WARSAW (ChurchMilitant.com) - Poland's prime minister is set to legislate an all-encompassing program to prevent children from accessing pornography online.
Mateusz Morawiecki said on Polish Radio Dec. 16 that Poles must "protect children and young people from access to pornographic material and content, just as we shield them from alcohol and drugs — with all strictness."
"A number of reports show that the problem of children's easy access to porn is growing," Morawiecki explained. Almost 60% of Polish boys and over 20% of girls age 14–16 admit to viewing pornography, according to a survey cited by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Morawiecki said that exposure to pornography "disrupts emotional function, disrupts the perception of sexuality, leads to very serious emotional deficiencies and to threats in the future, to mental health threats of today's young people, later adults."
Dr. Andrzej Depko, a sexologist and head of the Polish Association of Medical Sexology, confirmed the prime minister's view, saying he and his colleagues have heard "harrowing stories" of the effect of porn on children. Depko pointed to the connection between the first generation that has grown up with easy access to pornography "thanks to smartphones" and his new patients.
Campaign video "Pornography makes children addicted" sponsored by Twoja Sprawa ("It's your business”) association and oPornographics.pl
Under Poland's new rules, websites providing pornographic material would be required to check the age of Internet users. The prime minister signaled that the government will intervene to make sure that adult content reaches adults only.
Morawiecki said Poland is continuing to study the verification methods currently developed by the governments of Great Britain and Israel in preventing children's access to porn sites as a way to perfect Polish methods.
Polish family minister Marlena Maląg said she wanted the bill to be adopted by lawmakers in the first half of 2020.
Church Militant reported on a comprehensive study on young people's exposure to pornography conducted between May and August 2019 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Key findings included that children as young as seven years old are viewing pornography online, and only 18% of that population sought it out intentionally. In other words, children are often lured by innocent-sounding words and other traps pornographers construct.
In addition, the study found as many as 75% of parents may be unaware of the prevalence of children's pornography use. Fifty-six percent of children aged 11–13 said they were in favor of being "locked out" of explicit websites.
The United States is also making legislative moves to fight porn. Four Republican members of Congress penned a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Dec. 6 asking him to "declare the prosecution of obscene pornography" a criminal justice priority.
The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh praised the letter to Barr. Walsh has vociferously argued that pornography has contributed to the "collective corruption of entire generations of children" and causes "real trauma" to children.
"Personally, I'd hope that this [letter] is a first step towards a wider-ranging war on hardcore porn, though that’s not what the lawmakers are advocating," Walsh said. "At the very least, this should be the beginning of a conversation about the proliferation of hardcore porn, and the government’s role in addressing the problem."
Morawiecki was re-appointed as prime minister by Polish President Andrzej Duda in November and charged with improving standards of living. He is known as a strong proponent of traditional family values.
"If there are those who will seek to wage a culture war, then we will win it," Morawiecki said in his speech. "The family will win it. Being Polish means being normal."
For Law and Justice, Morawiecki's party, "normalcy" means fighting for ordinary citizens at the expense of "corrupt and self-serving" elites and opposing the West's agenda of political correctness, especially when it comes to granting rights to same-sex couples and promoting graphic sex education in schools.
Discussions are occurring worldwide about how the pornography industry harms children and adults, the industry's connection to sex trafficking, who should ban pornography and how to do so.
Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principles Project and an ardent critic of pornography, put a new spin on Andrew Breitbart's remark that "Politics is downstream of culture": "[P]olitics is not separate from culture, nor irrelevant to culture, nor downstream from culture. Politics is a key part of culture, and often drives it."
"The law can serve as a teacher and a guide to encourage positive behaviors and discourage negative ones," he added.