Post by: Lauren Moustakas
Pornography Exploits Everyone
What Kind of Industry Profits on the Exploitation of the most Vulnerable and Calls it Harmless Entertainment?
My name is Lauren Moustakas, I am a 2L at Regent University School of Law and a Law Clerk for the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law. This semester I am grateful for the opportunity to work on a project for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), an organization that works to address all forms of sexual exploitation based in Washington D.C.. Last summer, I had the opportunity to serve as a legal intern for NCOSE and I am thankful to be able to work on a project that supports their work to expose and address the connections between sex trafficking, prostituted persons, pornography, and all forms of exploitation.
Currently, I am working on two projects for NCOSE through the Center focused on pornography. One is looking to how the law addresses the harms that pornography causes to victims of child pornography when a “user” of pornography downloads and views images and videos of their sexual abuse. The second project is looking to address how a child viewer of pornography, who is exploited and harmed mentally and developmentally by the depictions of exploitation he is exposed to, can be made whole through the law. Each project, while focusing on different kind of victim, recognizes that when it comes to pornography the viewer and the person/child depicted are both exploited by the pornography industry.
The pornography industry is complicit in the exploitation of victims and users of pornography, especially young children who are exploited through pornography exposure on their websites. A simple “checkbox” allows any viewer to confirm that they are 18 or older and access any kind of exploitative pornography imaginable. Additionally, websites such as Pornhub utilizes social media such as SnapChat and Instagram, whose majority of users are under 18, targeting underage users to create clients for life.
Further, it was just recently brought to light that PornHub approved a user as “verified” who turned out to be trafficking a fifteen-year-old girl and uploaded over 58 videos of her being raped and exploited. Pornhub’s “verification” system of users who upload content to their website allowed this trafficker and others to exploit a 15-year-old girl for over a year. Countless others have been exploited in this same way, how can the pornography industry claim pornography is harmless fun that doesn’t victimize anyone?
Ultimately, pornography exploits those who are depicted and those who view the exploitation of others and fuels the demand for sex-trafficking and prostituted persons. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work on a project for an organization that is dedicated to ending exploitation of all people and upholding each persons’ inherent worth and human dignity.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.