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Porn Company up in Arms Over NZ Government's Proposed Porn Bans Designed to Protect Kids

09-16-2019
Children at a computer

ANALYSIS

The world’s largest porn provider is strongly opposing moves by the New Zealand Government to protect children from the harmful effects of pornography.  With the average age of exposure to pornography being 11, many are recognizing a need to better restrict access to sexually explicit content.  In the United States alone, nearly one third of state governments have dubbed pornography a public health crisis.  All around the world, countries are revisiting their legislative regulations to protect the youngest of viewers.

New Zealand recently acknowledged that they are reviewing laws after recognizing gaps with the proliferation of the internet.

Out of Date

New Zealand’s Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin believes the country’s laws governing pornography’s classification and broadcasting need to be updated to counter advances in technology and to help restrict access by children.

“We have to move quickly and as quickly as possible and in the most appropriate way to make sure we are protecting our children and young people,” Martin said.

Martin added, “I definitely don’t want to discount any ideas from anybody that might better protect our children and young people from what is this avalanche of pornography that they are being bombarded with currently.”

New Zealand’s Newshub obtained information sent to Martin stating the existing laws have not adapted with advances in technology.

The documentation stated, “Current classification and broadcasting legislation was developed for a pre-internet era and classification of online content, including pornography, has many challenges.”

“Gaps in the current media regulatory framework mean that New Zealand consumers are at risk. This is particularly the case for children and young people. For example, under our legislation, Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) material delivered online such as Netflix is not covered.”

Defending a Nation

Several options are being considered to make accessing explicit content more difficult in New Zealand.

  • Appropriate filtering of WiFi that is available in public areas.
  • Internet providers are making technology available that would allow parents to monitor and control children’s access.
  • Require anyone over 18 years of age to provide ID to gain access to pornography.

New Zealand is not alone in trying to address the pornography issue. The United Kingdom has also taken steps to limit access and will require an ID to verify a person’s age. The Digital Economy Act created in 2017 includes measures to prevent children from inadvertently viewing sexually explicit material.

In the United States, 16 states have passed resolutions declaring pornography a ‘public health crisis.’ The states are Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

Although the resolutions are not enforceable as laws, they do send the message that these governments consider pornography a matter of public health and support actions to control its use.

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen (R) explained, “It is an epidemic in our society, and this makes a statement that we have a problem.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Haley Halverson agrees. “We think these resolutions are really powerful, although they’re non-binding, because they raise awareness and educate the public, and hopefully can lay the groundwork to make more resources available to those people who potentially struggle with pornography.”

Pornography Controversy

New Zealand’s efforts have raised opposition by at least one major internet pornography provider. One company’s vice-president said its content and filters were within the guidelines for accessing material by adults only. He suggested that parents should be responsible for preventing their children’s access to inappropriate websites.

This is the typical response from porn companies trying to protect their market share.  Parents must remain proactive, but porn companies know that 71% of teens hide their online behavior from their parents.  Research from Covenant Eyes shows that there are higher percentages of subscriptions to porn sites in zip codes that have a greater density of young people (age 15-24).  For this reason, moms and dads are going to struggle to effectively defend their families without support.

The pornography controversy usually focuses on what is legal and who is responsible for protecting children from viewing it.  Sadly, people tend to overlook or minimize the real-life devastation brought about by exposure to porn.

The production of pornography has been a factor in such areas as human trafficking, increased physical violence against women, divorces and destruction of families, and the negative emotional and physical effects on users.

The adverse effects on society at large are also causes behind the call for bans and restrictions on pornography.

Yet pornography continues to expand its influence into new formats such as virtual reality. The industry has grown so large that its annual revenue is more than the NFL, MLB, and NBA combined.

Startling Stats

According to research by Barna Research Group and Covenant Eyes, statistics show the scope of and destruction caused by pornography:

  • Over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit lasts 6 minutes and 29 seconds.
  • There are around 42 million porn websites, which totals around 370 million pages of porn.
  • 47% of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home.
  • 94% of children will see porn by the age of 14.
  • Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300%.
  • 56% of American divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
  • In a study of the top-50 rented porn films, physical aggression occurred in 88 percent of scenes.In comparison, 48 percent of scenes portrayed verbal aggression.
  • A Cambridge University study found neural reactivity to sexually explicit cues were similar to the reactivity identified in drug studies.

Hope For The Struggling

While recent moves by lawmakers are promising, legislation is lagging behind the porn industry in protecting families. Thankfully there is a movement of over one million men have started the process of recovery through a cinematic small group study called the Conquer Series.

Sam is one of these men who lives in New Zealand and went through the Conquer Series.  He shares,

“I walked together with other guys to contend for freedom, and change started to happen in my life as a result.  I still remember on the first night when the Holy Spirit touched me and began to show me areas where I was wounded and needed to be healed.  A healing that took place during that course.  Since doing the Conquer Series, I’ve gone porn free, thinking clearer every day.  I’m clean and my wife says that I’m better company now than what I’ve ever been.”

Protecting adults and children from the harmful effects of pornography must be an ongoing effort by governments, churches, and individuals. The Conquer Series is an effective resource in the battle to free people from the grip of pornography.

Learn more about bringing healing to your community at ConquerSeries.com

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