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What is pornography damage?

People often say things like, "Watching and enjoying pornography is a personal hobby or preference, so there's nothing wrong with it," or, "It may be morally problematic, but those morals are already outdated, and there are no victims..." But is that really the case?

Pornographic material is all around us: hanging advertisements in trains, fliers and billboards advertising sex services on the streets, articles about sex services in sports newspapers read on the train, pornographic advertisements on the Internet, emails from sex service providers, and pornographic magazines piled up in convenience stores.

Not only adults but also children are exposed to this environment. Much of this pornography includes images of girls in risqué swimsuits and cartoons that sexualize young girls.

Even in those that feature adult women, there are countless works in which the women depicted are subjected to acts that are clearly considered abusive, or that depict sexual crimes such as molestation and rape for entertainment purposes.

When reading the news in newspapers or on the Internet, pornography-related crimes are often reported. Upskirt photography, the ongoing production and sale of child pornography, sexual crimes in which the influence of pornography is clearly evident, etc. Recently, the term " revenge porn " has become more common. This refers to the act of an ex-lover or ex-husband uploading sexual photos or videos of their ex-lover to the Internet without permission or distributing them to their workplace or family, in revenge. In Japan, one man who committed this act as part of a stalking stunt ended up murdering his ex-lover.

Even though it may not be reported in the media, women and children may be forced to watch pornography or engage in acts depicted in pornography at work, at home, at school and in other settings.

In this way, sexual harm occurring through the production, distribution, sale, consumption, and social existence of pornography is called "pornography harm." This type of sexual harm and sexual violence is much more widespread and profound than generally thought.

Five types of pornography abuse

Pornography causes various sexual harms through its production, distribution, consumption, and social dissemination. Sometimes, its very existence continues to violate rights. We have categorized the harms into five types: "production harm," "distribution harm," "consumption harm," "social harm," and "existence harm."


● Production damage

For example, in the process of producing commercial pornography, people may be forced to engage in acts that violate their contracts or consent, be subjected to violent and dangerous filming, be secretly filmed nude or during sexual acts, or be subjected to sexual violence and have these acts filmed (forced filming).

● Distribution damage

For example, the aforementioned produced materials may be distributed, sexual photos or videos taken of couples may be spread on the Internet against their will, and sexual photos or composite images may be distributed for the purpose of harassment or retaliation.

● Consumer damage

For example, people may be forced to watch pornography against their will at home or work, or be forced to engage in pornographic acts, or be subjected to sexual violence such as molestation or rape by people influenced by pornography.

Social damage

For example, people may feel distressed when they unexpectedly come across pornographic material on a train or elsewhere (environmental pornography damage), and the prevalence of pornography may violate women's dignity, maintain and reinforce the view that women are merely sexual objects to be consumed, and lower women's social status.

● Existential damage

For example, the victim may have the material they create retained in their possession and used for personal enjoyment, or have nude photographs or videos of themselves used for blackmail or harassment.

Below we take a more detailed look at each of these damages.

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