Sex Before Kissing: How 15-Year-Old Girls Are Dealing With Porn-Addicted Boys. 1/4/2016

Published by FIGHTTHENEWDRUG

“[I want] better education regarding sex for both boys and girls
[and] information about pornography, and the way it influences harmful
sexual practices.”

These are the words of Lucy, aged 15, one of 600 young Australian women and girls who took part in a just-released survey
commissioned by Plan Australia and Our Watch. The survey, conducted by
Ipsos, gathered responses from the girls and young women aged 15-19 in
all states and territories.

In the survey report, entitled Don’t send me that pic,
participants reported that online sexual abuse and harassment were
becoming a normal part of their everyday interactions. And while the
behavior seemed so common, more than 80% said it was unacceptable for
boyfriends to request naked images.

Sexual bullying and harassment are part of daily life for many girls
growing up as a part of this digital generation. Young girls are
speaking out more and more about how these practices have links with
pornography—because it’s directly affecting them.

Pornography is molding and conditioning the sexual behaviors and
attitudes of boys, and girls are being left without the resources to
deal with these porn-saturated boys.

If there are still any questions about whether porn has an impact on
young people’s sexual attitudes and behaviors, perhaps it’s time to
listen to young people themselves. Girls and young women describe boys
pressuring them to provide acts inspired by the porn they consume
routinely. Girls tell of being expected to put up with things they don’t
enjoy.

Some see sex only in terms of performance, where what counts
most is the boy enjoying it. I asked a 15-year-old about her first
sexual experience. She replied: “I think my body looked OK. He seemed to
enjoy it.” Many girls seem cut off from their own sense of pleasure or
intimacy. The main marker of a “good” sexual encounter is only if he enjoyed
it. Girls and young women are under a lot of pressure to give boys and
men what they want, to become a real life embodiment of what the boys
have watched in porn, adopting exaggerated roles and behaviors and
providing their bodies as mere sex aids. Growing up in today’s porn
culture, girls quickly learn that they are service stations for male
gratification and pleasure.

When asked, “How do you know a guy likes you?,” an 8th grade
girl replied: “He still wants to talk to you after you [give him oral
sex].” A male high school student said to a girl: “If you [give me oral
sex] I’ll give you a kiss.” Girls are expected to provide sex acts for
tokens of affection, and are coached through it by porn-taught boys. A
15-year-old girl said she didn’t enjoy sex at all, but that getting it
out of the way quickly was the only way her boyfriend would stop
pressuring her and watch a movie.

7th grade girls are increasingly seeking help on what to do about requests for naked images. Receiving texts like “send me a picture of your tits” is an almost daily occurrence for many young girls. The girl asks: “How do I say no without hurting his feelings?”

As the Plan Australia/Our Watch report found, girls are tired of
being pressured for images they don’t want to send, but they seem
resigned to send them anyways because of how normal the practice has
become. Boys then typically use the images as a form of currency, to
swap and share with their friends. Often times boys will use the
revealing pics to humiliate girls publicly if there is a bad break up.

7th grade girls are asking questions about bondage and S&M. Many of them have seen 50 Shades of Grey, and
wonder if a boy wants to hit me, tie me up and stalk me, does that mean
he loves me? Girls are tolerating demeaning and disrespectful
behaviors, and thereby internalizing pornography’s messages about their
submissive role.

Girls describe being groped in the school yard, and being routinely
sexually harassed at school or on the school bus on the way home. They
are saying that boys act like they are entitled to girls’ bodies, like
girls are only there to pleasure them. It is partially true what
defenders of porn often say, porn does provide sex education—but not in
the way they think. It teaches middle school boys that women and girls
are there for his pleasure and that they are always up for sex. To them,
no just means persuade me.

Girls describe being ranked at school on their bodies, and are
sometimes compared to the bodies of porn stars. They know they can’t
compete, but that doesn’t stop them from thinking that they have to.
Requests for genital surgery have tripled in a little over a decade among
young women aged 15-24. Girls who don’t undergo porn-inspired waxing
are often considered ugly, dirty, or gross by boys, as well as by other
girls.

Some girls suffer physical injury from porn-inspired sexual acts,
including anal sex. The director of a domestic violence centre on the
Gold Coast wrote to Collective Shout about the increase in porn-related injuries to girls aged 14 and up, from acts including torture:

“In the past few years we have had a huge increase in
intimate partner rape of women from 14 to 80+. The biggest common
denominator is consumption of porn by the offender. With offenders not
able to differentiate between fantasy and reality, believing women are
‘up for it’ 24/7, ascribing to the myth that ‘no means yes and yes means
anal,’ oblivious to injuries caused and never ever considering consent.
We have seen a huge increase in deprivation of liberty, physical
injuries, torture, drugging, filming and sharing footage without
consent.”

The Australian Psychological Society estimates
that adolescent boys are responsible for around 20% of rapes of adult
women and between 30% and 50% of all reported sexual assaults of
children. Just last week, Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs argued
that online pornography is turning children into copycat sexual
predators, acting out on other children what they are seeing in porn.

A 2012 review of research on “The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents” found
that adolescent consumption of internet porn was linked to attitudinal
changes, including acceptance of male dominance and female submission as
the primary sexual paradigm, with women viewed as “sexual playthings
eager to fulfill male sexual desires.” The authors found that
“adolescents who are intentionally exposed to violent sexually explicit
material were six times more likely to be sexually aggressive than those
who were not exposed.”

The proliferation and globalization of hypersexualized imagery and
pornographic themes makes healthy sexual exploration almost impossible.
Sexual conquest and domination are untempered by the bounds of respect,
intimacy and authentic human connection. Young people are not learning
about intimacy, friendship and love, but about cruelty and humiliation.
As a recent study found:

“Online mainstream pornography overwhelmingly centered on
acts of violence and degradation toward women, the sexual behaviors
exemplified in pornography skew away from intimacy and tenderness and
typify patriarchal constructions of masculinity and femininity.”

It is intimacy and tenderness that so many girls and young women say
they are looking for. But how will young women find these sensual,
slow-burn experiences in men indoctrinated by pornography? Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says
of young men: “They don’t know the language of face to face contact …
Constant arousal, change, novelty excitement makes them out of sync with
slow developing relationships – relationships which build slowly.”

Most importantly, it’s young people themselves demanding change. Josie, 18, is quoted in the Plan Australia/Our Watch report:

“We need some sort of crack down on the violent
pornography that is currently accessible to boys and men. This violent
pornography should be illegal to make or view in Australia as we clearly
have a problem with violence and boys are watching a lot of pornography
which can be very violent … This is influencing men’s attitude towards
women and what they think is acceptable. Violent pornography is
infiltrating Australian relationships.”

Girls like Lucy and Josie deserve our response. It is wrong to leave
sexual formation in the hands of the global sex industry. We need to do
more to help young people stand up against warped notions of sexuality
conveyed in pornography.

 

Fight the New Drug is all about pro-love and pro-healthy sexuality. That is why we are anti-porn. Porn is full of ideals
and beliefs that are completely opposite of what real relationships,
real sex, and real love are like. Healthy relationships are built on
equality, honesty, respect, and love. But in porn, it’s the reverse;
interactions are based on domination, disrespect, abuse, violence, and
detachment. Our generation is the first
to deal with the issue of pornography to this intensity and scale. And,
as we’ve seen with today’s society,  if we don’t take a stand, the
problem is only going to get worse and worse. By being informed and
understanding porn’s harmful effects, we can make a much needed change
to our perceptions about love, sex, and relationships.