Dr. Kim Farrington
Activist & Sexual Assault Physician
Dr. Kim Farrington has been a sexual assault physician for over 18 years, primarily in the area of sexual assault in adolescents and adults. In that time, she’s seen over 500 cases of sexual assault from individuals who have been recently assaulted, assisting them in getting medical help and collecting forensic samples. In recent years, Dr. Farrington became interested in the impact of pornography on consumers after noticing a change in the nature of sexual assaults in young people. For almost two decades, she has been able to develop her knowledge and expertise on this issue, and she is committed to educating others on this paramount and concerning health issue.
FROM THIS EPISODE
- Website: It’s Time We Talked
- Website: eSafeKids
- Watch: New Zealand Public Health Ad
- Study: Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours
- Non-porn Related Study: National Survey Of Secondary Students And Sexual Health 2018
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Garrett Jonsson: My name is Garrett Jonsson, and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming, a podcast by Fight the New Drug.
And in case you’re new here, Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts, we cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some- you can refer to the episode notes for a specific trigger warning. Listener discretion is advised.
Today’s conversation is with Kim Farrington. She’s been a sexual assault phsician in Austrailia for over 18 years. During that time she’s seen over 500 cases of sexual assault, assisting them in getting medical help, and collecting forensic samples. In recent years, she became interested in the impact of pornography on consumers after noticing a change in the nature of sexual assaults in young people.
With that being said, let’s jump into the conversation, we hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.
Garrett Jonsson: So the first thing we want to do, Dr. Kim is welcome you to the podcast. So welcome.
Dr. Kim: Oh my God. It feels like such a long time since I spoke to you. It’s been, I mean, really it’s only been two weeks. Right?
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.
Dr. Kim: And it has been a full-on couple of weeks. There’s been an awful lot happening in the sexual assault kind of sphere in the media massive amount. And, um, we have been ridiculously busy as a service, um, whilst also being low in staff. So honestly, sometimes when I’m really tired, um, Garrett, I’m I get really, um, uh, I’m just a little bit less inhibit, less inhibited, you know, like… [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] Some type of intoxication there.
Dr. Kim: Yeah. A bit like tired intoxication. Yeah. Let’s say that. Um, when you, uh, uh, drive tired, it’s like you’re driving drunk. Um, yeah.
Garrett Jonsson: When you podcast tired, it’s like you’re podcasting drunk. [laughter]
Dr. Kim: [laughter] You just don’t know what you’re going to get. So yeah. So now we’ve, we really are having an incredible amount happening in the sexual assault space. We’ve got, um, for parliamentary inquiries, there’s been allegations of sexual assault in the, in the, in the parliament house in Canberra. So our, uh, main, it’s been very, um, just a lot of media. And then I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s this, um, 22 year old, um, girl in Sydney, she just put up a post on her Instagram saying, “Oh, has anybody experienced, you know, sexual assault or something at the hands of boys from all boys schools?” Because she was just fed up and frustrated. And within a week she had 3000 testimonies. So now there’s this big conversation about consent training. So, um, yeah. And anyway, it’s like education and concentrating. I mean, it’s like Australia is having a bit of a moment about that.
Garrett Jonsson: Wow. That is a lot that’s happened in the last two weeks.
Dr. Kim: The consequences been, we have, we normally see about a case a day. I think we’ve seen nearly, we’ve definitely triaged about 20 and we’ve seen about nine or 10 in the last three days.
Garrett Jonsson: Oh, wow. So just the fact that the country is talking about it more is encouraging people to…
Dr. Kim: Well, that would be your suspicion, right? That would be what you would think, because it’s unlikely that sexual assault has got, you know, three times as much. It’s more likely that people feel safe to say something.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: So, yeah.
