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James Risdon James Risdon

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Porn problem is so serious that British MPs want to address it with public health campaign

James Risdon James Risdon

LONDON, England, October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pornography is so harmful that well-funded, public health campaigns — like those used to curb smoking — need to be undertaken to reduce the damage it does, states a report by British Members of Parliament.

"There are examples of lawful behaviours which the government recognises as harmful, such as smoking, which are addressed through public health campaigns and huge investment designed to reduce and prevent those harms," stated the report Sexual Harassment of Women and Girls in Public Places. "The government should take a similar, evidence-based approach to addressing the harms of pornography."

On Tuesday, after consultations and research by the 11-member Women and Equalities Committee, the report was released to the public. It cites concerns that young people are increasingly using porn as a source of sex education.

"There is specific concern about the role of pornography in contributing to harmful attitudes to women and girls and providing a context in which sexual harassment takes place," the report stated.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church encourages governments to stop the production and distribution of pornographic materials, calling this "a grave offense."

"Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties," the catechism states. "It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world."

Matt Osborne, a special projects coordinator at the sex traffic-busting Operation Underground Railroad, well knows the harm pornography can cause.

"I’ve seen it firsthand in a couple of different areas,” Osborne said to LifeSiteNews earlier this year. “One of the first operations I led in Armenia, Columbia back in October of 2014, we helped take a suspected trafficker in that area who admitted to us … how he got involved in this type of business.

"He said that when he was 22 years old, he started watching pornography, looking at magazines and videos, and then he just noticed that he needed more and more hard-core, more and more violent pornography to get his fix," said Osborne.

“Then, he also realized that he needed to physically have forceful sex with these kids, rape them … And then, he actually got into making pornography."

While anecdotal evidence is abundant, getting hard scientific data about the harm posed by pornography can be much more difficult, the U.K.'s Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins, told the committee during its consultations.

"We have to acknowledge the fact that the Crime Survey for England & Wales has shown a reduction in sexual violence since 2004–05, while online pornography has exploded exponentially," said Atkins. "I have to bear that in mind in terms of what we are doing, which is why I want thorough research looking not just at gang criminality, frankly, but also at how this affects people forming healthy relationships in adult life."

Despite those difficulties, experts told the MPs there is a link between men viewing porn and later sexually harassing women and girls.

"There is a meta-analysis of research that shows that," Dr. Maddy Coy told the committee. "It was pornography consumption associated with higher levels of attitudes that support violence, which includes things like acceptance of violence, rape myth acceptance and sexual harassment."

In Western civilization, porn has become so pervasive that its availability is now expected. One man told the committee he thought "the problem is that not only has (pornography) become normalised, it is also considered acceptable, even expected."

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