Porn Trafficking

by Noel Bouché

Sex trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.”  This definition would seem to describe precisely the workday world of porn producers.  The more disturbing inquiry is whether “severe” forms of sex trafficking—defined by U.S. law as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel the sex act, or where the person performing the sex act is under 18—are prevalent in the production of pornography.  The answer, according to some, is “yes.”

Over the decades, research into the inner-workings of the industry has turned up evidence of the employment of psychological coercion and sometimes physical force to compel performance.  Testimony to that end does not appear to be infrequent. As Shelley Lubben, a former pornography performer, has publicly testified: “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do…[and given] drugs and alcohol to help get through hardcore scenes…. The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”  Pornography itself, it would seem, must come in for criticism from and opposition by those who would oppose the injustice of sex trafficking.  The false distinctions between pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking are becoming increasingly untenable, even as the presence of porn becomes increasingly inescapable.

Pornography does not fuel the global sex trade by its mere existence.  It drives demand by creeping into the mainstream of a society, and thus into every community, every home, every family, and every life.  Pornography in the digital age is a multi-billion dollar industry because it is everywhere, all the time.

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Noel Bouché serves as Vice President of pureHOPE.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, and was a litigation attorney prior to joining the ministry of pureHOPE.  He and his wife are the parents of two young daughters.

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