I introduced M-47 on March 8, 2016, on International Women’s Day. Motion M-47 stated:
That the Standing Committee on Health be instructed to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men, recognizing and respecting the provincial and territorial jurisdictions in this regard, and that the said Committee report its findings to the House no later than July 2017.
In the 10 months after M-47 was tabled in the House of Commons, Canadians from across the country got involved and as a result:
- MPs from all five parties had endorsed M-47
- Over 50 NGOs supported M-47
- Over 7000 Canadians signed a petition
Adult sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined, with Pornhub alone receiving 21.2 billion visits in 2015.
- 35% of all internet downloads are sexually explicit.
- Globally, sexually explicit material is a $97 billion industry.
- Average age of first exposure among boys is 12 years of age.
- Sexually explicit material has become a primary source of information about sex and a significant factor influencing sexual behaviors for children and adolescents.
- Parliament has not studied the impact of sexually explicit material since 1985 – before the Internet was invented.
- Easily accessible violent and degrading sexually explicit material is both a public health issue and a women’s equality issue.
- Child and adolescent exposure to violent sexually explicit material is a form of child abuse.
- 40 years of academic research has revealed that exposure to violent sexually explicit material is harmful to physical and mental health of individuals, especially adolescents.
- Almost 90% of mainstream sexually explicit content features violence towards women.
- Adolescents who viewed violent sexually explicit material were six times more likely to self-report engaging in sexually aggressive behaviour.
- Youth who regularly view online sexually explicit material are significantly more likely to hold negative gender attitudes.