Washington, DC – Former New York Congressman and notorious pornography and sex addict Anthony Weiner today was sentenced to 21 months in prison for child sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl. Weiner allegedly sent his victim pornographic videos and requested nude photos. He also asked the girl for sexual performance videos. National Center on Sexual Exploitation Senior Vice President and Executive Director Dawn Hawkins released the following statement:
“This is not just a ‘sexting’ scandal or a punch line of a joke at a cocktail party. It’s predatory sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl. We need to stop trivializing the sexual objectification and the use of children,” said Hawkins.
She added, “This is a teaching moment for the public about the dangers of escalation and compulsive pornography use. Anthony Weiner is a poster-child for the behavioral effects of pornography consumption.”
Research suggests a connection between pornography use and subsequent sexting. According to survey conducted in five European countries, viewing Internet pornography is significantly associated with an increased probability of having sent sexual images and messages (sexting) among boys.
Sexting is a social behavior that breeds violence, incites cyber bullying, promotes sexual abuse, correlates with pornography, and may beget substance abuse, addictive behavior, emotional trauma, and suicidal thoughts or actions. For example, one study of adolescents and college students revealed a significant relationship between cyber-victimization and depression in both groups.
For more information on the harms of pornography, view our research summary here.