Pornography more extreme, deviant and violent – Ministry of Health


New Zealand’s Ministry of Health wants more research into pornography because it has become “more extreme, deviant and violent over the last two decades.”

The ministry was responding to a request from the Government and Administration Select Committee for a written submission on a petition it is considering which was presented in June 2017 by Family First’s Bob McCoskrie.

The petition containing 22,334 signatures requests “that an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.”

The Ministry has now submitted a research proposal for the consideration of the cross-government Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Board.

The Ministry’s Service Commission acting director, Keriana Brooking, says it wants to understand the scope and amount of pornography usage by New Zealanders, as well as the issues encountered by schools, young people and health providers.

In its submission, the Ministry states that violence towards women and girls is depicted in 80% of online content.

“This has a variety of harmful impacts on children and young people’s sexual expectations, attitudes and behaviour.

“European research showed an association between regular viewing of pornography and initiation of sexual violence.”

Australian gender and violence research Associate Professor, Michael Flood, has been recently been quoted as saying If we’re genuinely concerned about sexual harassment and abuse, whether at work or on campus or in school, then we have to address pornography.”

The ministry in its submission, however, pointed out that Flood has also said that simplistic deterministic claims about the effects of viewing pornography were unhelpful.

He said the effect varies depending on the amount and nature of pornography used, and characteristics of the viewer.

Flood said a broader focus on social and public health effects of pornography would be more useful.


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