Fighting a digital pandemic
The challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have been pervasive. It has impacted our jobs, our schools, and our ability to travel freely.
One of the hidden impacts of this virus has exacerbated another kind of pandemic already prevalent in our society: pornography use.
The average age of exposure to pornography is usually between eight and 12 years of age. In one study of young Australians (ages 15-19), 84% of males and 19% of females watched porn weekly or daily.
During COVID-19, this “porndemic” has become worse. During the pandemic height, many porn websites offered free access to premium content, with the world’s most substantial free porn website reporting increases in daily traffic of up to 24.4%.
In response, the Porn Free Movement engages with and educates people about the harms of pornography. Using multimedia to communicate contemporary scientific research, the Movement has effectively used social media channels to inform the public on a range of issues attributed to the use of pornography. Information includes how porn use can negatively alter a person’s brain, make people less satisfied in romantic relationships, and link to violent attitudes and behaviours.
Their website, pornfreemovement.com provides what may be the most extensive index of research, organisations, and support groups confronting the topic of pornography.
But the Movement isn’t just about providing information. They aim to empower people to take a social stand on this topic at a grassroots level. With the invitation to “Join the Movement,” Porn Free gathered more than 10,000 followers in its first week.
Cofounder Paul Ninnes has been delighted with the growth of the Movement. “We’re excited to support people in making a stand – for personal health, relationship health, and a better world,” Paul said.
“I would encourage everyone to spend a few minutes on our website, and please consider sharing our content on social media.”