Episode 25 of leading matters features Dr. Gail Dines. She is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, author of Portland: How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality, and President of Culture Reframed. A health organization that is building resilience and resistance in youth from the harms of the porn culture.
This episode is a bit of a departure for Leading Matters, but I’m hoping that by the end of the episode you’ll understand why I invited Dr. Gail Dines on to the show, and why I was thrilled that she accepted the invitation.
I discovered Dr. Dines work when I came across on a list, published by Jacki Zehner the CEO of Women Moving Millions, that shared ten women to watch in 2016. That list lead me to Dr. Dine’s TEDx talk on her book Pornland. The talk was both compelling and incredibly alarming. Dr. Dines explains that tThe pornography industry has been disrupted multiple times since the dawn of the internet, and each wave of disruption have served to make pornography more affordable, anonymous, and accessible. The tragic outcome of this trifecta is that, according to Dr. Dines’ research, boys view very hardcore and violent pornography at an average age of 11.
Read that again, especially if you have a child in the third of forth grade. No seriously read it again.
This alone, though, was not the motivator for having Dr. Dines on the show. What I found most intriguing was the fact that she has committed her work to attacking the problem of pornography from a public health issue. To get an appreciation for how she confidently positions the issue as one of public health I encourage you to watch her TEDx talk: Growing Up in a Pornified Culture . I personally believe she makes a strong case, and in our conversation she points out how the seemingly increasing instances of outrageous criminal acts like doctors sexually abusing their patients or school teachers seducing their students are connected to the rise of hardcore pornography becoming mainstream.
This idea of the problem of porn becoming one of public health is what made me decide to ask her on. Great leaders have responsibility that expands well beyond increasing shareholder value, or maximizing top line revenue. They have a responsibility to inject values into the fabric of their employment culture. They have a responsibility to take seriously issues that impact the well being of their employees, and of the people they serve with their products and services.
Great leaders have taken a stand on equality, on diversity, on drinking and driving, on texting and driving. Great leaders do so not by checking boxes, but by creating culture that places a high priority and value on the right thing to do.
It is time for great leaders of this age to take seriously the proliferation of pornography in our culture and among our youth. This is why I had Dr. Dines on, to shed light on the issue and explain why business leaders should take note and act.
Dr. Dines is a great interview and I promise you’ll love this one! And I’ll bet you’ll want to take action after you‘ve heard it. The great news is she outlines an incredibly positive way to tackle the issue. An approach that isn’t overtly oppressive, or prohibitive. It is one that shines light on the issue, educates, and encourages the leader to consider the depth and reach of the impact of pornography in a way that will compel positive action.
Enjoy this one Leading Matters listeners and pass it along.