“Iceland’s move has been welcomed by Dr Gail Dines, a professor of sociology at Wheelock College in Boston and the author of Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality. “Of course internet porn is damaging,” she said. “We have years of empirical evidence. It’s like global warming – you will always find some global warming deniers out there who can quote some little piece of research they have found somewhere, some science junk, but the consensus is there.”
“In sexual addiction treatment, clinicians help clients carefully self-define the sexual behaviors that do not compromise or destroy their meaningful personal values, life circumstances, and relationships. Clients then commit in a written sexual sobriety contract to only engage in sexual behaviors that are permitted within the bounds of that predetermined pact. As long as the client’s behavior remains within his or her concretely and mutually defined boundaries, that individual is sexually sober. (I have written extensively about “boundary plans” in a previous blog) But how can we help sex addicts deal in healthy ways with the people, places, and things that trigger them to act out? After all, every time they leave the treatment setting the real world awaits-with all the same temptations as ever (and, thanks to the ever-expanding Internet, probably a few new ones).”
“There is a strong consensus building in Iceland. We have so many experts from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind this, that this has become much broader than party politics,” Halla Gunnarsdottir, a political adviser to Mr Jonasson told theDaily Mail.
“At the moment, we are looking at the best technical ways to achieve this. But surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet.”
The proposed control over online access, that mirrors attempt in dictatorships such as China to restrict the internet, is justified as a defence of vulnerable women and children.
“Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried,” said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. “It is looking a pornography from a new position – from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights.”
“Recent study confirms what therapists already know–the Internet and other new technologies have been spurring an increase in pornography use. A University of Sydney study has shown an increase in porn use as the technologies are exploding access.
Preliminary results are discussed on the University of Sydney website. Nearly 800 people came forward to discuss their pornography addiction for an extensive online study facilitated by researchers at the University of Sydney. The study revealed that 43 percent of people surveyed began watching porn from the young ages of 11 to 13 years old.
The study also revealed an increase in pornography use in both young adults and adults. Among participants, 47 percent acknowledged watching pornography for between 30 minutes and three hours every day, and over half had de-facto partners or were married. The study revealed that in addition to the damage to friendships and romantic relationships, negative consequences included loss of jobs and legal problems.
“The easy access to pornography on the Internet and other devices makes resisting the urge more difficult, and appears to be increasing pornography addiction. There are people who are now porn addicts who arguably wouldn’t have gotten there without the new technologies,” says San Francisco psychotherapist Michael Halyard, MFT.
“Pornography is not only on the Internet, it’s now available on smart phones like the iPhone and Android, computer tablets like the iPad and Kindle Fire, and Internet television like Apple TV and Roku. There are apps for the smart phones and tablets, and special channels for Internet television,” adds Halyard.
Pornography addiction is defined as a psychological dependence on pornography, characterized by compulsive reading, viewing and obsessing about pornography to the detriment of a person’s well being and affecting all areas of their life. As with all addictions, key to its addictive quality is that the behavior continues despite ever growing negative consequences and a desire to stop. Pornography addiction is also a form of sex addiction, and can often co-occur with other compulsive sexual behavior.”
“Never before has girlhood been under such a sustained assault – from ads, alcohol marketing, girls’ magazines, sexually explicit TV programmes and the hard pornography that is regularly accessed in so many teenager’s bedrooms,” says the psychologist Steve Biddulph, currently touring the country to promote a book called Raising Girls.
It is a follow-up to his best-seller Raising Boys – and they are under pressure too, being led to believe that girls will look and behave like porn stars. Our children are becoming victims of pornification.
“It is usually girls who are on the receiving end of some pretty degrading stuff,” says Claire Perry MP, who has just been appointed David Cameron’s special adviser on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. “We’ve got young girls being asked to write their names on their boobs and send pictures. Parents would be really shocked to know this is happening in pretty much every school in the country. Our children are growing up in a very sexualised world.”
What is the cause of all this? We need more research, the experts say. But to a dismayed parent, it seems like the horrific result of a massive experiment. Thanks to the internet, our boys and girls are the first children to grow up with free, round-the-clock access to hardcore pornography. Porn has become part of the adult mainstream, colouring everything from advertising to best-selling books like Fifty Shades of Grey. Of course our children are affected.”