When looking at the top-visited websites in Trinidad and Tobago you are sure to find a few adult entertainment websites in the top 10 or 20 websites in the country. In fact, in 2016 Trinidad and Tobago had the highest number of internet searches for pornography per capita in the world. With no proper sex education in the country and a lack of knowledge on how to curb porn addiction, these statistics are worrying to many.
What is the problem with having a high consumption of adult entertainment?
One of the main issues with porn consumption in Trinidad and Tobago is that there is no proper sex education available to children or young adults. Children are now exposed to porn at an extremely young age due to their access to the internet. The American Psychology Association ran a study in 2017 which discovered that “the average age of first exposure was 13.37 years of age.”
This combination of early consumption and lack of education around the issue means that children and adults are more susceptible to the dangerous effects of overconsumption of pornography. These effects include addiction, men’s views and treatment of women and its effect on relationships. The same study by the APA stated the following:
“The findings provide further evidence that pornography viewing has a real impact on heterosexual men, especially with regard to their views about sex roles. Knowing more about the relationship between men’s pornography use and beliefs about women might assist sexual assault prevention efforts, especially among young boys who may have been exposed to pornography at an early age.”
In an interview with the Trinidad Express, Jerome Alexander a member of the non-profit organisation “Fight the New Drug” spoke about how the government was turning a blind eye and not addressing, “the effects which the objectification of women, violence and dehumanisation depicted in sexually explicit scenes can have on individuals, relationships and our society.”
The lack of education within the general public and the religious society in Trinidad and Tobago makes it difficult for the population to have a neutral discussion about porn consumption and the potential dangers of porn addictions.
How Can Trinidad and Tobago tackle its issue with porn addiction?
An addiction is only an addiction when it interferes with the course of one’s daily life and relationships. When people realise that it may be affecting their regular life, it is important that they seek ways to deal with it.
The first step is general education. This refers to both government programmes and assessments on an individual level. If a person feels they may be struggling with porn addiction, they can find a lot of information online on how to deal with it and move on. In some cases, it may be best for someone to seek a therapist or support group that can help them along their journey.
This also includes the education of adults and young adults on how to identify if they have a porn addiction, why it may be occurring, how to tackle it and how to move forward in life with a more healthy relationship with adult entertainment.
This basic education and even sex education in schools can help the topic be less stigmatized and therefore, help people be informed and make healthy decisions for themselves.
Many porn addiction programs help people to curb their excessive use with an aim to improve their personal relationships and focus their energy on more fruitful endeavours. For example, the time spent with adult entertainment can be halved and that time on the internet can be used for more productive avenues such as online courses for new skills, joining groups or classes that both spark the person’s interest and allows them to build new relationships with others.
Porn addiction is a real issue that is affecting citizens in Trinidad and Tobago, therefore, proper education through programmes and educational material in the media about how people can overcome it, is important to build rewarding lives that can positively contribute to our overall society and its value.
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