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Hard-core porn explosion creating a culture of sex abuse

May I speak bluntly? Many of our sons, grandsons and brothers don't have erections like they used to.

For some, it's the result of being exposed to hard-core pornography over the long term. Any moment of sexual intimacy in the real world cannot match what they have experienced in the online world.

Does that make you feel queasy? It's one of the less disturbing things I learnt while leading an inquiry with the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee in 2020.

The final report, "Protecting the Age of Innocence" found that in our homes, children as young as eight are inadvertently exposed to hard-core, violent pornography whilst surfing the internet.

Children as young as eight are being exposed to hard-core, violent pornography.
Children as young as eight are being exposed to hard-core, violent pornography.

According to parents, teachers and the young people themselves, this has led to significant emotional, psychological, and later on in life, sexual health repercussions.

Equally upsetting was the evidence of young women who are being subjected to sexual abuse by those who are trying to emulate what is being portrayed by the porn industry as "normal."

Nauseous yet? You will be.

Think of the women in your life: your mother, sisters, friends. If you can think of six women or girls, know this: one of them will experience family, domestic and sexual violence during her life.

It's so common in Australian life, there's a time-saving acronym for it: FDSV.

Not only will 1 in 6 of our girlfriends, spouses and daughters be subjected to intimate violence during their lives; every eight days in Australia one woman will actually be murdered by her partner or former partner.

These distressing facts commanded the full concentration of our committee, during our inquiry into FDSV in 2020 and 2021.

Liberals, Nationals and Labor MPs, felt ashamed as we prepared 88 bi-partisan recommendations in our report. Shame, because it was clear that this problem isn't getting better; it's getting worse.

Which brings me to the moment where I need to be especially blunt.

Andrew Wallace MP.
Andrew Wallace MP.

Having chaired both these inquiries, what's painfully clear to me now is the prevalence of FDSV is being exacerbated by the explosion of hard-core violent porn, particularly as it is being accessed by young people.

Which is to say, if we don't start acting on the recommendations of the first inquiry, the problems seen in the second inquiry are going to get worse.

Young, impressionable Australian men who have been exposed to hard-core, violent porn, are at risk of becoming addicted to such violent, sexual behaviour.

Some of these young men who when experimenting and exploring their own sexuality will live out those experiences viewed online, to the extreme detriment of their partner.

Is it any wonder that we are seeing such concerning levels of violence in our homes across Australia?

If we genuinely care about women being exposed to violence, then we have to start caring about our boys and our young men being exposed to pornography.

The SPLA Committee made six simple recommendations that will make a difference. They include the requirements of online pornography providers to be required to verify that a user of their content must be at least 18 years old. If a person under the age of 18 cannot legally access pornography in the real world, they should not be able to access it online.

Thankfully, the Australian Government has this week accepted the recommendations of the Protecting the Age of Innocence Report. Now the hard work begins on implementation. Getting this done now is important, not just because we care about our boys, but because we care about the women they will one day meet.

  • Andrew Wallace MP is the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs and the Federal Member for Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Hard-core porn explosion creating a culture of sex abuse



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