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Archive for August, 2009

According to Alexa (internet stats), Cypriots are the most avid porn browsers in Europe. A porn site is the 14th most viewed site in Cyprus and Italy. This is the highest ranking of a porn site among EU member states.
The top porn site (YouPorn), which receives over 25 million visits per month, is one of three others to appear in Cypriot browsers’ top 50. (PornHub came in at #28)

excerpt from Cyprus Mail article:

Dr George Georgiou PhD, a clinical sexologist, explains that this trend stems from cultural attitudes towards sex.

Sexuality is a repressed topic in Cyprus, and still quite taboo in traditional families. These websites are popular because they are often the only way for people to satisfy their sexual fantasies without shocking their partners,” he said.

Asked what the implications are for such a trend, Georgiou said: “On the one hand, this is a safe outlet for people to explore their sexuality in a non-exploitative and private way. On the other, porn can adversely affect relationships if it is the only outlet for sexual contact. Porn is staged theatre and does not reflect reality – it also lacks the human, emotional and spiritual sides to sexual relationships. People who become addicted to porn will have a distorted view of human relationships that may alienate them from their partners.”

Georgiou said minors were more likely to be affected adversely as they lacked emotional and spiritual maturity. In addition, whatever sex education they had tends to focus on the biological aspects only and transcends the psycholo-emotional and spiritual aspects of a relationship, he said.

Read full article here

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Very Young Girls (83min) is a documentary film that chronicles the journey of young women through the underground world of sexual exploitation in New York City.

A 14-year-old girl is lured from her home, beaten, raped, held captive, and sold for sex in New York City. The police find her — and arrest her.

A man who has sex with an underage girl should be prosecuted as a criminal rapist. But there is a loophole: if the child accepts money in exchange for sex, the rapist is now a “john” and rarely is subjected to greater punishment than a fine. For the very same act, the girl is often prosecuted as a prostitute and sent into detention. The average age of entry into prostitution today in the Untied States is 13 years old.

The United States government likes to say it leads the world in combating sexual trafficking, and grades other countries on their compliance. If a woman has been brought from the Ukraine to Manhattan and coerced to have sex for money, the US government provides her services under the 2002 Sex Trafficking legislation. She is a victim. But if she is a African-American girl brought to Manhattan from the Bronx, she’s a criminal and she’s going to jail.

Our double standard arises partly from myths about prostitution, promoted in the movies, song, and reality TV – girls are empowered sex workers, strung-out crack whores, greedy “hos,” or hookers with hearts of gold. Very Young Girls shows clearly, that with the average age of entry into prostitution in the United States at thirteen, that sexual exploitation is simply a commercial form of child sexual abuse, the effect of which can continue into adulthood and beyond.

The film follows the girls in real time, using verité and intimate interviews with the girls both when they are still working and when in recovery, The film also uses footage shot by pimps themselves that illustrate exactly how it all starts. Very Young Girls tells the story of girls who spend their teenage years being recruited and brainwashed by predatory pimps, bought and sold on the street, sent to jail, and then recovering from the trauma of sexual exploitation.

Recovery occurs through Rachel Lloyd, who runs GEMS, the only survivor-led organization in New York that offers services to sexually exploited girls. Rachel rescued herself from sexual exploitation, and she and her staff are relentless in their mission to help girls sent by the courts to GEMS after being arrested, or found on the streets by GEMS staffers, to piece their lives back together in group therapy. But sessions reopen wounds as girls relive memories of the abusive homes they ran away from, pimps who convinced them that they were “in love,” the nightly rapes they endured to make money so their pimp would give them attention instead of a beating; and the fear that they will never be anything but a “ho” in anyone’s eyes – including their own.

A few girls will succeed, some will remain suspended on the edge of two worlds, and others will be sucked back into the underground.

Very Young Girls will change the way law enforcement, the media, and society as a whole look at sexual exploitation.

Nina Alvarez (producer/co-director)
David Schisgall (producer/co-director)
Priya Swaminathan (producer/co-director)
Rachel Lloyd (producer)

Grants: $50,000 in 2007 to support post-production
$15,000 in 2007 for a Working Films Summit to plan the film’s outreach campaign
$60,000 in 2009 to support outreach campaign

Awards: Official Selection of the 2007 Toronto Film Festival

Buy the movie here

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