Image of a Danish parliament
July 6, 2020

ICOSE Raises Awareness of Pornography’s Harm in Schools to the Danish Parliament’s Children and Education Committee

In June 2020, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at NCOSE and Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) Haley McNamara submitted a letter to the Danish Parliament’s Children and Education Committee. This letter accompanied and supported the testimony of Heidi Als Ringheim from Media Health for Children and Young People and urged Denmark schools to both recognize the harms of pornography and take action against it by implementing WiFi and device filters on a large scale to protect children and create a safe environment for learning.

“We assert that issues like child sex trafficking or child-on-child harmful sexual behavior do not exist in a vacuum but are actually reinforced by other forms of exploitation including sexual violence, prostitution, and pornography. With this central thesis, we have worked with international governing leaders as well as global corporations to create and improve policies as needed,” wrote McNamara.

Her call to action was backed by detailed research describing the neurological, developmental, and social harms that are the result of pornography.

Research shows that pornography has been linked to compulsive use, escalation, desensitization, as well as negative impacts on brain structure and function.

Developmentally, pornography can lead to disordered sexual development; in other words, the younger the individual is exposed to pornography, the higher their current consumption of pornography is, as well as a heightened desire to integrate pornography into sexual activity. Viewing pornography has also been linked with sexual aggression, and perhaps most troubling, a greater likelihood for child on child harmful sexual behavior.

Moreover, pornography presents a serious social harm by normalizing the idea that women are sex objects, therefore harming gender equality.

ICOSE is encouraged by the global collaboration that enabled them to assist in fighting against the harms of pornography and encourages all educational governing bodies to analyze these issues and how they can better safeguard children.

For more information on the Media Health for Children and Young People and the work that they do, please visit:

For information on ICOSE director Haley McNamara and the issues at the forefront of ICOSE’s agenda, please visit:

About the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE)

Utilizing cutting edge tactics for private and public policy advocacy and building on a decade of coalition-building experience, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) works to bolster the global abolitionist movement.

Further Reading