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13 February 2017

‘Sexual overtures, sexual innuendo and just plain raw sex’

1,084 Internet porn videos on Jamaican school girls shock former youth minister

 

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Former Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna says she was shocked to find 1,084 pornographic videos on “Jamaican school girls”, evidence of the prevalence of sex on the Internet and involving teenaged Jamaicans. In her latest blog, Hanna wrote the following:

Sometime ago, I gave the Norman Manley Lecture at the University of the West Indies (UWI) looking at the Sexual Harassment Bill and how the Bill could be understood, accepted and achieve its full objective in Jamaica, especially since some of our cultural norms have become so infused with sexual overtures, sexual innuendo and just plain raw sex.

Surveys conducted have shown that the first sexual encounter for a boy and girl in Jamaica occurs at 13 and 14, respectively. When I was minister of youth with responsibility for children, I was always struck by some of the body language and conversations coming from many of the children with whom I interacted. Some of the children in our residential care facilities were forced and coerced into sex from a very early age because of carnal abuse, rape, and other forms of sexual violence.

We have approximately 810,000 children that make up 30 per cent of our population. Today in Jamaica when a child is born, he or she will have a 97 per cent chance of surviving beyond age five, an almost 100 per cent chance of enrolling in school up to the secondary level, and will go on to live, on average, 73 years.

There is another reality that children face when they are born in Jamaica today. Many will be immersed in a technological world exposed to more information than the previous five thousand years.

The United States Department of Justice came out recently and said that never before in the history of telecoms media has so much indecent and obscene material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many homes with so few restrictions.

Today there are 68 million pornographic sites on the Internet (many of them free and unlocked). Additionally, 2.5 billion pornographic emails are sent each day. The Internet porn industry is worth $3 billion annually, with many sites being unrestricted.

Like everything else, if you search “Jamaican Porn” we have our own porn stars. According to data from Pornhub’s blog highlighting statistics from viewers located in Jamaica – the most popular day is Saturday and the least popular day is Friday. What stood out for me was the most popular searched keywords on the site: “Jamaican School Girl”. There are 1,084 videos under this heading.

So I decided to search Jamaican dancehall recently on Youtube to access a dancehall playlist while I worked on this research. It was just as shocking!

YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the Internet with over one billion users. Teenagers 14-17 make up 82 per cent of its users. They spend hundreds of millions of hours watching content while generating billions of views. Furthermore, 80 per cent of

YouTube’s views are from outside the US.

Once I clicked enter, I was greeted by several images the top four with women standing up, their bottoms and other parts exposed up in the air and their heads between their legs. Men jumping, ‘stabbing’ and bumping against women as if they were some hostile takeover, seemed to be the new normal.

I was greeted by very similar lyrics and images of women ‘skinning out’ very comfortably to demonstrate their flexibility and abilities to be good with sexual moves. The videos were more than seductive; they were instructive. It seemed that almost every song and image spoke definitively to the need to give a man good sex and how to do it.

So I got to thinking as to whether or not our current dancehall music coupled with the Internet and technology have overtly seduced our children into having sexually aroused values systems and social mores? Have the lyrics and visuals, over the Internet been strongly influencing our children to pursue sexual activities that they cannot manage?

Four-year-old girl gyrating on top of her head

I no longer have children dance competitions in my constituency as any part of fun day activities that I have as Member of Parliament. Why? Because I remember having to take from the stage a four-year-old girl who was gyrating on her head, while three other little girls dropped to the floor in splits demonstrating some of the very moves I saw in the of videos I watched.

The truth is that you cannot stop the flow of information or these images or lyrics especially if wifi is available and if they have a smart phone or tablet, but what you can do is to talk to your child about being responsible about how they receive the information.

Last year CISOCA received 1,094 reports of alleged sexual intercourse involving underage individuals.

I draw your attention to these glaring statistics as we are still attempting as a country to solve a modern-day problem which is of gigantic proportion with band aid solutions that were maybe sufficient and effective 30 years ago.

We need to get real about this problem, and honest about the solutions, one of which starts with adopting the recommendation of changing the definition of sexual intercourse in this country. We cannot stop sexual violence and abuse if we are not honest about the different forms of sexual advances now being made on our boys and girls.

Furthermore, we must look seriously at how we teach sex education in our schools. The church will be quick to say ‘no’ I am sure. However, if what Superintendent Enid Ross- Stewart said is true, that the majority of high profile perpetrators of sexual offences against underage individuals are pastors (and policemen), then it is time for our Church to acknowledge the hypocrisy of reconciling this data with their stance over many years of not supporting sex education in schools and amending the definition of sexual intercourse.

The reality that ‘Jamaican School Girl’ is now a prime search for porn sites is a serious wake-up call for Jamaica to recognise what is truly at stake. If we are to seriously confront and combat the horrors of child sexual abuse, we must first rid ourselves of the notion that this problem can be solved in the closet.

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