Sat11252017

LAST_UPDATESat, 25 Nov 2017 2am

What Makes Terengganu and Kelantan Top In Viewing Online Porn?

How many of you have heard of “The Internet Is For Porn” – an infamous song from Avenue Q? Perhaps some of you might have already listened to the song before. But how true do you think this song title reflects real life? Do you agree that the internet is loaded with pornographic content?

Porn takes up a huge percentage of the internet bandwidth, according to Paint Bottle, an adult website featuring explicit adult content. It is reported that around 30 percent of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related material. Although it is illegal to sell or own pornography in Malaysia – where possessing pornographic material is subject to prosecution with fine up to RM10, 000, but viewing pornography online is not considered a crime.

A new study done by the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour had found that in the USA, states that project a more conservative religious identity are also more likely to have higher percentages of sex-related searches online.

“In heavily religious states, abstinence is often pushed as the only safe sex, with very little to offer in the way of sexual education. Unfortunately, that leaves a growing number of people with questions about sex but no answers…So of course the study finds that religious communities have a higher percentage of sex-related searches. That’s what happens when you can’t find it elsewhere.” - Archives of Sexual Behaviour

This finding aptly correlates with the situation in Malaysia where Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bahru, located in the east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan, known for its religious conservatism actually came in the top three spots in Pornhub's 2014 statistics for Malaysia which compiled data on the average amount of time Malaysians spend on its site.

How much should we read into these findings and is there any connection between the higher time recorded to higher incidences of sexual assault, child rape and sex crimes?

Let’s take a closer look at what the statistics are actually telling us.

What do the statistics really indicate?

According to Pornhub, an online adult video company that had compiled statistics of its users habits on its website, internet users in Kuala Terengganu were the top pornography streamers in the country, spending an average of 12 minutes and 58 seconds per visit, while Kuala Lumpur came in second (12:29) and followed by Kota Bahru and Miri (12:27) per visit in third place.

Below is the breakdown of the time spent watching porn in different states in Malaysia:

Corey Price, the vice president at Pornhub was quoted by a local English daily as saying that some countries may have recorded longer time frame per visit, partly because users took more time to search for the kind of videos according to their preference or watch a specific video for a longer period.

If we put this in context with the East Coast states, do we then factor in the slower internet speed due to lower bandwidths available? After all, the difference between the states that record the longest time and shortest time on the site is a mere 1.42 minutes so how much can we deduce from this data is open to debate.

Internationally, the Pornhub statisticians have also compiled the information with regards to the world’s major metropolises statistics on time spent on Pornhub's site.

Look the infographic below:

Source: Pornhub.comSource: Pornhub.com

Malaysian Digest  had also received feedback from Pornhub when we requested further details about porn viewing preferences of Malaysians on their site. According to Mike Williams, the communications representative of Pornhub, US, the top 5 categories searched on their site by Malaysians are the following:-

- Japanese
- Teen
- Babe
- Gay
- Hentai

He also highlighted that Malaysia ranked 38th globally in terms of traffic to their site comprising 0.44% of daily traffic to Pornhub.

While porn viewing habits specifically in Terengganu and Kelantan are not available, other details for Malaysia in general was available from PornMD under their Global Internet Porn Habits statistics.

Following are the online porn viewing preferences of Malaysians in general:
- Malaysians prefer boobs over butts
- Malaysia ranks in 8th place for porn searches involving the word “pregnant”
- Malaysians spend amongst the most time online (12:05 minutes on average) when watching porn in the region
- The top 10 search terms in Malaysia are: Malay, Malaysia, Japanese, Malaysian, Asian, Malaysia, Malay gay, rape, massage, Japan

The pervasiveness of porn today

In the past, porn could only be accessed in seedy adult cinemas, sex shops and hard to find copies of Penthouse and Playboy magazines while through internet today, pornography is only a click of the mouse away, allowing people to easily browse through pornographic materials these days and this has changed the dimensions of its manipulation, young and old people alike.

Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar is the Chief of Information for Wanita ISMADr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar is the Chief of Information for Wanita ISMAWhen contacted by Malaysian Digest, the Chief of Information at Wanita ISMA, Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar (pix, left) said the advancement of technology and the lack of alternate entertainment are among the main reasons as to why Terengganu and Kelantan topped the list among other states in the country, with the highest time spent watching pornography online.

“The advancement of technology, without hesitation, is the main crux of the problem. The mushrooming use of gadgets, be it smartphones, iPad and other electronic devices, enables the youth nowadays to easily access to the internet. Therefore, it has made surfing pornography online easier as it is just a click away.

