Does Online Porn Use Harm the Environment?

We know it’s not every day that you see a headline like that and take it seriously. Many might look at that and be tempted to immediately discount it as “fake news.” However, according to a newly released study from The Shift Project, online porn use is generating greenhouse gas emissions–which the article asserts harms the environment. The amount of emissions generated by porn is at the same rate as all of France’s households combined, according to the study.

Bar graph from Climate Crisis: The Unsustainable Use of Online Video” studyThat’s right, as the informational video above breaks down the study in easy-to-understand terms, the data reveals that online video streaming accounts for 80% of the world’s data traffic. Then the study itself tells us that “pornographic videos make up 27% of all online video traffic in the world. Taken alone, in 2018 they generated more than 80 MtCO2*” (Efoui-Hess, 2019).

For decades the National Center on Sexual Exploitation–along with others such as Culture Reframed and Your Brain on Porn–have been talking about the numerous harms inherent to pornography. We know that porn is correlated with certain areas of your brain shrinking. It is connected to erectile dysfunction and other problems related to sexual function. Porn is responsible for the relationship problems of many couples, including the heartache and betrayal trauma experienced by those whose partners use it. And porn contributes to the overall decay of society by objectifying people, perpetuating rape culture, and je0pardizing the safety of women. (If you need a refresher on the research and data that confirms all of these harms, we’ve got you covered.)

So, in light of this new research, is it possible that we can now add “harms the environment” as yet another strike against pornography on its long and growing list of destructive effects?

pie chart from Climate Crisis: The Unsustainable Use of Online Video” studyWith so many reasons to dump pornography, it’s no wonder more and more people are doing just that. All around the world people are joining groups like NoFap and Fight The New Drug in an effort to walk away from pornography. Many state legislatures in the United States have declared pornography to be a public health crisis, thereby raising awareness of the public health harms of pornography. In the United Kingdom, the harmful effects porn has on kids is being taken so seriously that a new law was passed earlier this year to put age-restrictions on porn websites. Organizations all over the world are taking action by finding ways to help kids be more resilient as they grow up in a pornified culture.

There’s never been a better time or so many research-backed reasons to say no to porn. 

If you want to learn more about the public health harms of pornography, click here. You can also download a free digital copy of “The Public Health Harms of Pornography” (hard copies also available for purchase here).

To find a collection of research about porn and the ways it connects to and fuels other forms of sexual exploitation, visit pornharmsresearch.com.

For resources on helping kids become more resilient, visit our Parent Resources page. There you will find helpful articles, internet safety tips, lists of external resources, and so much more. An easy place to start is by downloading the free digital version of “Talk Today, Safer Tomorrow: 10 Easy Conversation Starters.”

 

*MtCO2= million tonnes of carbon emissions

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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