Feminists, conservatives join forces to call for an inquiry into porn

NewsTalk ZB 12 April 2017
Outspoken left-wing feminist parliamentarians and the conservative right have joined forces to call for an inquiry into porn.

Family First spokesman Bob McCroskie has presented a petition to Parliament on the issue supported by an unlikely coalition of Labour MPs Louisa Wall and Aupito William Sio, Green MP Jan Logie, National MP Chester Borrows, NZ First’s Ria Bond and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

McCroskie said he believes porn should be treated as a public health issue similar to obesity and smoking, saying it was creating ”hyper-sexualisation” of teenage boys and more research was needed into its effect.

He said an expert panel of health, science and psychology experts and counsellors should undertake an inquiry into the societal harm of porn and propose solutions.

He said he was not trying to censor all porn and he had viewed some himself.

“I’ve probably watched more porn because it has been targeted at me or I’ve stumbled across it, so porn has come looking for me … but blood wouldn’t be flowing through my veins if porn wasn’t attractive.”

He said the question was what harm it did.

“We’ve acknowledged the obesity epidemic, and we’re not against food. But we do need to acknowledge when something gets harmful.

“Today’s pornography is far more explicit and its also aggressive. That’s what people are concerned about and the effect it is having on attitudes.”

McCroskie said porn was also easily obtainable online for free.

“A lot of parents are concerned about what their children are able to access. And often they don’t go looking for porn, the porn comes looking for them.

“Many families don’t want the porn industry determining the values of their kids.”

Logie said she suspected there might be a different understandings of what was pornography.

“We wouldn’t necessarily in the Greens be having a starting point of assuming all erotic representations of sex are bad.”

However, she said there was concern about sexual violence and addressing the harm where it existed.

Borrows said he was not speaking on behalf of the Government and did not know what its stance on the inquiry was, but MPs across Parliament were concerned.

“The point is we are not talking about a couple of well-read Playboys tucked under a kid’s bed now. We are talking about people able to look at pornography on their telephones and computers which can’t be monitored by those in charge of them.”

“Parents are frequently negligent in passing on to their children the ramifications of pornography and we have to recognise the law hasn’t kept up with technology has taken us.”

Sio said the petition and wide range of MPs supporting it reflected concerns in the community about the link between porn and sexual violence.

“If we are going to tackle sexual violence meaningfully we do need to have the evidence before us.”

Last year Auckland Grammar principal Tim O’Connor started a ”healthy relationships” programme for students, teachers and parents which included education about porn addiction.

McCroskie said he believed it was an important step to take.

He said a societal response was needed, including education and parental responsibility, but the government had a role as well, such as regulating the responsibilities of internet providers.

He suggested an ”opt out, opt in” choice for internet providers in which porn was blocked unless someone proactively opted in, something being trialled in the UK.

Prime Minister Bill English has said he does not see the need to boost the requirements for what schools offer by way of sex education, saying he does not think it is a fast-growing problem.

The petition was signed by 22,334 people and will go to a select committee to consider.
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/feminists-conservatives-join-forces-to-call-for-an-inquiry-into-porn/

Cross-party backing for petition on investigation into pornography harm
Stuff co.nz 12 April 2017
Family First’s Bob McCoskrie has called for an investigation into the health and social impact of pornography, saying the number of times he has “stumbled across it” show how prevalent it is.

McCoskrie has presented politicians with a petition, signed by more than 22,000 people, calling for an investigation into “the public health effects and societal harms” of pornography.

MPs from National, Labour, the Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party greeted McCoskrie outside Parliament in a rare show of cross-party support.

McCoskrie said people were starting to realise the damaging effects of explicit images, which were more readily available and more extreme than ever before.We believed that smoking wasn’t harmful, then society started to catch up with the science on the harms of smoking – we would argue the same with pornography.”

McCoskrie admitted to having watched porn, saying: “I’ve probably watched more porn because it’s been targeted to me or I’ve stumbled across it, so porn has come looking for me.

“Blood wouldn’t be flowing through my veins if porn wasn’t attractive – the question is, what is best for people?”

Porn was particularly damaging to young people, with concerns about its effect on rape culture and sexual consent, but men were also affected by addiction which damaged their relationships and families.

An expert panel, made up of biologists, neurologists, counsellors and other professionals, could assess the current research on the harm of pornography and look at potential solutions, McCoskrie said.

“It’s actually a societal response, it’s education in schools, it’s in families…but it’s also at a governmental level, in terms of what we expect internet providers to do and laws around protecting vulnerable people.”

One option was an “opt-in” system to block internet pornography by default, as was the case in the UK.

However, he claimed he was not advocating for censorship.

“We’ve acknowledged there’s an obesity epidemic and we’re not against food, but we do need to acknowledge when something becomes harmful.”
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91507943/crossparty-backing-for-petition-on-investigation-into-pornography-harm

Feminists, conservatives join forces to call for an inquiry into porn
NZ Herald 12 April 2017
Outspoken left-wing feminist parliamentarians and the conservative right have joined forces to call for an inquiry into porn.

