Pornography harms human dignity

During our General Assembly in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 11 June 2016, PCD France proposed a resolution against pornography. The resolution was accepted by ECPM. Wrong represenations of relations, a respectless representation of the body and a degraded view on sexuality are amongst the results of consumption of pornography, thus harming human dignity.

ECPM stands for the dignity of all human beings and when it is harmed, we need to stand up against it. In their resolution, PCD France presents shocking results of research conducted among young Europeans. Those numbers and figures testify to the trivialisation of pornography and its impact. Both the actors and the viewers are harmed in their human dignity as pornography shows a wrong represenation of relations and the body, and a degraded view on sexuality.

Viewers get used to this respectless image of others. However, ECPM is convinced that young Europeans should be free of such conditioning promoted by the industry. We call on Member States and the European Commission to assess the negative consequences of pornography on public health and to promote prevention campaigns against this addictive behaviour. Moreover, we call on the European Parliament to investigate the influence of the industry in Europe, and on all European parties and NGO's to work together to increase awareness in Europe of the destructive impact of pornography.

The full text of the resolution is available below this article.

 


 

ECPM Resolution on Pornography - Proposed by PCD France
(Accepted during the ECPM General Assembly on 11 June 2016, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Алекса́ндр Солжени́цын), a literature Nobel prize winner (1970), a soviet dissident, spent 11 years of his life in a gulag in Siberia - 11 years behind barbwires, 11 years being deprived of his freedom and dignity. These 11 years left a mark on his whole life. However, he publicly stated that it was easier to enslave people with pornography than with watchtowers.

Years later, studies conducted among young Europeans testify the trivialisation of pornography and the subsequent impact. A study ordered by the French CSA (Conseil Supérieur de l’Audovisuel), an independent authority to protect audiovisual communication freedom, investigated almost 10,000 young girls and boys with following worrying results1:

  • 67 % of 14-year-old boys watched a pornographic movie in the last 12 months;

  • Nearly 20 % of 14-year-old boys watched more than 10 pornographic movies in the last 12 months.

The consequences are massive:

  • Among regular viewers of pornographic movies, the risk to attempt suicide is increased 3 fold; the risk of being often drunk is increased 4 fold;

  • Consumption of pornography relates to a significant increase in self-destructing behaviours such as: tobacco, alcohol, suicide, for boys as well for girls.

Therefore, pornography is no personal choice with private-only results. It is an addictive behaviour with public health consequences. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not restricted to a single country. In the contrary, similar situations can be found in the US2, in Italy3, and most likely in other countries, although complementary data is needed.

Today, a political move is required. The example of the State of Utah (US) is encouraging: Utah recognised on 19th April 2016 that pornography is a public health hazard4.

Indeed, pornographic or pornography-inspired content are more and more present in the public space. Pornography is widespread in magazines, television broadcast and movies, advertisement, etc., therefore visible at any age. Access is even easier thanks to pornographic free-of-charge websites. Every second, more than 3000 US dollars are spent in the world on pornography5. Per year, pornography is estimated to drain more than 50 billion US dollars.

The underlying problem is that pornography gives to young people a degraded view on sexuality and thus largely harms human dignity, not only of the “actors”, but also to the viewers. Young people are encouraged to live as per their sexual urge, and get used to a representation of their own body and of the body of others (especially of women) without any hint of respect.

Therefore, the European Christian Political Movement:

Is convinced that young Europeans are called to become free men and women, also free of the conditioning promoted by the pornographic industry. This freedom can only be built on an education in which each other’s body is deemed of respect.

Calls on all Member States and the European Commission to assess the negative consequences of pornography on public health and to promote prevention campaigns against this addictive behaviour.

Calls on the European Parliament to investigate the actual influence of the pornographic industry in Europe, and to make available up-to-date data on the presence of pornographic pictures in the European public space.

Calls on all European parties, NGOs promoting human dignity, youth education, prevention of sexual addictive behaviour, school drop-out as well as youth suicide to work together in order to increase awareness in Europe of the destructing impact of pornography.

 

2 2014 Pornography Survey and Statistics. Proven Men Ministries. http://www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/ (accessed Dec. 29, 2014).

3 Silvia Bonino, Silvia Ciarirano, Emanuela Rabaglietti, and Elna Cattelino, “Use of pornography and self-reported engagement in sexual violence among adolescents,” European Journal of Developmental Psychology 3 (2006): 265-288.

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