Porn Ban In Britan – What Is The Point?

I recently came across an article in my twitter travels, which stated that Britain will soon (if not already) have a law in place, banning the access to pornography in that nation. From what I can see, the prohibition is because of the emergence of new, more violent forms of pornography (one example named is “Rape Porn“), as well as the saturation of accessibility. The saturation accessibility argument I assume is based on the fact that porn can be accessed on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices (and is therefore harder for parents to filter).

Of course people are applauding this decision made in the name of the children. Some, because its one less bit of parenting they have to do. And others, because they believe that pornography is destructive, when it comes to a child’s knowledge of sex, among other things.

But to me, it strikes me as yet another drastic over reaction, to a problem that it seems to me, could be easily nipped at the bud, with education.

Is pornography a bad influence for teens watching it? I do not know the answer to that question. But I do know that many teens have watched porn many times in there teen years (guilty 🙂 ), or participated in a sexual act, but still grew up to have good, healthy relationships. And im pretty sure that the same goes for the viewers of particularly “objectionable” forms of pornography.

One of the obvious ways to keep a child from learning sex the WRONG way (be it from porn or other real life influences), is sex education.

And if one is concerned about porn sending the wrong message when it comes to women (they are but tools to the sexual desires of men), then that can also be corrected by teaching gender equality. This should be an important lesson anyway, because though pornography puts this gender bias right in your face, it can be found in all sorts of other places in the world. Even in 2013, some women still suffer from glass ceilings and inadequate pay, in comparison to their male counterparts.

And of course, there is that little problem, that prohibition has hardly stopped the prohibited activity before, so its not going to now. Just as alcohol prohibition pushed the market to the gangsters, and drug prohibition gives the cartels and the underworld massive amounts of power, eliminating easy access to porn will not stop the young from accessing it.

In fact, I predict it will stop kids from accessing it, about as much  as outlawing downloading copyrighted content has stopped people from, downloading copyrighted content.

Like many changes based around “morals” or “protecting the children”, I do not agree with the sweeping nature of this law. It does not matter why an adult would want to access pornography, they should not have to lose access, just for the false illusion of “protecting the children”. Not, when individual steps could suffice just as well.

Sure, it is not as easy to police the ipods, iphones, ipads and other devices that are so prevalent in our lives today as it was/is personal computers.  But when home, most of these devices likely utilize a home Wifi network. Solution? Call up your ISP and ask them if they can  filter out pornographic content from being accessed on your connection. And if you pay the bill for the childs smart phone or tablet (with cell tower data access), do the same.

If the ISP or the cell carrier tell you that they can not do such a thing, then their is something to be raising hell about. And if other providers in the area DO offer such a service, giving an ultimatum to the current one might be a way to get them to change the policy. If they want your (and other concerned parents) business, then they will listen.

Now, no matter what you do (short of moving to Siberia and subsisting), you can never guarantee that your child will never come across porn. In fact, the more you vilify it (and sex itself), the more appealing the forbidden fruit becomes. Which is why education is important.

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