Family First spokesman Bob McCroskie has presented a petition to Parliament on the issue supported by an unlikely coalition of Labour MPs Louisa Wall and Aupito William Sio, Green MP Jan Logie, National MP Chester Borrows, NZ First’s Ria Bond and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

McCroskie said he believes porn should be treated as a public health issue similar to obesity and smoking, saying it was creating ”hyper-sexualisation” of teenage boys and more research was needed into its effect.

He said an expert panel of health, science and psychology experts and counsellors should undertake an inquiry into the societal harm of porn and propose solutions.

He said he was not trying to censor all porn and he had viewed some himself.

“I’ve probably watched more porn because it has been targeted at me or I’ve stumbled across it, so porn has come looking for me … but blood wouldn’t be flowing through my veins if porn wasn’t attractive.”

He said the question was what harm it did.

“We’ve acknowledged the obesity epidemic, and we’re not against food. But we do need to acknowledge when something gets harmful.

“Today’s pornography is far more explicit and its also aggressive. That’s what people are concerned about and the effect it is having on attitudes.”

McCroskie said porn was also easily obtainable online for free.

“A lot of parents are concerned about what their children are able to access. And often they don’t go looking for porn, the porn comes looking for them.

“Many families don’t want the porn industry determining the values of their kids.”

Logie said she suspected there might be a different understandings of what was pornography.

“We wouldn’t necessarily in the Greens be having a starting point of assuming all erotic representations of sex are bad.”

However, she said there was concern about sexual violence and addressing the harm where it existed.

Borrows said he was not speaking on behalf of the Government and did not know what its stance on the inquiry was, but MPs across Parliament were concerned.

“The point is we are not talking about a couple of well-read Playboys tucked under a kid’s bed now. We are talking about people able to look at pornography on their telephones and computers which can’t be monitored by those in charge of them.”

“Parents are frequently negligent in passing on to their children the ramifications of pornography and we have to recognise the law hasn’t kept up with technology has taken us.”

Sio said the petition and wide range of MPs supporting it reflected concerns in the community about the link between porn and sexual violence.

“If we are going to tackle sexual violence meaningfully we do need to have the evidence before us.”

Last year Auckland Grammar principal Tim O’Connor started a ”healthy relationships” programme for students, teachers and parents which included education about porn addiction.

McCroskie said he believed it was an important step to take.

He said a societal response was needed, including education and parental responsibility, but the government had a role as well, such as regulating the responsibilities of internet providers.

He suggested an ”opt out, opt in” choice for internet providers in which porn was blocked unless someone proactively opted in, something being trialled in the UK.

Prime Minister Bill English has said he does not see the need to boost the requirements for what schools offer by way of sex education, saying he does not think it is a fast-growing problem.

The petition was signed by 22,334 people and will go to a select committee to consider.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11837074

Petition calls for investigation into porn
Radio NZ News 12 April 2017
A 22,000-strong petition headed by Family First director Bob McCoskrie calling for a investigation into the health and societal harms of pornography today was delivered in Parliament today.
AUDIO :  http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201840207
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201840207/petition-calls-for-investigation-into-porn

Porn petition calls for expert panel
NZ City 12 April 2017
Times have changed since pornography consisted of a couple of “well-read Playboys” tucked under the bed according to a group of MPs who have accepted a petition for a review of its health impacts.

More than 22,000 people signed the Family First petition which was presented to MPs on the steps of Parliament on Wednesday morning.

In handing over the petition, Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said an expert panel including counsellors, neurologists, biologists, psychotherapists and others would be best placed to determine the health and societal ramifications of pornography and how to prevent harm.

He believes pornography is similar to smoking in that it took time and research to understand its danger.

Family First isn’t suggesting censorship, instead Mr McCoskrie wants to leave the problem solving to the experts.

But he did suggest an opt in system where porn would be blocked by default, saying issues don’t necessarily arise where people seek out pornography, but rather where it finds them.

“I’ve probably watched more porn because it’s been targeted at me or I’ve stumbled across it, so porn has come looking for me,” he said.
READ MORE: http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=246129&cat=984&fm=newsarticle+-+Living+%26+Travel%2Cnur

Petition calls for inquiry into pornography harm
Radio NZ News 13 April 2017
The petition was led by Family First director Bob McCoskrie and received over 22,000 written signatures in just two months.

The government have not ruled out an investigation, but said regulating porn was a complicated issue.

Bob McCoskrie was not calling for porn to be banned, but said more research was needed to understand the impact of pornography.

“It’s the same as we’ve acknowledged that there’s an obesity epidemic and we’re not against food. But we do need to acknowledge when something becomes harmful.

“Yesterday’s pornography is now mainstream media, today’s pornography is far more explicit and it’s also aggressive and that’s what we’re concerned about.”

He wanted the expert panel comprising of neurologists, biologists, councillors, psychotherapists, researchers, youth workers and teachers – to investigate and then make policy recommendations to Parliament.
READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/328730/petition-calls-for-inquiry-into-pornography-harm

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