US Capitol Building
January 23, 2018

Educating Congress on the Connection Between Pornography and Sexual Harassment

National Center on Sexual Exploitation staff have been making rounds on Capitol Hill, visiting with both members of Congress and senators, to educate elected officials and their staff about the connection between pornography consumption and sexual harassment, as well as other forms of sexual exploitation.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and the formation of the #MeToo movement, lawmakers and their staff became more acutely aware of issues regarding sexual misconduct in the Halls of Congress.  As a result, efforts have been made both in the House and Senate to formulate sexual harassment training to protect both members and their staff from future instances of sexual misconduct.

Haley Halverson and Lisa Thompson in the Hart Senate Office Building
Haley Halverson and Lisa Thompson in the Hart Senate Office Building

Exposing the Connections

Our organization believes that such any training on sexual harassment would be incomplete without a discussion of the connection between pornography consumption and sexual harassment, violence, and assault. For example, elected officials and staff should know:

  • Pornography Teaches that Women Enjoy Sexual Violence: Analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos (those bought and rented most often) found that 88% of scenes contained physical violence, and 49% contained verbal aggression. Eighty-seven percent of aggressive acts were perpetrated against women, and 95% of their responses were either neutral or expressions of pleasure.
  • Pornography Is Linked to Increased Sexual Violence: A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike.

Influencing Lawmakers

In one of several fruitful meetings with different House and Senate offices, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her staff engaged in a discussion with two of our VPs, Haley Halverson and Lisa Thompson, not only about the harms of pornography, but also about the dangers of sex trafficking on websites like Backpage.

You can learn more about the harms of pornography consumption here.

Katherine Blakeman

Katherine Blakeman

Katherine Blakeman is a former employee of NCOSE where she worked to foster a community of people who want to restore human dignity and end sexual exploitation through traditional press outreach, digital media, and email marketing. She has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including LifeSiteNews, NewsBusters, American Family News, EWTN Radio, Relevant Radio, Cosmo, Elle, Deseret News, the Daily Signal, the Daily Caller, NPR, HLN, and Fox News. She has been featured on Matt Fradd’s Love People, Use Things podcast, as well as the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s radio show Family Policy Matters. 

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