In 2017, Adult Videos have amassed over $13 Billion in Profit.
For perspective, Hollywood’s profit from movies
stand at a meagre $8.8 Billion.
All tissue jokes and sly innuendos aside, it cannot be denied that pornography is part and parcel of the internet era and is very much a factor in the lives of many. Sources have estimated that about 12% of all content on the internet is pornographic. I guess a few “aahhs” could be spared for that fact. I am assuming that no “Gentleman” or “Lady” will openly endorse pornography and it is still a taboo thereby preventing an open discussion about the subject. For instance, I did my research (Yes!! research only) for this article on the incognito window for I did not want any association with the word “porn”, same goes for most people, for fear of embarrassment. So before answering the big question let us look at a few pros and cons.
Exploitation, abuse and mental torture seems to ring synonymous with pornography. While most countries ban pornography and others enforce restrictions on its distribution and access, very few have legal parameters designed to protect rights of those involved in the adult industry. This is primarily because pornography is not considered a profession or the legislation in this respect is a bit iffy.
As is usually the case, individuals who choose to enter the adult industry do so under conditions of extreme desperation. The majority turn towards pornography when they are unable to find other means of employment or are in need of some quick money due to some financial pressure. This paves the way for longtime depression, and these individuals are more likely to give into abuse and exploitation. On the other hand, those forced into this industry are unable to break free of its shackles because society will always perceive these folks as “dirty & disgusting” thereby cutting off all their chances to be rehabilitated.
On the other end of the spectrum, pornography is suspected to have dire consequences on the viewers, and pornographic addiction is very much a reality. The sexual gratification obtained from watching porn seems to have created a deluded impression of sexuality amongst those who indulge in it and physical interactions with their partners, as a result, have become less appealing. In addition to adding strain to the relationship, this could further result in deterioration of their physical health and can branch out to all aspects of living which could result in their quality of life being in shambles. The subsequent addiction could worsen the mental faculties of the addict, and if this occurs during the teenage years of the person, it is likely that he/she will be unable to live up to their full potential.
The Good(assuming reasonable working conditions for those involved in the industry)
Despite its many faults, it has been admitted by psychologists and sexologists that occasional gratification through self-pleasure as induced by porn could be innately relaxing and provides for a mean to release pent up sexual energy in a healthy manner. This could reduce sexual offences such as rape and could also serve as an alternative for individuals who are unable to find a sexual partner. Moreover, it could reduce the proliferation of STDs as individuals would be less likely to seek out prostitutes.
The financial aspect cannot be ignored, and with turnover being as humongous as it is, the benefits from taxation is a point of consideration. Furthermore, with proper regulation and legislation, it’s a mean of employment, and with competition at its peak in the contemporary world, it is not feasible to completely ban it without disrupting the livelihood of many.
Whether one is willing to accept it or not, pornography is here to stay and banning it could only lead to complications wherein people will resort to extreme measures to gain access to it. Much like tobacco and alcohol, pornography can be established as an industry with regulations such as age set for those who are involved in and for those who view it with legislation being drawn for reasonable working conditions in a fashion similar to other industries. The ethical backdrop, however, is a matter of concern and unless a drastic change occurs in the public’s perception of the industry, those involved in the adult industry will be greeted with scorn and condescension.
The concept of pornography has existed before the digital age with the only difference being the ease of access. As with other questionable forms of pleasure like alcohol, pornography is a manifestation of ‘evil ‘ but unfortunately, a necessary one.