By Joseline Byakatonda
In August 2017, the Ugandan government established ‘The Pornography Control Committee’ mandated to not only uncover pornographic material but end its circulation too. The consumption rate of pornography in Uganda is said to be on the increase among young professionals or better called young adults to include literate and illiterate. Other age groups are not innocent either. Google in 2014 published statistic listing of countries with high search on the web for pornography; Uganda following Kenya and Pakistan ranked third. If young professionals “perceived” to be the intellectuals of the time are absorbed in this vice, Uganda’s eyes should open to the challenge not just in the physical but spiritual too. As we applaud the Pornography Control Committee, let’s not forget the spiritual aspect this committee may not address. Pornography is the devil’s agenda to tamper with the God given gift of sexuality, kill sexuality and do away with the human race.
The human race is God’s identity – His image. Pornography is a sexual disorientation, a spiritual warfare. Pope Francis’ effort, before and after becoming Pope, has been highlighting the hidden agenda of the devil especially the lie about his existence. In the book “On heaven and Earth” written before becoming Pope, he makes a fundamental statement, “I believe that the devil exists and his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe he doesn’t exist.” I agree. Articles can be written on pornography, talks can be given, however, the pornography battle is won by first knowing, naming and shaming the enemy behind it, then closing the entry point by walking backwards with the victim to the first encounter.
Knowing the spiritual connections of this battle safeguards us from concentrating on judging and condemning those caught in it’s claws to fighting for their rescue. At the present times, it is high time rehabilitation centres included Pornography on their list.
Pornography, like any other habit, starts like a mustard seed growing later into a mustard tree. Many adults are getting addicted to this vice too. Marriages are breaking and singles are struggling. I have no authority to speak for the ordained and religious but no one is immune. Knowledge on sexuality in books can only be understood if translated into workable guides suiting each audience. As I work with youth in secondary and university, sexuality is among the longest discussions yet unless explained in its fullness as divinely intended, sexual disorientation in which pornography lies will not end. Human nature is investigative always searching for answers to questions.
Unfortunately, many youth have been trapped by the claws of pornography while searching for answers on sexuality in the wrong places. Sexual harassment and pornography are interlinked because one’s urge cannot be satisfied through one method hence, one will look for alternatives by masturbating, fornicating, rape, drug abuse, polygamy, defilement among others. Exploring fornication can lead to masturbating, masturbation to pornography, then to rape or defilement or the other way round. The cycle is different for each person though each will be addicted to two or more habits.
Statistics from Raising Voices, a non government organization working with children and girls reveal a more likelihood of those sexually harassed or abused to get sexually disoriented into pornography, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal tendencies, pornography and also turn out to be abusers. Before the 18th birthday, 1 in 10 children will have been sexually abused.
Family members account for 30% of abuses. Out of 10 children abused, 3 will have been abused by family members and 6 will have been abused by members the family trusts. Both males and females sexually abused are most likely to engage in prostitution yet 60% or using the measure of 10 above 6 of teenage pregnancies are preceded with molestation, rape or attempted rape. Rape is pornographic and so is any sexual abuse. What images remain in the mind of a child or youth that has been raped, molested or whatever abuse. Pornography is not far from us, it is in our homes.
Live pornography by mothers who leave their breasts hanging out day long in villages, the indecent dressing and films watched on various channels. Interactions with kindergarten teachers on pornography show parents as the number one spreaders of pornography. Parents make love as children listen and sometimes watch them. Others bump into them naked in their bed rooms. Whether it is the child or parent’s fault, the nude pictures stick in the memories to adulthood and while in teenage or adolescent stage when questions on sexuality emerge, the memories they already have will inform the path they take in search for answers, unfortunately, this path may be pornography. The fight against pornography starts in our homes. If parents are struggling with sexuality too, then they do not have answers to give to their children.
Pornography is an outward sign but the battle is inward, hence, until the mind is fed with the right information, the mind will create it even without print media. The Pornography Control Panel will live in our homes to safe guard the youth in them. The Control Committee chaired by Dr. Annette Kezaabu already warned Ugandan actress, dancer and artiste Sheebah Karungi, over indecent dressing. She either covers up or will face the law.
Music-pornography (as I call it) is increasing.
For most songs, there’s no need to watch the video; the words say it all. Even with the use of proverbs, the meaning is clear. With so many FM stations in the country, music is the cheapest means to consume and convey pornography. Radio listenership is free yet print and web are at a cost. It is almost impossible for any upcoming artiste’s song to be produced or sponsored unless nudity is the style. In that way, youth can only compete in the industry by following the rules. Besides, the dancing and dressing that is pornographic, more of Ugandan music has to describe sexual intimacy to sell. A person who listens to pornographic music is not different from one who sees it on internet.
The effects are the same and double if one listens to pornography and views it which is the Ugandan case. Like any other addiction, the more one views, the greater the urge to consume more. Is it a surprise for Ugandan streets to be polluted by noise-of-music? People are just not addicted to music but its pornography. Christian functions have equally become promoting avenues for the anti Christ baits instead. Even on functions with religious leaders, music played is an indicator it is considered for the surface as just music yet music has a far reaching effect. Music connects to the soul. As it plays, the mind is visualizing.
The starting point is not to start. The preventive measure is to be vigilant in monitoring what children watch, who they play with, how they play and helping those who find themselves in the claws of pornography. It is never too late to overcome and break the yoke of pornography. The battle is not yet over until our knees are bruised and society is liberated from this vice. The devil exists and lust is one of the baits he uses to degenerate humanity. If you are trapped in the same vice, seek help. Pornography is consumed in the mind, it is difficult to tell who is until the symptoms show in more perverse ways like rape, polygamy, defilement. Let us also seek to help the youth caught up in this vice rather than judging them because we have failed to provide answers to their questions.
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