Pornography is a visual platform which sexually entertains all genders for ages now. The current COVID 19 pandemic has seen an increased traffic to this virtual platform. Is it a matter of concern? Let’s dig deep into the Economics of pornography.
Hello, dear readers. I have been so skeptical about the article. Some might get offended with the title itself. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. Being a woman if I don’t handle the topic maturely, I don’t see who else will. Let’s be brave enough to make tough choices!!!
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The CEO of a pornography magazine revealed that treating the industry like a normal industry benefited his profit margins. Treating nude and porn movies like an entertainment movie do the trick. This industry has its own set of rules and regulations. Every movement within the industry is done abiding the norms and the laws of the industry. But the question is, how genuine and humane are these norms?
Basic demand and supply laws follow in the market. The lower the price of the magazine higher the sale. And that’s not all, we even get to see the Veblen effect dominating the exceptions. Playboy is ranked better than the other adult magazines. But how well are the models paid? How respectable is their job?
Conducting pornography research has its own set of difficulties:
- Pornography industry people don’t want to openly talk about the facts.
- Customers and consumers feel embarrassed to reveal their consumption status.
- employees and workers are restricted to unveil information due to their contracts.
- And mostly writing or discussing about the pornography markets and industries is prohibited since it is believed to promote nudity and vulgarity.
Internet Pornography Statistics
|1) $3,075.64 is spent on porn sector every second.|
|2) 28,258 internet users watch pornography every second.|
|3) 372 internet users are using search engines to search obscene words.|
|4) As per the records of 2006, China is the highest exporter of adult toys.|
|5) There are about 4.2 million pornographic websites that comprises of 12% of the internet website world.|
|6) 42.7% of the internet users search adult words and illegal videos.|
|7) The average age of exposure to internet pornography is 11 years.|
|8) As per the internet records, the age group 35-49 is most addicted to pornography.|
|9) 72% of the adult website users are men.|
|10) The top producers of adult videos are the United States, Brazil, and Netherlands.|
According to the 2006 data, China ($27.40 billion) earned the highest revenue in the pornography industry. Followed by South Korea ($25.73 billion) and Japan ($19.98 billion). To be precise this industry earns more than the IT and AI industries such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Oracle, Apple, and so on.
Economics Behind Pornography
A study by the Thai University revealed that the sex sector estimated about 12% of the total Thai GDP. Thai Men use approximately 7,00,000 of sex workers annually. These prostitutes consist of males, females, transgenders and children.
It is not a surprise that the porn taboo is breaking and people are now readily and openly speaking about the black prostitute market. According to the ConvenantEyes, 90% of the teens and 96% of young adults are neutrally talking about adult websites and their consumptions.
Sex workers are now easily shifting from the sex sectors to the movie and entertainment sectors. The producers and directors are also happily welcoming them since the sex workers are comfortable performing intimate scenes. And the workers are happy since they actually don’t have to get intimate or nude on camera. Normalizing the sex sector seems like a new trend in the modern society.
The law of demand and supply can simply be applied here. More the demand higher the supply. In fact, a pornography directer said that he isn’t worried about the consumers or demand of his movies. Releasing it in the market is enough since people crave for new products. In economics terminology we can easily apply the Say’s law here, ‘Supply creates its own demand’.
The sex-sector or the pornography industry can be compared to any labor market. It is divided into two sectors: formal and informal. The formal sector is all documented as per the rules of the industry. Sex toys, Videotapes, CDs, magazines all follow the basic production procedure as any other manufacturing company. They are registered under the law and function as a normal firm. They hire for the position of securities to managers, from sales executives to models, from advertisers to clerks. The full-fledged industry has created multiple employment opportunities.
Renee Gracie, a supercar driver, has changed her profession into a porn artist. She is now a porn star and earns $3.5 million p.a. She has also confirmed that she has consciously taken the decision based on the income opportunities.
Jackie Chan, who is an international sensational, earned his first movie break as a porn artist. We can name many such actors and artists who have worked in the sex industry.
The adult informal sector is similar to any other informal sector. The informal sex sector absorbs any worker who is willing to work in the sex market. They have to work at low pay, under unhygienic conditions, some face human trafficking, rapes, and molestation. The inhumane activities are accepted in this industry, which a consumer consumes too. A pornography viewer creates demand for rapes and violence through their every click.
As mentioned earlier the market is ruled by basic demand and supply laws. the pornography market has a negatively sloped demand curve. As the price of the product lowers, the demand for the specific product increases (vice versa).
Now, let us consider the labor market in general. The labor demand is downward slopped and the supply curves upward or positively sloped. However, we see a difference in elasticities in the two curves. The formal sector experiences an inelastic labor supply i.e. change in the price is higher compared to the change in the quantity supplied. On the other hand, the informal sector has a more elastic supply curve. They have to work more with less pay. This is the particular reason why informal sex workers have a higher probability to suffer from mental and physical health issues.
The Economic Crisis in the Sex Sector:
Most of the sex workers are drawn in this sector due to economic reasons. Jordan, Robinson, and Turvey conducted research that portrayed money and freedom as the two major reasons behind choosing the industry. Childcare, higher studies, and responsibilities were the driving factors, especially in the case of female workers.
The economic crisis of this sector was talked about by many. Women of this sector are vulnerable to rape, physical violence, and human trafficking. History shows that, since the colonization days, women are traded across nations. Whalers and traders traded women along with wheat, rice, alcohol, gold, animal, and everything that comes to one’s mind.
Women were considered disease carriers. The contagious disease was the first barrier to the profession. HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases led to huge health costs. Apart from health issues, drugs and child abuse also became a leading concern of the industry. Illegal immigration forced women and children to work as slaves.
Every country has now stepped up to protect its citizens irrespective of their profession. India itself has adopted the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) 1986. Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) or ITPA was amended and passed with the view to prohibit and prevent human trafficking and gradual abolition of prostitution.
Even though many believe that pornographic websites promote crime, it is not illegal to watch or consume adult contents in private. However, consuming vulgar or obscene videos, magazines and articles in public is illegal. In August 2015, the Indian government banned 857 adult websites and declared consumptions, production or distribution of obscene, vulgar materials or substances promoting nudity as unconstitutional.
Saying it all, consumption of pornography is a personal choice. However, reducing the demand should be a human responsibility. Prohibit human trafficking and rapes. Help the government to make our country a better and safe place for all. Say NO to violence and inhumane activities.
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