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Is pornography to blame for increase in sexual crimes?

Some experts feel that easy access to Internet and addiction to pornography are desensitising people to sexual crimes.

Published: 19th May 2018 10:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2018 09:55 AM   |  A+A-

rape, assault, abuse

Image used for representational purpose.

HYDERABAD: Married only for a couple of years, 29-year-old IT employee Siddharth says he often forces himself on his wife. Though Siddharth knew he was committing marital rape, he could not understand the cause for the same. Finally, the youngster took the help of a psychologist who told him that the reason for his sexual aggression was his addiction to pornography.

The issue was resolved quietly with the help of a professional psychologist as the couple were married. But, there are several other cases of sexual aggression being fuelled by porn, some of which result in violent rapes. Hinting that such cases are on a steep rise in Hyderabad, at least 15 instances of child abuse and rape have been reported in the last one week alone.  

Experts caution that like in case of any other criminal act, such as murder, reasons for rape are widely different from one case to another — anger, perversion, assertion of power, sadism or just sexual gratification. While some politicians and motor mouths attribute it to anything from chowmein to short skirts, experts blame lack of education and awareness on sexual consent, deep-set patriarchal values and technology-induced perversion.

As described by the title of eminent psychoanalyst and author Danielle Knafo’s book, we now live in The Age of Perversion that is aided completely by our addiction to technology. And experts are of the opinion that increased accessibility to porn and, more importantly, the nature of porn being consumed, have an impact on potential predators and their chances of committing the crime. There have been several examples in the recent past that confirm this theory. One such case was when it was found that videos of rape and sexual assault were being sold in parts of the country to porn consumers.

On the other hand, revenge porn has become one of the most easily available form of adult content, where sexual acts of a victim are shot with or without her permission and later shared on porn portals, without permission, to take revenge on the person. Experts point out that both these forms of content are generated without the consent of participants and glorifies aggression and domination over women, desensitising viewers to rapes and sexual harassment.     

With easy availability of internet and smartphones, such pornographic content are within easy reach of children and teenagers. Several studies conducted in the past have pointed out the aggressive and violent behaviour that can be imbibed from pornographic films. In an article named Aggression and Violent Behaviour published in 2009, the authors argued that boys and young men who are frequent consumers of pornography intensify their attitude of sexual coercion.

There are several other aspects that need to reformed along with the easy availability of porn, says researcher A Sunnetha, from Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies in the city.“There is little that we teach children about gender at the school level. They are segregated and then they are also not taught about having healthy relationships with the opposite gender,” she says. “Porn is a new reality, but old moral norms still rule.This needs to change,” she said.

‘Porn industry is inherently insensitive’

Not objectifying a particular gender may not be possible, as the porn industry is inherently insensitive, feels Sri Ramya, a techie. “No one enters this industry with a creative intent but only to make money, so, it is not quite possible to change the mindset of movie makers.”



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