Ashton Kutcher's Testimony On Child Trafficking Reminds Us Of The Damage Porn Can Do

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ashton Kutcher delivered an emotional and disturbing testimony today to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on modern day slavery and human sex trafficking across the globe.

Kutcher is the founder and chairman of an organization called Thorn, which builds and utilizes software that works to combat child trafficking and the online distribution of child pornography throughout the world.

This is an issue that's been somewhat widely-circulated in recent years, as more celebrities and television shows have begun to draw an increased attention to sex slavery and the role that child abuse plays in the business of human trafficking.

But there's an often overlooked issue here which desperately deserves the same negative attention and determined devotedness to its extermination—nevertheless, it does not receive it.

Pornography has been credited by both the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing Children as significantly contributing to the problem of sex trafficking.

While it's mostly considered normal to feel disgust and dismay at the notion of coercing a child into performing sexual acts on an adult (or another child, for that matter), viewing and/or participating in pornographic material is increasingly normalized by the same communities within our culture that normalize gender fluidity and abortion.

And the normalization of pornography occurs all across our daily lives, in areas we'd not expect it.

In mainstream books and movies—Fifty Shades of Grey is an obvious example—we see how soft porn has broken through the boundaries between erotica and romance novels, and exposed mostly women to a new type of pornography that had not been nearly as popular prior (although it did exist).

In various forms of sports media, it's rampant. Barstool Sports, a popular blog dedicated to commentary on sports and pop culture, recently hired a retired porn star to take on a full-time role in their most popular podcast. Her career in pornographic films is now a weekly topic on the show.

These are only two examples. And to say that pornography is an isolated problem, and in no way contributes to the perversion and exploitation of sexuality in our culture is a blatant lie.

Elizabeth Smart—the woman whose story we know all too well—recently released a video on the ways that pornography severely escalated the violence of her captivity.

See for yourself here:

Pornography does damage to hearts and minds every minute of every day.

It contributes heavily to the perversion of sex, the oppression of women, and the exploitation of children at every corner of the world.

And it is a lie perpetuated, with permission, by our American culture.

In recent years, a handful of organizations have begun to pop up which actively work to combat the grip that pornography has on society.

Fight The New Drug is just one example of an organization that's working to shed light on the close ties pornography has to the deep sufferings of human hearts, relationships, and the world as a whole.

A quick glance at Fight The New Drug's website immediately reveals these truths: studies have shown that frequent porn use contributes to depression, anxiety, stress, and social problems. Men who've been exposed to pornography report less satisfaction in relationships: they're less affectionate and desire minimal emotional involvement. And as a whole, pornography contributes to lesser empathy with victims of sexual assault, a negative attitude toward women, and increased behavioral aggression across the board. All of this is just a fraction of the negative results of frequent porn use.

We were made for more than this. Porn is not a recreational activity; it is a distortion of love that continues to erode our ability to connect with one another and with God from the inside, out.

If we want to combat modern day slavery, quitting porn is a good place to start.

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