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. That’s interesting. But Dr. Kim, we’d like to get to know you a little bit better. And so can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Dr. Kim: So for the last 18 years I’ve worked as a sexual assault physician. Um, but I’m also a mom, you know, I have three daughters and they’re in their early teens. And I think that’s probably also why, um, I’ve got interested in this area and the area of, um, pornography and found, Fight the New Drug. Um, what makes me happy? It’s really is really making a difference actually. And my job really does allow me to do that. So that’s really what makes me, I mean, there’s lots of things that make me happy. Don’t you worry, good food makes me happy. The occasional glass of wine makes me happy and that kind of thing. And I’m married. So my husband, um, he has an interesting job too. Um, it makes him seem way cooler than me. I have to say that because he makes computer games and, um, you know, he’s released stuff on to X-Box and Nintendo switch.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s so cool.
Dr. Kim: So when my children talk about their parents, I’m sure they talk about him first, because he’s just much cooler than me.
Garrett Jonsson: As you were introducing yourself. Dr. Kim, one of the things that stood out was that one thing that makes you happy is making a difference. And I’m excited to have you on the podcast today because you have made such a big impact in positive ways. And I just want to, as part of your introduction, I want to talk about what we do on the podcast. And that is we sit down and have conversations with, um, influencers, and activists, and people with personal accounts, and experts. And that’s why you’re here today. I think it’s kind of obvious being that we are referring to you as Dr. Kim. Um, and so yeah. Can we jump into what you do for a living and how you are making a difference, like you talked about?
Dr. Kim: Absolutely. So as I said, look, I am a sexual assault physician. So I’m somebody that has trained and, um, got qualifications in what’s called clinical forensic medicine. But I work in a service where we see people who have recently been sexually assaulted. And our definition of recent is up to the last two weeks. So if somebody has, uh, had a sexual assault, I will see them and I will see them to take care of their medical needs to make sure that they’re safe and healthy, any injuries or sexual health kind of thing. But the much more specialized side of my work is that forensic side of my work, where I interpret injuries, collect the forensic samples and take evidence for a police case, if that’s really, if that’s what the patient wants. So that’s what I do.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s a very admirable thing that you’re doing because it’s not easy. Do you feel like there’s a high turnover rate because of the difficulty of the job?
Dr. Kim: Look, I would agree that it is not for everybody. It’s a challenging job. Um, and we do sometimes we, we kind of have a core group of us at my service who have been there for a very long time. And then we train people up and we recently trained somebody for about six months. Uh, so they don’t have the same qualifications for me, but they’ve kind of come into the service. They’re brilliant, brilliant family doctor and very experienced. And then we train them up over the six months. And at the end of that six months, she was just like, “This just really isn’t for me.” And we’ve had that happen several times actually. So when I look at the people who stay okay, and the people who go on to specialize that there is something unique about them. And I think it’s the capacity to actually be with what people are telling you and to be able to hold it, if you like, hold that trauma and not have it, I guess the sound, it’s a funny way to say it, but not have it kind of draw you in such that it impacts you.
And I mean, you do have to have some good ways of taking care of yourself. And I think that the main thing you need to be a great sexual assault physician is to be a human being, to be kind and to have that kind of compassion for the person that’s in front of you and be able to deal with whatever they need to deal with. So I do find that the doctors that we have, we do, we do kind of take care of each other as well. Like we’re keeping an eye on each other to make sure, because you do have to have that awareness that if you see a lot of cases in a very short period of time, you actually find that that, that there is a, uh, impact on you as a person.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: So you just need to be mindful and have ways that you can, uh, you know, go for a work, do your exercise, take a day away, ask your colleague to do something for you.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: And that’s a really important part of the team and probably why I’ve stayed for so long because I enjoy that way that we work together to take care of the people, but also to take care of each other.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s awesome. So you said that you’ve been doing it for a while and if I’m not mistaken, it’s been about 18 years?
Dr. Kim: That’s right. Yeah. That’s right. That, that sounds a long time to me too, Garrett. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. And as you see someone who has experienced sexual assault, do you feel like you’re partially empowering them to make a decision on if they want to go to the police or if they want to, you know, not go to the police? Does that make sense? I don’t know if I’m articulating this question in the best way.