“Smartphones and other electronic devices have become such an integral part of our life in today’s highly modernized society, unlike the olden days where television is the main source of entertainment. Thus, it is with no doubt that the internet today is the information highway to almost all kinds of fields or areas; this includes some uncensored materials like pornography,” she said.

Asked what can be done to minimize the problem, she remarked: “Parents play a vital role; they should know that there is no so-called double standard when it comes to pornography. Whatever that a child cannot see, so does an adult. Any visual content that could potentially arouse an individual’s sexual desire or anything that displays human private parts is haram (unlawful).”

Dr Rafidah continued: “While it is understandable that technology and young people are two things that are inseparable, but this should not be seen as something that could deter parents from monitoring their children strictly. Since Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has become part of our education system, it is impossible for us to stop the using of computer and internet.”

“Therefore, parents should encourage their children to do their homework in public areas. Instead of just overseeing their children’s internet habits and limit their screen time, parents also need to be role models.

“It is important for parents to play their role in order to prevent the children to be exposed to unhealthy online contents as most of the video clips on online platforms are unfiltered,” she said, adding that pornography could inevitably lead to gender violence and crime if it is not addressed at the root.

Pornography and sex crimes

In an interview with Malaysian Digest last September, Datuk Faridah Khalid, the deputy president for National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) shared the same view, saying that the easy access to pornography online is the reason for the increasing number of child rape cases in Malaysia.

In 2012, a Bernama report stated that rape cases in Kelantan have been increasing steadily each year where 278 cases were filed in 2007, climbing to 563 in 2008 and 656 in 2010. To top it off, many victims were adolescents as young as 12 years old.

There is no doubt that the rape cases involving minors as victims and perpetrator are increasing with the Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar revealing that from 2006 to 2010, PDRM statistics show that 11,809 out of 16,159 rape victims were children, with 54% aged 16 and below, while another 19% were aged 16 to 18.

However, when we look at the overall rape statistics by state for 2000 to 2007 compiled by the Women’s Aid Organization as well as the Crime Index that is presented in Parliament in 2013, the results do not necessary support the correlation of higher porn viewing by state to higher rape statistics.

WAO rape statistics chart (2000 - 2007): 

Crime Index 2013 from Parliament:

What is clear is the average increase in rape cases nationwide over the last decade which coincides with Malaysia’s internet boom. The statistics also add to the current debate over existing research in US and Canada that uses scientific data to try to prove that watching online porn actually reduces sex crimes. While statistics in Malaysia show rape cases have declined marginally from 2012 to 2013, the percentage of child rape cases has risen. 

Another area of contention to point out in Pornhub's statistics is the fact that it only looks at porn viewing habits in the big cities under the assumption that it will reflect the porn viewing habits of the whole state but this assumption is unproven. Another factor could also be that rape cases documented in statistics do not include crimes involving incest, domestic abuse and outraging of modesty.

Cracking down on internet porn

“Pornographic addiction could bring serious negative consequences to an individual, both physically and mentally,” said Prof. Dr Osman Che Bakar, a Consultant Psychiatrist at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) when contacted by Malaysian Digest.

“People who watch pornography online tend to get sexually aroused by visual stimulation. Excessive pornography viewing online can harm an individual, both mentally and physically. Besides, it can also bring undesirable social problems,” he added.

As observed by Prof. Dr Osman Che Bakar, “Porn addiction usually arises when viewers get a ‘thrill’ from watching people having sex, which in turn, could undermine the well-being of the entire society.”

In order to raise public awareness, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had already taken action to block a total of 8,719 websites from 2008 until May 2014.

Besides, MCMC is also focusing on educating the public on ethical use of the internet through its Klik Dengan Bijak (KDB) campaign by promoting positive use of the internet by educating the young generation to make the right choices when browse online.

Depending on the government and the police to counter the rising tide of internet porn is only half the story as most of the porn viewing happens in private on mobiles, laptops and computers inside locked rooms so the responsibility lies with parents and family members to set a good example and provide proper monitoring to those most at risk, teenager and children.

According to the Singapore based NGO, Touch Cyber Wellness, that provide counseling and guidance on cyber wellness, monitoring of children’s online activity can be through software controls, filters and browsing history while the site advises teenagers to inform their friends and peers not to share porn links and materials. It also provides guidance on looking for signs of addiction to online porn.

As noted in a recent press statement by the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), ‘change can only be carried out if people are aware of the problem’.


-- mD