Time porn industry was made accountable

The porn industry must be held properly to account to combat the increasingly negative effects of porn on society, leading public policy charity CARE said today.

The Bishop of Chester has secured a major debate today in the House of Lords on the effects of pornography on society and CARE said the debate was extremely timely and called on the government to reconsider its assumptions in relation to adults and porn.

The charity said evidence shows some adults can become addicted and this can lead to lower levels of satisfaction and rewards in the brain. Evidence also suggests porn addiction can lead to unemployment, stress and family breakdown.

A recent report published this year by the Relate counselling service also revealed pornography is an increasingly common topic in the counselling room.

Drawing a comparison with the support provided for problem gamblers, CARE said the government should investigate self-exclusion mechanisms to support those wanting to exclude themselves from porn.

Following reports that the EU will ban online filters to promote “free space” online, CARE also called for urgent clarity from the Prime Minister on whether any domestic legislation to protect people online would be open to a challenge by European courts.

CARE CEO Nola Leach said:

“The Bishop of Chester is right to be seeking to raise awareness of this vital issue and we need new ideas and policy responses from the Government.

“In recent years we’ve recognised the need to protect children from online pornography and now it is time to start recognising the negative effects of porn on adults too.

“Although porn addiction is not yet clinically defined, evidence clearly suggests addiction to pornography is real and has devastating consequences for satisfying and lasting relationships as well as leading to unemployment.

“Pressure has been put on the gambling industry which now provides six million each year to fund research and therapy to help problem gamblers.

“And the industry is required to provide tools such as self-exclusion to protect problem gamblers and this concept offers a potential way forward for the porn industry so those who might wish to exclude themselves from porn receive adequate support.

“Better education for adults and children over the true effects of porn consumption is also vital and we urgently need clarification from the Prime Minister over porn filters and whether any domestic legislation would be legally challenged by the EU as has been suggested.”

Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact James Mildred on 0207 227 4731 / 07581153693 or email: james.mildred@care.org.uk

The speech is expected to commence in the House of Lords at 11:30AM and concluding at 2PM today.

The Relate report mentioned above can be viewed here: 

http://www.relate.org.uk/policy-campaigns/publications/way-we-are-now-st…

The Economist reported 700million – 800million porn pages in an article entitled “Generation XXX”, September 26, 2015:

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21666614-free-pornography-ever-more-plentiful-online-right-response-involves-better-sex

Polling by CARE showed a majority supported the idea non UK/EU porn providers should be forced to verify the age of anyone accessing pornographic content:

http://www.care.org.uk/news/latest-news/poll-government-should-block-porn-streamed-non-uk-countries

CARE has campaigned for default on filters to be enshrined in law for all internet service providers with the additional safeguard of proper age verification.

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