Dr. Kim: It’s interesting. I’ve not really thought about it as empowering them, but I, but that would fit for what we do. One of the principles we work on in sexual assault that, um, like a guiding principle is if someone has been sexually assaulted their, um, choices and their, um, autonomy has been taken away. So we are guided by giving it back to them. So therefore, you know, we are out to give them a lot of information and sometimes you’re talking to a very tired human being and having to give them a lot of information because they’ve never navigated the, the police system or they don’t know what they can do, but to give them that capacity to be empowered, as you say, to make a choice. So for me, um, very much so I feel that when people come to see us and we work in a team, so there’s myself as the doctor, but there’s also a sexual assault counselor who might be a psychologist or could be a social worker.
And together the take, the two of us will give that person a chance to think about what their options are, talk about what their options, what they’re feeling about their options, and then make a choice about going to the police or not, or having a samples or having an examination. Um, and really we don’t mind if they don’t know and just, which is quite common, just like “I don’t have a clue what I want to do.”
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: I mean, I I’ve seen, I’ve seen several people this weekend and, and all of them have had that, “I don’t know what I want to do.” because they find themselves in a position. “I don’t know exactly what I want to do. And I don’t know what it will mean if I do this, or if I do that.” So we also will collect their forensic samples, do their injury documentation, and all of those things and hold on to them so that they have a bit of space to then decide now from a police point of view, the police would always rather hear sooner rather than later, because the collection of evidence and the conducting of an investigation is often better if you like earlier, but we work with a great group of detectives.
Um, we’re separate from them. We don’t work for the police. We work alongside them at the patient’s request. Um, they understand that and they understand that people sometimes need time to be able to really choose what’s right for them. So, yeah, I do. I think we do empower our people and we do surveys. And I think like when you look at the research, that is such a challenging area to, um, research, because it’s an allegation, it can’t be proven. And then if you only take cases where there’s been an actual conviction, then that’s a very skewed or biased population. So we often go to like the, um, the population studies, like things done, like in Australia, that’s done by the Australian Bureau of statistics where people, self-report what they consider a sexual assault or sexual violence. And the, those statistics have been, um, repeated. Do you know what I mean?
Like when it’s been done and repeated, we do get, um, consistent, um, reports that one in five women will experience a sexual assault and sexual violence in their lifetime and one in 20 men. So we, and they get repeated where as to whether in the next lot, given their actually since the me too movement. And, um, you know, um, you’re in Australia, we are really having a moment at the moment with the, how much sexual assault is being talked about in the public arena, or in the media. due to allegations of, um, what’s been happening in by politicians and their staff in the highest, uh, parliament of our land. There’s been a lot of allegations and a lot of criticism of the culture.
So we don’t know whether actually sexual assault is increasing. My suspicion is that it is increasing particularly in our teenagers. You know, that is definitely my, um, uh, experience and what I’m wanting to see in my own practice. And, you know, my, my colleagues and I, we, we do debrief with each other and it’s a feeling for all of us that perhaps are teenagers. There is a lot more nonconsensual sexual activity than we had then had, there has been, say 10, 15 years ago. We cannot be sure, but that’s our, that’s our sense.
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. One of the things, and I think we kind of already touched on this, how sexual assault is often an unwitnessed crime. And that’s another thing that makes it difficult to get true statistics on and, um, and also to get justice. And so I was wondering, how does your, uh, work, how does your line of work as a sexual assault physician help overcome that difficulty of it being an unwitnessed crime?
