Students Can Recognise Porn Harm, But Govt Won’t

Media Release 9 March 2017
Family First NZ says that admissions made by students at an Auckland school regarding the prevalence and harms of the increasing consumption of online pornography highlight the urgent need for an expert inquiry to determine appropriate solutions to reduce the public health and societal harms of pornography – but the National-led Government seems unwilling to even open the debate, despite growing concerns also from social scientists, psychologists, counsellors, and parents.

“In the past week, we have seen two disturbing examples of increasing sexual aggression and inappropriate sexual behaviour by teenagers. At the same time, there is increasing consumption and availability of online pornography. It’s time we connected the dots,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

The National government has said that they’re not considering the issue despite a petition soon to be presented calling for an expert panel to investigate the research.

“Research shows that children who are exposed to pornography develop skewed ideas about sex and sexuality, which lead to negative stereotypes of women, sexual activity at a young age, and increased aggression in boys. It also places unacceptable pressure on young girls which leads to eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, depression, and other harms,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Research shows that men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity. A 2010 meta-analysis of several studies found “an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women.” The research also is discovering the highly addictive nature of pornography – termed by some as ‘the new drug’.”

“These studies all highlight the extent to which porn is not a private matter to be ignored by the government. It is a public health crisis which needs to be confronted,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“If we want to tackle sexual violence, we must first admit the role that pornography plays and the harm that it does to attitudes and actions – especially of our young people.”

The petition states: “That an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.”

The website is www.porninquiry.nz