Top TV porn plans opposed on scientific grounds

Neuroscience confirms that pornography harms children, says Doctors For Life. (Image: http://mindevolve.com/brain-neuroplasticity/page/4/?cat=4)

Recent scientific evidence about the brain and its development provide compelling grounds for turning down TopTV’s application to broadcast pornography in South Africa, says Doctors For Life (DFL).

DFL’s scientific objections to porn on television are spelled out in a written submission to the Independent
Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) regarding TopTV’s second request for a licence to broadcast three, 24-hour, pornographic channels on its pay TV service. In what has been described as a record response, Icasa has received 285 submissions regarding TopTV’s porn application.

In January 2012, after a public hearing which Top TV did not attend, Icasa turned down Top TV’s initial porn broadcasting licence, saying that it regarded the consumption of pornography as a factor that contributes to “the normalisation of violence against women in South Africa”.

Icasa is currently studying the submissions it has received and is expected to convene a public hearing in Johannesburg. Top TV is likely to participate this time.

Scientific understanding
In its submission to Icasa, DFL quotes Justice Stephen Breyer, one of eight Associate Justices on the US Supreme Court, who says: “Law cases can turn almost entirely on an understanding of the underlying …scientific subject matter.”

The submission continues: “The scientific information which makes allowing the porn channels applied for totally out of the question includes:

“The harm it will cause to minors based on:

“a)  The latest information on behavioural psychology regarding the way minors think and function and the extent to which it makes minors vulnerable to the harmful effects of pornography.

“b)  Info obtained through recent developments in brain scanning techniques that demonstrate on an anatomical, molecular and neurophysiological level the different levels of brain development of minors and the extent to which it makes minors vulnerable to the harmful effects of viewed pornography.

“c)  An official, conclusive declaration by the American Society of Addictive Medicine (ASAM) in 2011 (probably the most authoritative body in the world on addiction medicine) about the addictive properties of pornography.

“Added to this is the fact that the right of minors to be protected against pornography is in the opinion of many legal and social experts, the dominating Constitutional Right over and above the right to freedom of expression. 

“In light of the above information it would be disastrous to allow porn channels on television. Especially because the standard measures of protecting minors against exposure to pornography e.g. posting warnings, restricting screening time till after a certain time in the evening or at night, and allowing parents to set up passwords before one can access these channels, are hopelessly inadequate.

“Most other countries legalised porn channels at a time when all this medical information was not available. In light of the fact that South Africa does not have already existing porn channels that have been allowed, which would first have to be gotten rid of before refusing it to TV, DFL would like to appeal strongly against allowing it now, even more so that all the above scientific evidence is becoming available.”

DFL is a Christian-based organisation of 1 400 medical doctors, specialists and professors of medicine from medical faculties in South Africa and abroad. 

2 Comments

  1. Thats a victory won! Glory to God!

  2. Thank you, DFL!!!