Statements by Senators – Pornography, 21 June 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:47): Pornography is a multibillion dollar industry, and porn harms children. After decades of experimenting, our society has reams of research on the poison of pornography. Here’s what we know.

Porn users commonly report depression, anxiety and relationship insecurity. People who consume pornography tend to be sadder and lonelier. Partners of porn users show symptoms of depression and PTSD. Porn use actually leads to less sex and less sexual satisfaction. It reduces libido. It increases deviant behaviour. It breaks up families. Brain scans show that porn has an almost identical effect to a cocaine or heroin hit. Porn hijacks the brain’s reward system, compelling users to go back for more.

‘Porn isn’t hurting anyone’ has to be one of the biggest lies ever told. In the good old days the teenager behind the counter at Blockbuster Video would ask to view your photo ID if you tried to hire a movie with adult themes and even magazines in newsagencies were wrapped in black plastic to protect our youth. Now, at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smartphone, children have unrestricted access to some of the most degenerate content you could ever imagine.

The best thing that we in this place could do for our society and our children is properly regulate pornography in our nation. Anyone who opposes a sensible proposition like this must explain why they want porn’s carnage to continue. Protect our children. Leave the kids alone.