Christian organisations in France spearhead the anti-porn movement

02-03-2023

Western Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

No access to porn under 18. Photo AFP, Lionel Bonaventure

The French government wants to block porn sites for young people under 18. A measure that responds to Christian calls in particular.

It has been a long fight. The Catholic French newspaper La Croix describes how various Christian and non-Christian organisations have been raising awareness for children's exposure to pornographic content on the Internet. Recently, the French government listened to them. They announced the test of a digital certificate, provided by an independent platform, that proves someone's age.

Although various organisations have been working on getting some kind of filter for minors on the Internet, Catholics have been among the spearheads of this movement. This says Pascale Morinière, the Catholic Family Associations (AFC) president. "In the beginning, the fight against pornography was mainly a right-wing and 'Catholic' subject."

Phenonenons

One example of the leading role of Christian organisations is the recent presentation of a report on access to pornography among young people. Alerted by Catholic associations, the High Authority for Health seized the Academy of Medicine to assess the exposure of minors to pornography, La Croix reports.

The report highlighted relatively new phenomenons such as 'sexting', a practice which consists in sending messages of a sexual nature or naked photos of oneself. Of the 1,200 high school students surveyed, 66 per cent are actively doing this. Furthermore, the researches signal an increase in the prostitution of minors.

When La Croix interviewed one of the researchers, David Cohen, he emphasised that these developments show correlations but not necessarily a causal link with exposure to pornography. ". One of the consequences is unrealistic attitudes about sex, for example, in terms of performance, which often result in more permissive sex and more frequent activity. Specialists also note a certain form of awkwardness in intimate relationships, as some young people think that what happens in porn movies is the norm."

Priority

There have only been two studies on the exposure of minors to pornography in France, one carried out in 2003 and the other in 2017. Cohen can not explain the lack of research into this subject. "Mental health issues are not a priority for our policies. There are regular studies on the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis, but nothing on pornography, nor on the behaviours linked to this consumption which have revolutionised the lives of young people."

To combat the unrealistic attitudes toward sexual relationships, the researchers recommend rethinking sex education at school by involving parents as part of health education. "It is also necessary to make all the players in new technologies accountable and to change the regulations. There is a significant difference in legal treatment between the Internet and television where there are limits."

Chain

Newsletter

Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.