Dr. Kim: Well, it’s interesting because if you’ll ask, it depends which perspective you’re looking at that from like what it is often an unwitnessed crime. Um, if you’re going to talk about from the police investigation point of view, um, what, what I do. Okay. And when I see somebody, what I see you need two things for a sexual assault definition. Legally one is there needs to be some form of sexual penetration, but on the other, the second thing you need is you need to a lack of consent. So often we can demonstrate sexual penetration, uh, whether that’s by, um, collection of evidence or, uh, say there might be indications or small injuries that could indicate penetration. But honestly, actually isn’t always injuries. And that’s one of the myths that’s around probably there’s only particularly genital injuries in 20 to 25% of cases that we see. So that means that there are 75 to 80%, which have no injuries.
So that is something that’s a bit of a myth out there that if you are sexually assaulted, that there will definitely be signs that you did, whereas it’s just really not the case. And that is influenced by the fact that injuries are probably usually very small. They’re not necessarily medically important, but they are what we call forensically important.
Garrett Jonsson: Okay.
Dr. Kim: But they also heal very well. Like if we’re speaking about a female genital tract, then the female genital tract heals very quickly. So that is, um, you know, one myth it’s be good to get out there because you find that there are convictions in, um, in it, the higher conviction rate is in where there are injuries. And that’s not to say there aren’t sometimes terrible injuries that we see, but for the most part, most people are not injured. I don’t know if, um, in, in your part of the world, there is a lot of talk about, um, coercive control and let, there’s beginning to be talk in Australia about legislation around coercive control that the actual sexual assault and the sexual violence is part of that, um, that coercive control and in domestic violence victims or intimate partner violence, that is often where we see the worst injuries, I would have to say.
So it, it, it is an assumption a little bit to say that the perpetrator is even aware of, I would say, and I’ll say some more about that. I mean, but understanding of that, they’re committing a crime at the time that they do that.
Garrett Jonsson: Okay.
Dr. Kim: Does that make sense?
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Dr. Kim: Like, they are. Okay. Just like if you get behind the wheel of a car when you’re intoxicated or have been drinking alcohol and you hurt somebody, then you’re, you’re guilty of a crime. In… I sometimes, um, feel that the people who are perpetrating the sexual assault, they may not think that they are well, they may not even realize that they are I’ve, I’ve wandered all over the place, Garrett. So I’m just like…
Garrett Jonsson: No, you’re fine.
Dr. Kim: But I think I wanted to also say in terms of establishing a lack of consent, sometimes when the patient is talking to us and they know, and they’re able to hear what they’re saying about what happened, they start to realize, “Actually, I’m, I’m not mistaken. This isn’t right. This is I didn’t consent.” They actually get to be able to be able to see it for themselves as well. So whilst yes, it’s from their point of view of the, um, police investigation, there also is that opportunity for the person, the patient I’m seeing to start to confront or be with for themselves, that realization of, you know, “No, this was not right.” So sometimes that’s where people are able to just kind of sort out for themselves. “Hmm. Okay. What happened? I didn’t consent to that. And I’m now clear about that.”
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I think that, I would imagine that’s a difficult thing to confront, but also at the same time, it can be, um, maybe a little bit, what’s the word? Um, it can be cathartic or healing, part of that healing process.
Dr. Kim: Well, what has been demonstrated in research is that the way that people respond to a sexual assault, somebody who alleges a sexual assault, the way that the people respond makes a different to their psychological outcome, it also makes a difference to whether they do go to the police. So I think that if people do come and see us that yeah, it is part of, um, beginning their healing process.
Garrett Jonsson: Right. So you’ve seen over 500 individuals. Is that correct?
Dr. Kim: That’s correct.
Garrett Jonsson: Wow.
Dr. Kim: Oh my God. That sounds like being in court because often the lawyers are asking you, “So is your name…”, you know, “Is your name _____?” “Yes, that’s correct.” [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]
Dr. Kim: That was just a real court moment for me. I’m heading off to court next week for a big murder trial. So yeah. Um…
Garrett Jonsson: okay.
Dr. Kim: I probably got it on my mind.
