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Porn Age-Verification Laws Are Necessary
When it comes to kids we should err on the side of conservatism.
In other words, if someone wishes to change established practices then the onus isn’t on us to defend the past, but it’s on them to produce strong scientific evidence to contradict it.
A big area where this comes into focus is… porn.
Over the last half-century, we’ve been running a global experiment on pornography’s effect on children.
The average age for a kid to first be exposed to porn is now 12 years old.
This isn’t your Grandfather’s nudity magazine.
The Left has largely argued porn is educational, liberating, and healthy, but studies and good ol’ common sense indicate that a 12-year-old watching grown adults engage in gang b*ngs isn’t good for their mental health.
Think about it…
Porn gives you a massive dopamine boost, which reinforces a sexual desire to see other people have sex.
According to a 2009 study, the average teenager spent about 2 hours a week browsing pornography. As one becomes desensitized to heteronormativity then to get a similar high one seeks out evermore exotic erotism.
For example, the #1 porn site in the world said its two most common search terms for 2022 were “lesbian” and “hentai,” which some common hentai tropes include depictions of “underage characters, incestuous relationships, non-consensual sex acts, and extreme fetishes.”
And just think about how over time innovation will only make porn more realistic and accessible. Should a minor via AR and/or VR be able to easily step into a BDSM sex scene that could feel indistinguishable from reality?
If the only barrier to entry is “click here if you’re 18” then that’s effectively no barrier at all.
My view is that porn is just as bad if not worse than alcohol so if you have to prove you’re 21 years old to consume it then it only makes sense you should have to at least prove you’re 18 years old to consume porn.
South Korea requires users to verify they’re 19 years old using their national ID number in order to access pornography websites. According to a 2019 report by the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC), in the first year after their law was implemented, the number of underage visitors to pornography sites decreased by more than 70%.
For the record, bans and walls reduce traffic. It’s absurd to argue against them simply because they don’t stop it 100%. Disincentives over indifference.
The UK and France have also recently signed into law age verification for porn.
In the US, arguably the most libertarian US Senator is Mike Lee who has proposed an age verification bill, which I support, but philosophically I believe federal regulations should serve as a floor where states can build more on top if they want. I don’t want the FCC to monopolize control in this area as it's done with broadcasting because it could then set too high of a bar for what it considers “porn” just as it has done with defining “obscene.”
Louisiana is the first state to require age verification for porn.
According to the Free Speech Coalition, Florida, Kansas, South Dakota, and West Virginia have introduced similar bills, and bills in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia are considered closest to passing.
The biggest critique of age verification is privacy.
But the government already monitors our online and offline activity through a whole host of mechanisms (Patriot Act, online sales taxes, GPS, LPRs, security cams, etc.) so it seems odd that people who would otherwise put safety over freedom would be concerned with a slippery slope as it pertains to minors’ safety.
Age-verification laws also require third-party verifiers to protect, keep confidential, and wipe data, but if you’re still concerned with your privacy then you can buy porn from your local sex shop after showing your ID, which highlights another contradiction because if you support ID verification in real-life then it only makes sense you should support it online too given how they’re becoming evermore interconnected and how if anything we should incentivize the real over the virtual.
It goes without saying, I’m opposed to a puritanical surveillance state, but considering all the other things we have to show our ID for this area seems to be one where your privacy concerns are outweighed by the benefits of protecting children. A great society puts children first.
Opponents may then bring up concerns about parental rights. Parents are indeed primarily responsible for keeping tabs on their kids and parents are becoming more vigilant in supervising their kids online activity because my generation has a greater sense of its dangers, but as much as conservatives believe parents should lead the way, we also recognize that society shapes us and therefore through law and lectures we must shape society. We recognize the malleability of the human mind and therefore the necessity of shaping it in such a way that brings out the “better angels of our nature.”
In the end, I understand why blue states and their perverted Big Media haven’t wanted to more effectively ban Big Porn for minors, but every red state should and then we’ll see in a decade whose kids are more well-adjusted, but I think if we’re being honest we already know the answer… it just might not be the happy ending you’re are looking for, degenerate.