Recognizing Love This Season- “Love Gives, Lust Takes”

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February is known as the month of LOVE.  Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, we must admit that it does bring up thoughts and conversations on the subject of love.  This Valentine’s Day season, we’d like to discuss not only love, but lust too, and how today’s normalization of lust actually perpetuates sex trafficking.

The normalization of lust, or rather—giving into lust—is seen almost everywhere. It is seen in today’s hook up culture, TV shows, movies, and popular music.  For example, the TV sitcom “Friends” consistently normalizes pornography and sleeping with strangers.  Pop and R&B music glamorizes the life of a pimp and objectifies women.  In 2014, a study found that pornographic websites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined!  Sex was intended to be an intimate and personal act between two people.  Why has our society accepted this invasive act of watching porn as a normal pastime? When we talk about ending sex trafficking, we need to be honest and realize that giving into lustful desires is part of the problem of demand.  We can’t ignore this when about 88% of pornographic scenes have a form of physical aggression, and almost all the targets of aggression are female (94%).

One study found that traffickers show pornography to their sex trafficking victims in order to train them and desensitize them to the sex acts they will be forced to perform (2015, National Center on Sexual Exploitation).  Porn creates a demand for people to always want a constant stream of new, increasingly violent content.  In order to keep up with this demand, more women and children become exploited and trafficked.

But this isn’t only about porn, this is about our overly sexualized culture altogether. Generally speaking, our society celebrates free sex, praising the fact that sex doesn’t require a connection or commitment at all.  Young adults are encouraged to do whatever they want with their bodies.  Porn is joked about, yet porn often results in the need to purchase sex.  The department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has recognized that pornography is an element that adds to the serious problem of sex trafficking.

Purchasing sex takes away a person’s dignity and leaves them nothing.

Watching porn takes away from a person’s privacy and gives them nothing.

Victims of sex trafficking are left with nothing while everything is taken from them.

In this season of love, ask yourself this question: Is this an act that is giving to somebody, or am I actually taking away from someone?

Here are some actions steps to GIVE LOVE this month:

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