Garrett Jonsson: Well, so 500 cases, um, that is quite a bit. And 18 years of experience. One thing that I wanted to contextualize is the timeframe. If you go back to when you started around 2003, and then in 2007 is when the first smartphone became available. And during that same time period, um, internet pornography shifted significantly because that’s when free tube sites became available and then fast forward to today. So that’s a big transition. It’s an interesting time to be in your field of work. Now, the reason why I give you all that context is to pose this question. The question is, have you seen a change in the type of abuse, um, that you are treating over the course of those 18 years?
Dr. Kim: You know, we really, we really have, which is why, uh, I have been someone who’s become very passionate about the impact of pornography on what we’re seeing. And it really began probably about eight to 10 years ago. I suppose we, we just kind of started commenting to each other as, particularly in our younger and our teenage patients, you know, as colleagues, we would just start to comment, “Hmm. Is, is what you’re seeing changing.” We’re seeing more anal assault say, um, the types of assaults were changing. And that’s really why I reached out to Fight the New Drug and to Consider Before Consuming, because we were looking to find out, okay, what’s behind this kind of progressive change. And it hasn’t just been the change in the types of assaults. It’s also how the, um, younger females in particular, um, how they respond to it too, or perhaps what they think is okay.
So yeah, that’s where I, you know, I, that’s why I reached out and we’ve been looking and getting myself, uh, trained because the, the thought we all had was, “Hmm, this seems like pornography.” But at the time, you know, we didn’t realize the degree to which the online pornography was so, so available and has continued to be so available. So boy, my eyes have been so opened and I’ve been able to, um, kind of start to, uh, to educate my, my colleagues. And I mean, I really feel like I’m a newcomer to this conversation. You know, about three years ago, I went to a, because of what we’ve been seeing and probably also because I have daughters and they’re coming into their teenage years, I went to a professional development day about pornography and thought, “Oh, okay, sure. I’ll go and see what this is about.” Because that was what our sense was is there’s something happening in the pornography kind of sphere.
And there was an incredible lady, Maree Crabbe, who’d been working in this area for many, many years. You know, she, she’s done some incredible documentaries with, um, uh, with young people, but also with performers in pornography. And that day, my whole, um, probably what I’m, I don’t even know my whole outlook changed to… I came out of that day. And it isn’t that I’m anti pornography. It isn’t, it’s just that we have this incredible tsunami of, um, of, of pictures and videos that are available to our young people with no context around what they’re seeing necessarily and no kind of understanding of what they’re seeing and let alone the impact of what they could be having on, on them. You know? So since then, I’ve just started talking about it and I just I’ll talk to, I will talk to anybody sometimes I feel like I should come with a graphic warning.
Like, you know, how the, uh, in Australia, all our cigarettes have to have a warning saying that, you know, “This can cause lung cancer” or “Don’t smoke when you’re pregnant.” I sometimes think I should have one, because if you sit down next to me in the playground, you might find yourself talking about the impact of pornography on our young people.
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] Yeah.
Dr. Kim: And to be honest, as that’s happened, um, people want to know, parents want to know they, they are challenged by it, and they’re challenged by “What do we do about it?” So if they don’t know, they spent any time with me, they’ll find out. But if they, if they do know they’re really struggling with what to do about it.
Garrett Jonsson: Right. Have you or any of your colleagues performed any research to gather data around those changes?
Dr. Kim: We’ve done some research and that we’re in the process of, uh, re looking at it. So I’ll tell you a little bit about the research we did do and where it’s led us. Okay. So my, um, colleagues did some research looking at their area of sexual assault and something called non-fatal strangulation, which has actually become something that, uh, as in the clinical forensic medicine community, we’ve, we’ve got very interested in, and in actual fact, the laws and legislations in Australia have been changing to have non-fatal strangulation, be a standalone offense. And it is exactly what it sounds like it’s non fatal strangulation. So it’s where pressures applied to the neck of a person in which, they don’t die from it. So really this, um, I, uh, non-fatal strangulation. We really began to look at it in the context of domestic violence victims or intimate partner violence, because, um, in the research that they did, when they looked at it, they found that in the age group of our 30 to 39 year old women in intimate partner violence, that’s where we saw the most non-fatal strangulation.
