TED Conversations

Cindy Gallop

Founder & CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld


This conversation is closed.

What do you think each and every one of us can do to counter the impact and influence of porn as default sex education, everywhere?

Today hardcore porn is more freely and widely available online than ever before, thus accessible by kids at earlier and earlier ages (the average age at which porn is first viewed online is 11; a friend of mine recently found her 9-year-old son watching hardcore porn on her iPhone). At the same time, we do not as a society talk about sex openly; the majority of parents are too embarrassed to teach their kids about sex, and sex education is generally not taught in schools in a realistic and directly relevant way. As a result, and I can testify to this through my direct personal experience of dating younger men, an entire generation (guys and girls alike - girls watch and are as influenced by porn as guys are) is growing up believing that what you see in hardcore porn is the way that you have sex, with some very fundamental, ingrained negative impacts. As someone working to counter this with my venture http://makelovenotporn.com, I would love all thoughts and ideas from the TED community as to how we can collectively address what is, quite frankly, the single biggest impact technology is currently having on the most fundamental aspect of huma behavior - our sexuality, which informs everything to do with how we feel about ourselves, other people, our relationships, our lives and our happiness.

This is a global issue that is currently impacting everywhere.

We'll start this conversation at 1pm EST on Wednesday December 7. I am very much looking forward to conversing with all of you!


Closing Statement from Cindy Gallop

Everybody - I loved this conversation! Terrific free and frank exchange of views, many aligned. I found this enormously helpful, both to me personally as I take MakeLoveNotPorn forwards, but also in the context of the many friends I have who are all tackling different aspects of this whole area in different ways, and will also find a lot of this useful. Many thanks to everyone who participated - I really appreciate it. I hope to continue the conversation in due course, and certainly to add to and expand it when I and my team launch http://makelovenotporn.tv in spring 2012.

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  • Dec 7 2011: About 800,000 people are trafficked as sex slaves every year, a lot of these are women, a lot of these women end up being forced into doing disgusting or humiliating stuff for porn sites. Forced live and cyber prostitution. Cracking down on human trafficking may decrease porn. Making people aware that a lot of the sex on this sites is slave, coerced sex may bring the whole thing into perspective.

    Developing alternative erotic sites that show sex but without all the humiliation so as to have some variety of points of view may also help.
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      Dec 7 2011: Melissa - as per my response to another commenter who raised this issue too, there are fortunately many great initiatives tackling the issue of sex trafficking, including this one that I donate to monthly: http://www.catwinternational.org/

      However, there is also the fact that many women - and men - work in porn by their own free choice and are professional and committed about the job they do (I have a lot of friends in the porn industry who fall into this category), but find themselves unable to take pride in their work and live open lives because society demonizes the porn industry and sees it as one evil amorphous mass.

      To your last point, I think you'll find http://makelovenotporn.tv when it launches in the spring very interesting....

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