The Pandemic and Pornography
In an effort to get me out of the house growing up, my dad would often proclaim “Son, an idle mind is the devil’s playground.” This axiom is proving true during the Covid-19 pandemic in a big way. While pornography may not be making national headlines or inflicting physical death, its rise in prevalence during the worldwide shutdown is proving highly destructive to people all around the world.
Providers and distributors of pornography have attempted to seize upon this opportunity to pump up profits and increase viewership during our period of self-isolation and quarantine. As people are alone, bored and inert, the odds of turning to pornography to fill the void are becoming increasingly high. Pornography companies have made it easier and even more accessible to cultivate this addiction. For example, Pornhub, the largest Internet porn provider, announced it was offering free access to its site along with member privileges to people in Italy, one of the nations most affected by the virus.
As a result of this action, which has also now been extended to both France and Spain, pornography viewership in those countries increased by an average of 50 percent. On March 17, worldwide pornography internet traffic was up 26.4 percent. Pornhub declared that these statistics reflected an overall rise in “happiness and distraction” in a period of tragedy and sadness. Is it true that pornography provides joy and a harmless escape from the broken world? Not exactly.
Recovering addicts sing a different tune, with some relapsing after just three weeks of quarantine and others barely avoiding the urge to view pornography again. Why would people fight so hard to avoid going back? It is because pornography is an addiction that is devastatingly harmful to the mental health and emotional and spiritual well-being of millions, not to mention marriages and families.
Not only have studies proven its detrimental effect on mental health and high addiction rate (comparable to that of crack cocaine), pornography sites have also habitually emboldened perpetrators of human trafficking, sexual abuse and rape. For example, images of a 15-year-old who went missing in Florida for over a year were spotted on Pornhub and other similar websites. While Pornhub touts a proven verification process for ensuring trafficked girls are not appearing in videos on the site, the case in Florida shows this process to be lacking.
This is just one of many examples of pornography providers being complicit in crimes of human trafficking and the denigrating of human dignity. Pornhub may claim they are providing “no strings attached” happiness, but often that happiness is both dangerous to the user’s mental health and comes at the expense and objectification of another human being created in the image of God.
Many major publicly traded companies in the United States facilitate sexual exploitation. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of twelve companies, including Amazon, Google, and Netflix, that actively support and profit from pornography addiction and human trafficking.
At Beacon Wealth Consultants, we have a zero tolerance policy prohibiting investing in companies that profit from pornography. Our LightPoint portfolios seek to invest only in corporations that are making a positive difference in the world. These are what we affectionately call “Shining Light Companies”. These exemplary companies are actively upholding human dignity and promoting human flourishing.
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