Akim M Rahman*
Canadian University of Bangladesh, Social & Economic Research Institute (SERI), Bangladesh and Research Project Affiliation with the Ohio State University, USA
*Corresponding author: Akim M Rahman, Canadian University of Bangladesh, Social & Economic Research Institute (SERI), Bangladesh and Research Project Affiliation with the Ohio State University, USA
Submission: August 19, 2022Published: August 23, 2022
ISSN 2639-0612Volume5 Issue5
Bangladesh legalized Online internet on June 4th of 1996. Since then, in a slow & steady phase progression, the internet has become the universal source of information for people-in homes, at work and businesses in Bangladesh. This Tech-advancement particularly smartphones have increased the reach of the internet, thereby increasing the number of internet users. Overall, the government policies & efforts for digitized Bangladesh are eased by widespread increased of Internet access. It is obvious that these advancements and progression in usages have both positively and negatively contributed to the society in Bangladesh. Today, information can be accessed from the remote corners of the world for the benefits of an individual, business organizations, agencies etc., for the society. However, access to harmful materials such as pornography has become equally easy access where users sometime use it for its own satisfaction or gains. Sometime some companies use it for promoting its products or services in multi-faucets where scenarios in Bangladesh are no exception. Since porn-consumptions are linked to an increase in depressive and psychosomatic symptoms among adolescents, people here in Bangladesh are facing the dilemma in multi-faucets. Also, it has increased numbers of violence against women and girls in Bangladesh due to easy accessibility to pornography on the internet. Thus, these technological externalities can create market failures and violation of pareto efficiency. But the pecuniary externalities such as scenario of government policies restricting facilitations of porn consumption society-wise cannot. Besides having ongoing efforts for tech-usage progression, government efforts for correcting the tech-externalities in Bangladesh are urgently needed. Probable policies can be in three folds: a) Opening counselling services. b) Inspiring religious places delivering messages on consequences of pornconsumption here and hereafter c) Incorporating into academic curriculum for behavioral changes based on ethics, morality and consequences on own actions including porn-consumption and d) Tech-usage progression without having windows of creating externalities such as porn-consumption.
Keywords:Pornography; Porn-consumption; Tech-externalities
Since after the 60’s, the internet itself jointed as an important platform and an integral part of the modern human society country-wise slowly but steady. In this slow phase advancement globally, like many other countries, online internet was legalized in Bangladesh on June 4th of 1996 and the same day one Internet service Provider (ISP), the Information Services Network (ISN), started working. Within one and a half months, Grameen Cyber Net started service on July 15th of 1996 . Slowly but steadily by increasing accesses to ICTs, the internet has become the universal source of information for people-in homes, at work and businesses in Bangladesh. This Tech-advancement particularly mobile technologies such as smartphones have increased the reach of the internet, thereby increasing the number of internet users . Overall, the government policies & efforts for digitized Bangladesh has mainly facilitated by widespread increased of Internet access. It is obvious that these advancements and progression in usages have both positively and negatively contributed to the society in Bangladesh . Today, information can be accessed from the remote corners of the world for the benefits of an individual, business organizations, agencies etc., for the society. However, access to harmful materials such as pornography has become equally easy access where users sometime use it for its own satisfaction or gains. Sometime some companies use it for promoting its products or services in multifaucets where scenarios in Bangladesh are no exception.
Over the last 20 years, pornography, and the way of consuming it has been changed substantially. In the past, pornography was characterised by being difficult to access for below 18 years of age, with a low supply and high cost, and public exposure of those who consumed or business with it. Young people could occasionally have access through third parties such as an older. Nowadays, the changing technological context and new pornography widely distributed on the Internet, through different channels open to the public. It makes access easier by including anonymity , thereby overcoming the abovementioned limitations and generating new forms of production and consequences for consumers.
The new generation of pornography has certain defining
a. Increased image quality;
b. Attainable and largely for free;
d. Without boundaries in its practices; and
e. Contact which ranges from anonymity to intense interactivity.
What is more, it is found that this new pornography related
with two social phenomena. They are
I. Patriarchal culture that has not allowed the development of free and equal sexuality and
II. The capitalism culture, which turns sexual intercourse and the people who practice it into objects of consumption.
This latter aspect must not be forgotten, as today, behind pornography it’s found large organisations capable of integrating themselves in the media market.
