Internet porn is damaging our kids and restrictions are needed, but what about their exposure to music? Viewing pornographic images online when you are only ten or eleven, or even younger in some cases, can twist the attitude of a young person to sex for the rest of their lives.
Boys exposed to this stuff, can turn into the men who carry out the assaults and rapes we read about everyday. Within the home, they can often be the ones guilty of domestic abuse, or even worse, if there are children in the family. Girls become the unwitting victims of this exposure, firstly by being pressed into viewing it by the boys they are so eager to please and then as either the girlfriend, or wife of a man with all the wrong attitudes when it comes to women and sex.
Sadly, it’s already be too late for many of the young people who have grown-up with such easy access to pornography and we can only hope that they have not suffered long term damage, or that they are helped in the future if problems arise. The controls on access to Internet pornography, that are being talked about, will almost certainly take time to be implemented and will have only limited effect, but at least it’s a start.
What worries me, is that whilst this attempt to deal with the tide of visually unacceptable material is being made, we are ignoring what our young people can listen to. In its own way, this aural pornography is nearly as bad when it comes to the long term effects it can have on the attitudes of young people to sex. How many of today’s modern pop songs have more than one version available on the Internet? One version will be suitable for broadcasting by the radio stations that promote the music and bring in the money. However, the other version, always listed with the tell-tale ‘explicit’ marking, is just as available to underage young people via the Internet.
One of the most striking things about any young person these days, is the photographic like memory they have for the lyrics of the songs they like. Given that many of these songs are almost unintelligible when listened to and unlikely to have readily available written lyrics, it’s likely that the kids have listened to them over and over again. it’s also more than likely that the version listened to will be the one flagged ‘explicit’. It therefore follows that these kids are potentially being exposed to exactly the same negative and destructive attitudes to sex and women, as those portrayed in pornographic images.
If you don’t believe me, try listening carefully to a song like Starships by Nicki Minaj. Even worse than the use of every sexual swear word imaginable and in the context of some form of sexually activity, is that many of them are sung, with great enthusiasm, by young woman. So, having seen woman subjected to all forms of sexual activity, in the pornography imagery that is so readily available on the Internet, our young people are also able to listen to young women endorsing this treatment via their favourite music.
Is it too late to address such issues, given the financial implications and the powerful lobby the music industry can present and the fact that much of the worst stuff originates in the USA? Put another way, if there were significant tax revenues to be gained from pornography, in the same way as there are from gambling, drinking and even payday loan companies, would the government be as keen to clamp down on Internet pornography as they now seem to be?