The National White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week brings together hundreds of national, state and local groups, along with driven concerned citizens in a massive effort to educate the public on the harms from pornography and the many resources available to aid those affected. National WRAP Week always starts the last Sunday of October.
But while some have magnified the problem, others are also distorting the issue to opposite effect by claiming there is no sex trafficking in connection with the Super Bowl. Sources of this disinformation are groups like the Sex Workers and Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project (ESPLERP), a group which is currently engaged in legal action against the state of California, alleging that the state’s prostitution law violates the constitutional rights of those in the sex industry, and which is supporting an effort unfolding in New Hampshire to fully decriminalize prostitution in that state.
Groups such as ESPLERP have a vested interest in promulgating the myth that there is no sex trafficking at the Super Bowl, since sex industry advocates and profiteers have a lot at stake when it comes to anything that might bring the attention of law enforcement to their activities.
Statistics from the FBI’s law enforcement efforts are illuminating. Consider that in Phoenix last year 360 sex buyers and 68 traffickers were arrested and 30 juvenile victims were recovered. In 2014, 45 arrests were made in connection with the New Jersey Super Bowl, with 16 juveniles recovered. In 2013 at the New Orleans Super Bowl, 85 arrests made and five victims recovered.
This study states: "“The conclusion of the study is that the Super Bowl, or any large event which provides a significant concentration of people in a relatively confined urban area, becomes a desirable location for a trafficker to bring their victims for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.”
So, does football, or the NFL, the Super Bowl, cause sex trafficking? No. But is the influx of demand (i.e. potential male sex buyers) associated with the Super Bowl correlated with sex trafficking the Super Bowl and similar events? That answer is, sadly, a resounding yes.
To spread the word, you can share this podcast episode and this blog.
Popular media portrays those involved in prostitution as typically glamorized or empowered individuals. However, the research reveals that this is not the experience of the vast majority of those involved in the sex trade.
Typically, positive portrayals of prostitution as voluntary work are coming from a place of privilege. The vast majority of prostituted people are not engaging in paid sex because it's fulfilling, or to fund their Ivy League education. The vast majority of prostituted people are engaging in prostitution out of a need to survive.
Some have claimed that poor women should have the option of voluntary "sex work." However, we've always had laws in our society regulating what is acceptable work in order to protect the poor from being exploited, for example, child labor laws or laws limiting the acceptable numbers of hours worked.
Further, any laws against sexual harassment in the work place are inherently void when it comes to prostitution. Prostitution creates a lower class of women (and men and transgendered) who are deemed unworthy of these basic protections, and instead act as vessels to receive acts of sexual violence and degradation that most citizens are protected from by law.
Melissa Farley's research found:
"Across countries, 73 percent reported physical assault in prostitution, 62 percent reported having been raped since entering prostitution, 67 percent met criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. On average, 92 percent stated that they wanted to leave prostitution."
It is important to speak up about the harms of prostitution, and to push back against the rising trend of normalization. Sexploitation is nobody's job.
Call to Action. Read and share this blog: http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/sexual-exploitation-is-nobodys-job/
Episode #4. Research is showing that pornography is linked to increases in sexual violence.
Pornography shapes the user’s sexual template around themes of degradation, ambiguous consent, and violence.
Cognitive Script Theory reveals that media provide a heuristic learning model outlining:
2) how people should or should not behave in response to what is or is not happening;
3) what the outcomes of a particular course of action should be.
Pornography becomes a script to navigate real-world sexual experiences. It can serve as a template for actual sexual behavior.
Pornography teaches that women enjoy sexual violence:
Analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos (those bought and rented most often) found that 88% of scenes contained physical violence, and 49% contained verbal aggression.1
Pornography is linked to increased verbal and physical aggression:
A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike.2
Surveyed college fraternity men who used “mainstream” pornography expressed greater intent to commit rape, should they be assured they wouldn’t get caught.3
A meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and puts one at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths.
If we are serious about combatting sexual violence, we must commit to addressing the harms of pornography.
To learn more, visit: http://endsexualexploitation.org/violence/
1. (Ana J. Bridges, Robert Wosnitzer, Erica Scharrer, Chyng Sun, and Rachael Liberman, “Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best-Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update,” Violence against Women 16, no. 10 (2010): 1065–1085.)
2. Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, and Ashley Kraus, “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies,” Journal of Communication 66, no. 1 (February 2016): 183–205.
3. Foubert, John D., Matthew Brosi W., and R. Bannon Sean. "Pornography Viewing among Fraternity Men: Effects on Bystander Intervention, Rape Myth Acceptance and Behavioral Intent to Commit Sexual Assault." Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 18.4 (2011): 212-31. Web.
4. Elizabeth Paolucci-Oddone, Mark Genuis, and Claudio Violato, “A Meta-Analysis of the Published Research on the Effects of Pornography,” The Changing Family and Child Development, ed. Claudio Violato, Elizabeth Paolucci, and Mark Genuis (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2000), 48–59.