None of us is immune to objectifying people created in the image of God—I myself was caught up in the world of fantasy and masturbation while married and serving as a mission worker. As men and women who love and serve God, we need to accept that, if we are looking at porn, then we are involved in the sex trafficking of people. There is a series of connecting dots that leads to the trafficking of people for sex: demand and supply.
‘Pornography,’ derived from the Greek ‘pornographos,’ means ‘writing about prostitutes’. When society demands more porn, it is demanding more prostitutes.1 Pornography captures on film actual sex acts between paid performers: This is prostitution. Whether talking about porn, prostitution or sex trafficking, it is one business with different streams of income. Producers of porn, pimps and slave traders receive wealth, while their victims receive misery, disease, addictions and even death.
The average age of an entrant into the porn industry is from the late teens to the early twenties.2 She was likely sexually abused as a child, is probably addicted to drugs, transient and economically desperate.3 In all likelihood, she entered the industry while still a child.4 She will be forced to perform punishing sexual acts with a constant stream of strangers.5 Her short ‘career’ in porn will last 18 months, where after she will leave broken, without dignity6 and possibly infected with an STD.7
Sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harbouring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.8 This accurately describes the modern-day porn industry. Once involved herself, Shelley Lubben publicly testified: “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do…[and given] drugs and alcohol to help get through hardcore scenes…The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”9
The sex trafficking industry (the prostitution of innocents in brothels, massage parlours, on street corners or web sites) fuels vast profits that cannot be realised without massive numbers of male consumers conditioned to view women as objects to be purchased and used.10
It is time for pornography to be seen as an integral component of the sex trafficking industry—the main driver of demand. The average age of porn exposure in the US and Europe is six years old.11 Statistics abound regarding the high percentage of Christian men looking at porn. The largest consumers of porn are boys between 12-19 years old12—the ones who will want to marry your daughters.
Within OM, courageous women started Freedom Climb, which, together with other dedicated ministries in Ghana, South Africa, Czech Republic, Kosovo and France, engage people in the battle against human trafficking. However, the battle must first be waged and won within our own circles and own lives. It is time for men in OM (and everywhere) to humble themselves and admit their participation in human trafficking as a result of their involvement with porn. Confession will not free you by itself, but it is the first step.
Tim Wright works with university students in the United Kingdom, based in the city of Carlisle, England. He also works with men locally and internationally in the area of sexual brokenness.
1. Farley, Prostitution & Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections, p. 153.
2. Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, pp. 229-230.
3. Mackinnon, “Pornography as Trafficking,” in Pornography: Driving the Demand in International Sex Trafficking, p. 32.
5. Farley, Prostitution & Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections, p. 154.
6. Huffstetter, “See No Evil,” The Los Angeles Times, January 2003.
8. 22 U.S.C. 7102(9).
9. September 15, 2009 Press Release from The Pink Cross Foundation.
10. Exploited, Noel J. Bouché page 8
12. See more at: http://www.safetynet.org.uk/thefacts.php#sthash.4gkNvmIM.dpuf (Psychologies Magazine)
Published: Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Credit: Tim Wright