At the present, addiction to online pornography is an alarming phenomenon . The rising of the trend of today’s pornography consumption represents an unprecedented scenario in interpersonal relationships among young people in Bangladesh. It is obvious that sexuality is in continuous development and evolution throughout entire life cycle of creations. However, it is recognized society-wise that during adolescence and young adulthood timeperiod, there is an increased awareness of sexuality owing to the integration of different cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions . Throughout the history of human-lives, pornography has been the object of discussion  more-or-less on ethical, moral, and social & family values among different castes and religions countrywise. Today’s Tech-driven-world has been facing this digitizedpornography- dilemma severely than the dilemma of analog-life pornography. Accordingly, the debate on today’s pornography and its reflection have arisen significantly in human society . For example, the influence of interpersonal relationships and gender relationships may come to have on the development of sexual behaviour. Aspects such as the normalisation of risk practices, decontextualization of sexual intercourse, immediacy, superficiality, and instrumentalization of relationships and people, as well as new forms of prostitution including Online prostitution have become elements of the debates on the issue. Pornography is just the symptom of a deeper problem in society. It has been causing psychological problem among users, which has linkages to the high rises of rape cases in society.
Scientific studies found that an increase in pornography consumption to be linked to an increase in depressive and psychosomatic symptoms among adolescents . Porn use can also impact intimate relationships, anxiety, self-esteem, sexual preferences and expectations and overall life satisfaction . Also, violence against women and girls was increasing in Bangladesh due to easy accessibility to pornography on the internet . The time has come now to address the porn as a new drug. The recent statistics of school goers’ porn addiction are worrying the parents and the society. Therefore, the state should take it seriously as a wakeup call as well as be prompt addressing the issue as an underlining to things like lack of social skills, anxiety and find out the probable solution without further delay. Speaking about designing policies, economics play significant roles. For example, in market economy almost every action undertaken by an individual or business organization will either directly or indirectly affect the welfare of other nonconsenting parties . This third-party effect, generally called externalities, often serve as a call for corrective actions by the government. In case of externalities, literature shows that for public policy purposes, there is an important distinction between technology-usage progression and precautionary externalities. The case of Sturges vs. Bridgeman made famous in Ronald Coase’s article , the “Problem of Social Costs” involves confectioners Bridgeman’s machinery emitting noise & vibration that interferes with Dr. Sturges’s ability to use the consulting room, thus lowering Dr. Sturges profit. This is no different in case of today’s high-rise trends of pornography consumption issues, which have linkage with high-rise Tech usage facilitations in society country-wise such as Bangladesh. Pornography consumption is an example of technological externalities where technology facilitations make some peoples’ lives better economically, however, other people suffer with psychological impacts caused by porn consumptions. It is no different of the noise & vibration from the machinery that has directly affected the treatment process of Dr. Sturges . Here Tech externalities interferes with efficiency and is thus potentially a concern for corrective government policy.
While technological externalities can create market failures
and violation of pareto efficiency, the pecuniary externalities
such as scenario of government policies restricting facilitations
of porn consumption society-wise cannot. In fact, the presence
of uncorrected pecuniary externalities is necessary for efficient
operation of Tech-usage markets. This distinction is therefore of
the utmost importance in the conduct of policy. Thus, despites
clear distinction between Tech usage progression and pecuniary
externalities in production, no such clear distinction is currently
present with respect externalities in Tech-usages or promotional
efforts for enhancing tech-usages in Bangladesh. That raises
questions: how should the government-policy look like? The
probable policies should address the issue in three folds. They are
i. how to quit porn-consumption
ii. how to perform treatment of porn addiction and
iii. how to prevent newcomers.
It may begin with provision of opening counselling services. Secondly, provision of inspiring religious places delivering messages on consequences of porn-consumption here and hereafter. Thirdly, provision on incorporating into academic curriculum for behavioural changes based on ethics, morality and consequences on own actions including porn-consumption. Lastly, having strict policies of Tech-usage progression without having windows of creating externalities such as porn-consumption.
The author thanks those who voluntarily participated in a brief survey on the issue. Special thanks go to Group-leader Lavina Moureen Zaman.
© 2022 Akim M Rahman, This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.