious problems associated with pornography use today. Child pornography is a real and pressing problem that exists on local, national and international levels. Child Protection Act, 2012 provides protection to children from sexual assault, harassment and pornography. In this Act, Section 13 makes use of children for pornographic purposes a criminal offence that can lead to being jailed for up to five years. The world of internet and social media appeals the child a lot and because of this young mind does not give a second thought on the dark side of that world. With the internet making its way into phones, people now don’t even care about who is sitting next to them. The government has already told the Supreme Court that there cannot be a complete ban on internet pornography in the country and legal actions are also not possible in a large number of cases.
The only way out is for parents to spend their free time interacting with their children instead of watching boring television soaps. The influence of cinema and television on our impressionable youth cannot be under estimated. There are so many other movies that have explicit scenes bordering on soft porn. At times, there are even advertisements for safe sex or use of condoms which depict young girls and boys. We all know of scientifically proven bad effects of porn films. They tear families apart, objectify women and pollute children’s mind. Today, the children addicted to pornography brings about various changes in values, attitudes, development and also gives rise to unwanted health issues. There are children who use to take money from their parents saying that need to download some study material from Internet to complete their homework, but instead spend them watching porn clippings at the cafes. It is a part of socialisation and seems to be a difficult proposition to accept as it is a by-product of child sexual abuse. It has become very important that people talk about child pornography so as to raise awareness of the implications of such crimes in our society. Peer pressure is also a cause of child pornography. It is high time that child pornography is dealt with separately.
(This is the first part of the article and the remaining portion will continue tomorrow)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)