Why smartphones falsify the sexual ideas of young Indians

Earlier this year, a video showing a group of teenagers trying to tear their clothes off a young woman went viral on WhatsApp in India. In the video, the woman pleads again and again that the young men should stop, but they only laugh and continue the rape. When the video circulated through WhatsApp, the police found that it had been filmed in a village in the northern state of Bihar. The accused teenagers were subsequently arrested.

The production or distribution of pornographic material is illegal in India. But rape, like that of the young woman, are by no means isolated cases. In 2016 alone, a total of 40,000 rapes were reported in India, reports the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a study. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of crimes against women increased by more than 80 percent. And many of these acts of violence are captured on video, as it is of course much easier today with a smartphone in your pocket. Mobile phone out, camera on it, done.

Now, the assumption is that smartphones offer easy access to violent porn, BBC reports. In this assumption is the concern that these videos lead to a dubious understanding of sex and relationships and then suffer once again women - a vicious circle. In a BBC poll in Indian villages, local boys volunteered to watch videos of harassment and rape. A 16-year-old said he had seen more than 25 such videos and his friends would often share them through their WhatsApp.

"Most boys in my class look at these videos together or sometimes alone," said another boy. "It feels good because everyone is doing it." Women's rights practitioners have seen so many young men become acquainted with sexual intercourse.

"When people see only violent sexual content, it is very desensitizing because they begin to believe that violence is the only way to enjoy it, and that the consent of the woman is unimportant."
Filmmaker and author Paromita Vohra

The first motto, of course, would be to ban violent porn. That even led to a court ruling in 2015 after a group of men raped a schoolgirl and allegedly got this idea from a pornographic video. After that, the Supreme Court ruled out a ban on violent pornography sites, but this was almost immediately revoked due to widespread protests. But is the prohibition of porn really the solution of all things?

I think, no, because people will always find a way to watch porn - as spreading via WhatsApp shows well. This does not even require a website, but just a suitable platform. In my opinion, the key is in a proper sex education, because violent sex is often a sign of incomprehension of relationships or can be culturally conditioned. The Indian government launched this approach almost 10 years ago with a youth program and tried to educate about sex, sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse. However, the implementation of the program remains a challenge.

"Nobody is worried about these videos. If people had even a little respect for these girls, they would have gone to the police instead of sharing such videos. If they continue to circulate and we have no sex education, it will encourage thinking that a woman should be treated as an object, as a source of entertainment. "

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