youpThe government of India has asked internet service providers to block 857 porn websites, including youporn.com and porntube.com.

The move comes barely a month after the Supreme Court of India refused to ‘ban’ porn, saying that it could be construed to be a violation of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

Supreme Court refused to ban born after Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani filed a public interest litigation alleging that pornography is showing people how to carry out crimes against women and children.

“Somebody can come to the court and say ‘Look, I am an adult and how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room? It is a violation of Article 21 (right to personal liberty) of the Constitution.’ Yes the issue is serious and some steps need to be taken. The Centre has to take a stand, let us see what stand the Centre will take”, Chief Justice HL Dattu had said on July 9.

As a result, the government seems to be taking steps to block access to pornographic content on the Internet. It has circulated a list of 857 urls to internet service providers asking them to block access to these.

The true impact of pornography, prostitution and strip clubs on sex-related violence is yet to be full understood.

While people like Vaswani claim that these videos increase sexual frustration and lead to attacks on women and children, there are also another group that say that watching pornography acts as a safety valve and a release to innate tendencies.

“Pornography helps me masturbate, and this keeps my level of sexual frustration low,” said a college student who did not want to be identified.

While many people say that such sexual energy should be channeled for creative purposes such as studies, art, work and so on, many actually channel unreleased sexual energy into negative, or sometimes criminal areas such as rapes and child molestations.

In fact, there have even been surveys on this subject, such as the following one on Youtube, where respondents claim that pornography helps them masturbate, which in turn relieves ‘stress’.

The problem is especially acute in a country like India where unmarried people and those staying away from their spouse, such as laborers, find it difficult to fulfill their sexual desires due to social restrictions. In fact, in countries where the government tries to ‘channel’ sexual energy away from sex — such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India — women generally feel less safe outside their homes.

Therefore, some fear that banning porn will increase the level of sexual frustrations and sex-related crimes as the level of frustration goes up, while the pro-ban group argues that sexual frustration is created by pornography. Banning pornography, they argue, will also reduce sexual desires. When sexual desire goes down, so will frustration and crime, they believe.

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