Connecting dots, from porn to rape

Disturbing truth

Connecting dots, from porn to rape

Consider these recent eve­n­ts. A 5-year-old girl is kidn­a­pped, raped and then objects forced through her va­g­­­­ina by two men in an east Delhi slum. The men confess to have seen pornographic videos before committing the act.

A few days later, a private school bus driver and his hel­p­er are caught molesting stud­ents while showing them porn clippings on their mobiles. At the same time, the Delhi Poli­ce bust a group of cell phone dealers who were “pre-inst­a­lling porn videos to make their mobiles more lucrative to poor male buyers.”

An increasing number of rapes and child abuse cases in Delhi are proving to have been fuelled, if not outright caused, by porn. Understandably, mo­re and more people are aski­ng: Is there a relationship between porn and rape?

Indore-based lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani, who recently filed a PIL in the Supreme Court for banning all porn websites says, “Yes. I have seen so many cases in my car­e­er where porn has instigated crimes against women and children. As per the IT Act 2000, you are only prohibited from production, distribution and sharing of porn; personal consumption is not banned. But who is guaranteeing that only right-minded individuals are viewing it? People with malintent are misusing them.”

“Further,” he says, “The vulgarity and depravity quotient of these videos is rising with every second. These days, if a child googles porn, he won’t see just nude images, but hard-core violent rape. Then there are ‘how to gang-rape’ and child abuse videos posted all over. I was embarrassed to even describe them in court.”

Former Delhi Police joint commissioner and chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Amod Kanth agrees, “Pornography is seldom the main reason for a sex crime but it is a stimulant. When you combine it with alcohol, bad company and a wrong bend of mind, it becomes more potent. Also worrisome is its easy availability. You can find such videos in schools, colleges, games parl­o­urs, cyber cafes and even shel­t­­er homes for orphans. It’s a bad situation.”

Notably, last year, Delhi topped the list of cities world-wide to have googled the word ‘porn.’ A report by the Indian Market Research Bureau stated that one of every five mobile users in India wants adult content on his 3G phone. Porn web sites rank among the most popular in India.

Leading psychiatrist Dr Sameer Malhotra says porn does have an impact on a person’s psyche depending on the kind and quantity he sees. “Porn is known to encourage a behaviourial pattern called paraphilia whereby a person becomes dissatisfied with natural sex and starts looking for unnatural means such as paedophilia and sexual sadism. Those who see porn too often risk getting addicted to it. It is like any other substance –drugs and alcohol – which can make you reliant over time.”

Not all, though, are convi­n­c­ed. Sreedeep Bhattacharya, a PhD scholar from JNU who studied porn in popular cult­u­re says, “You cannot expect porn to be benevolent. Porn is inherently violent. It shows women as sexual objects alwa­ys willing to submit to a man’s pleasure. Men are shown using the kind of language you will never see in a normal relationship. Porn, therefore, is aggressive and deviant.

“One must note that there is still no study which establishes a link betw­e­en porn and rape. It is too simplistic to say that one leads to another. It is like saying that short clothes invite rape. It may be common sensical (sic) and yet not
scientific or factual.”

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