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Should pornography be banned for people under 18? Show more Show less
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Yes, porn is harmful and misleading and should be banned for minors Show more Show less

Pornography is desensitizing and potentially addictive. People under the age of 18 are not capable of making adult decisions regarding the content they consume and should be protected from harmful images.
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Children can experience emotional distress because of pornography

Children and adolescents may be shocked or disturbed by premature or inadvertent encounters with sexually explicit material. Pornography should be banned for under 18 to prevent any possible emotional distress.

The Argument

Pornography may cause emotional and psychological harm in children. Suppose children view it at an age or developmental level where they are unaware of, inexperienced in, or uninterested in sexual activities. In that case, they may feel shocked and disturbed.[1] On the Internet, children may also encounter pornography inadvertently. Several studies support this argument. In a US survey, 10% of young people (aged between 10 and 17) described themselves as “very or extremely upset” by unwanted exposure to pornography. Similarly, in an Australian survey, 53% of young people (aged between 11 and 17) had experienced something on the Internet they thought was “offensive” or “disgusting.” Pornography dominated the list of content reported. The young people used the adjectives “sick,” “shocked,” “embarrassed,” “repulsed,” and “upset” to describe their feelings towards pornography.[2] Children are not capable of understanding whether their exposure to pornography would be premature or not. Considering the widespread porn websites on the Internet, they may also experience inadvertent exposure to porn. Pornography should be banned for under 18 to avoid any possible distress.

Counter arguments

Children do not experience emotional distress because of pornography. By contrast, pornography can indeed help children relieve emotional distress. During puberty, children face a variety of struggles, including the age-old pressures to fit in, desire to feel loved, yearning for independence, and need to find themself. Therefore, pornography can help relieve stress and serve as a distraction from real life. In other words, pornography can be an outlet for grappling with the experience of growing up and a changing body.[3] A scientific study supports this counter-argument. In their experiment, the researchers found that looking at sexually explicit pictures decreases cortisol levels and hence stress. Besides, men performed 50% better on a math test after they looked at such sexual pictures.[4] Overall, pornography can reduce the stress response in the brain and help children deal with stress better.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/car.1092
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1440783307073934
  3. https://fightthenewdrug.org/if-youre-stressed-bored-or-lonely-is-porn-a-healthy-outlet-for-relief/
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236193328_The_Effect_of_a_Primary_Sexual_Reward_Manipulation_on_Cortisol_Responses_to_Psychosocial_Stress_in_Men
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 01:21 UTC

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