(Presentation at Houston human trafficking conference, Feb. 2011)
By Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media Free the Captives: Houston Human Trafficking Conference February 26, 2011
I did not come here today to tell you, “If we would just get rid of all hardcore adult pornography, prostitution will no longer be a problem.” Prostitution long predated photography and would continue even if got rid of all modern day pornography.
What I did come to say is that there is a very substantial evidence to support the assertion that the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography is contributing to the demand for prostitution and thus for women and children trafficked into prostitution.
I am also here to say that it is counterproductive (foolish) for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to pour endless resources into combating sexual trafficking while totally ignoring the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography.
Before getting to the heart of my presentation, I would point out that there is a close relationship between hardcore adult pornography and prostitution. I like to say that hardcore adult pornography and prostitution are “sister industries.”
As the Supreme Court observed in a 1973 obscenity case(Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 20): “‘Pornography’ derives from the Greek (porne, harlot, and graphos, writing). The word now means ‘1: a description of prostitutes or prostitution...’ Webster’s Third International Dictionary ... [Unabridged 1969].”
I would add that under the Texas prostitution laws, a person commits a crime if she or he (1) knowingly engages in sexual conduct for a fee, or (2) solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for a fee, or (3) finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes. As I read the law, if hardcore pornographers make a production in Texas, both the pornographers and those who perform in it would all violate the Texas prostitution laws.
In April 2002, the headline on the front cover of Adult Video News, a “trade paper” for U.S. based hardcore adult pornographers, read “Porn Star Prostitutes.” A description of the article in the Table of Contents read in part: “In between porn shoots, some adult stars are racking up big bucks on the side as hookers...” Personally, I don’t see any difference between selling sex (pimping women) to pornographers and selling sex (pimping women) to johns.
More recently, two high profile married celebrities, golfer Tiger Woods and TV actor Charlie Sheen, generated a good deal of negative publicity for themselves after seeking out the personal companionship of “porn stars.”
If the U.S. Supreme Court one day foolishly holds that prostitution laws cannot be enforced against those involved in the production of hardcore adult pornography unless the video or photos are later found obscene, then pimps, prostitutes and johns would all be well advised to ensure that the sexual conduct is always videotaped or photographed.
Men addicted to hardcore adult pornography ‘act out’ with prostitutes
Years ago I was invited to be a guest on a national cable TV program to debate the pornography issue. I took a copy of Dr. Victor B. Cline’s monograph, Effects of Pornography on Adults & Children, to read during the limo ride to the studio. I had read parts of it but not all of it. As I quickly read the entire monograph that day, I realized how accurately it described my own experience with pornography. I still remember being emotionally shaken by the time I arrived at the studio.
That car ride prompted me to ask Dr. Cline’s permission to publish his monograph in booklet form, which is available in PDF format at www.moralityinmedia.org (Pornography Effects). This morning, I would like to read brief excerpts from that portion of Dr. Cline’s monograph that describe addiction to pornography:
As a clinical psychologist, I have treated…approximately 350 sex addicts, sex offenders, or other individuals (96% male) with sexual illnesses...With several exceptions, pornography has been a major or minor contributor or facilitator in the acquisition of their deviation or sexual addiction…
FIRST PHASE – ADDICTION
The first change that happened was an addiction-effect. The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for more and still more. The material seemed to provide a very powerful