In this presentation from Culture Reframed’s recent virtual event, “Pornography and Prostitution: Connecting the Dots,” Culture Reframed Founder & President Dr. Gail Dines explores the ties between pornography and prostitution and breaks down how hypersexualized culture grooms young people into porn.
With the advent of the internet, pornography has become more accessible, affordable, and anonymous. From both behind the screen of production to habitual viewership, the pipeline to porn further compounds harm for everyone involved. Borrowing from the political economy concept of “value chains,” Dr. Dines elaborates on what she dubs the “harm chain” of the commercial sex industry: “The idea of a value chain is that value is added at each stage, from production through to consumption. But when we talk about the porn industry, harm chain is what we should be using because each stage actually causes more harm to women and children. It doesn’t add value — it causes harm.”
With traffic to major porn sites booming, the internet has become the primary vehicle for porn — the vast majority of which is free, violent, and based on women’s abuse and degradation. For both men and women, vulnerability to porn and prostitution begins with hypersexualized media that glamorizes and legitimizes pornography.
In her session, Dr. Dines said, “I want to focus specifically on how a hypersexualized culture is a grooming tool. And the reason for that is today, we live in an image-based culture, and young girls who are looking around to get messages [about] what it means to be female are inundated with hypersexualized, pornified images.” The result is a public health crisis with significant impacts on the well-being of young people. Watch the full video here.