adult entertainment

According to the National Human Trafficking Center, in 2016 5,551 cases of sex trafficking were recorded in the United States. California holds the highest number of sex trafficking cases with 1,045. Sex trafficking venues vary, but there is one industry that deserves special focus and that is adult entertainment.

Is there a link between adult entertainment and sex trafficking?

Although many may think that women working in adult entertainment do it because they want to, researchers have noted that 70% of females who are trafficked are trafficked into the commercial sex industry, which includes porn, strip clubs, and massage parlors in the United States.

Survivors have reported that they were forced to have sex with clients. Unfortunately, traffickers use whatever weakness these women may have and use it to their advantage.

The Effects Of Watching Pornography

“The biggest sex educator of young men today is pornography, which is increasingly violent and dehumanizing, and it changes the way men view women.” – Dr. Gail Dines, Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Wheelock College

On average, boys watch porn 2 hours per week. Some popular pornographic films are extremely brutal. Studies show that 88% of 304 scenes extracted from 50 films contained physical violence. From these porn scenes, an astounding 95% of the characters who were mistreated were neutral or demonstrated enjoyment. 94% of violent acts were made against women, and 72% of the acts were made by men.    

It is quite probable that boys and men become desensitized to scenes of violence against women. How could they not? They see women get physically abused and they respond with desire. Through these films, men are taught to disrespect women and beat them without suffering any consequence.

Personally, it upsets me to think that are people who only focus on what will bring them more money but don’t pay attention to the mental and physical harm they are fostering with pornographic films.

How Does Pornography Relate To Sex Trafficking?

Studies show that men who go to prostitutes are twice as likely to have watched a porn film in the last year compared to the general population.

Women in the commercial sex industry are expected to perform acts that are physically and emotionally damaging. A study of 854 women from nine countries showed that 47% had been harmed by men who had either forced or tried to force them to do things that they had seen in porn.

Traffickers benefit from porn films and men who desire to live out a fantasy at the expense of innocent women. In fact, sex traffickers use porn as a training method. Women who are forced into the sex trade are shown what they should expect and how they should behave with a man.

The viciousness that lives within a sex trafficking venue is disheartening, but it is something that should be discussed. Only by coming to terms with the reality of sex trafficking will we understand the urgency to combat it.

How Do Strip Clubs Relate to Sex Trafficking?

Men who frequent strip clubs are free to view women as sexual objects. It is acceptable within this environment to throw money at them and expect them to entertain. For some who pay for this sort of entertainment, it is reasonable for them to expect these women to sell sex. Traffickers take note of these expectations and facilitate whatever need a buyer may have. After all, they are only looking to make money.  

When Can We Call It Sex Trafficking?

It’s considered sex trafficking when a hostess, stripper, or porn actor is subjected to the following.

Force: The use of physical or sexual abuse to make them engage in commercial sex. Limited or no contact with friends or family.

Fraud: Misrepresentation of the working conditions, wages, and immigration benefits of the job.

Coercion: Threats to harm them, friends, or family. Undocumented immigrants may be threatened with deportation.

What Can You Do

To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to: BeFree (233733).

Some may purchase commercial sex due to sex addiction, which is defined as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” If you or someone you love seeks recovery or counseling, Celebrate Recovery and New Life Ministries are two places to start.

If we work together, we will defeat sex trafficking!

Stephanie Sandoval

Contributing Writer, Two Wings