And it was in the context of control and actually quite severe injuries. And non-fatal strangulation is now recognized as a risk factor for intimate partner homicide, which of course, we’re very much out to prevent in Australia. We have approximately one female, one, um, woman killed per week by an ex partner or an intimate partner. So we’re very interested in finding ways to, how do we pick up the risk factors? Non-fatal strangulation is that, but a consequence of their research is that we started to screen for non-fatal strangulation in all our sexual assault patients and what we, this is, we haven’t published this yet, but what we are finding, and that again, is one of those kind of things we’re commenting on to each other is that from their original research now, too, we’ve been screening for about five years. We’ve seen a big increase in the amount of non-fatal strangulation that we’re seeing in our teenagers.
And I’m talking nearly five times as much. Now is that a consequence, because we weren’t asking before we weren’t screening? But that seems a lot, don’t you think?
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah, that does seem like a big number.
Dr. Kim: As we’ve started screening nearly five times as many patients are reporting in our teenage group of having pressure applied to their neck, and that’s just dangerous, there are, it’s just simply dangerous. And if you ask me, “Okay, what is the thing that, that would be influencing that?” I don’t think they’re learning about that at school. I don’t think their parents are talking to them about, you know, in terms of when you have sex with somebody that you put your hands around their neck, where would we, where would they be learning that from? Okay. And where would they be normalizing it from too? And that would be pornography and given the danger inherent to non-fatal strangulation.
Um, I think that’s an important area that we also need to educate our people, our young people and our parents about. And I have to tell you, like I said earlier, I, I should come with a graphics, a graphic warning because, you know, I can talk about penises and vaginas and you know, all that kind of stuff. I can talk till the cows come home. And, Oh my God, my, my, my girls, sometimes the like “Mom!”, you know, I was just on one of my riffs where I’m just talking about what I’m interested in with my husband. And a few days later, he came back to me and it was a real, um, moment for me with, he said to me, “Kim, I’m all good with the drugs conversation. I can talk about no drugs, but I’m really struggling with the no choking conversation. How do I have that conversation with my girls?”
You know? And, and, and I think, gosh, we really, you know, that is challenging. And talking to your children about pornography, normal sex. Uh, I know there’s not, uh, well, the definition of normal sex is, is wide and ranging. I don’t say that it’s not, but I do say that a lot of what people are seeing on in pornography, um, is, is sexual entertainment. It’s not really, what’s going to happen in real life necessarily. So, um, that’s also fired me up, as you can tell, it just had me go, “Gosh, we really need to be serving our young people better.” And I’m so happy that there’s this, um, conversation now in our, in the public arena in Australia about consent education and about how to, uh, uh, educate our young people and, and the massive gaps that there are, is in the sexual sex education that they get at school to have it be in the forefront so that we can actually start doing better with, um, equipping them to be able to understand, um, themselves okay. And their environment and what might be influencing them.
Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for sharing all that. That’s great information. Um, can you share with us a rewarding experience that you’ve had as a sexual assault physician? Because I think it can be, from an outsider who isn’t in your field of work, I look at it as “Man, this is a heavy thing that you have to deal with every day.” Um, but I’m sure that there are rewarding aspects to it. Can you share a rewarding aspect or a rewarding experience that you’ve had while on the job?
Dr. Kim: Gosh, there really, there are, there are so many…
Garrett Jonsson: Or does that happen every day?
Dr. Kim: Well, it’s why I, and sometimes you walk out of a case and you just are so sad that what this person is having to deal with. Um, you know, what I’d want to share is that, um, I’ve had some patients recently in the last year. Okay. And I’ll tell you about this one young lady. And she was, um, she was at university. And what was rewarding about talking to her was actually, there’s two, two of them. And they were pretty close together was actually the opportunity for this young woman who’d been sexually assaulted. And what she’d said to me was “I really, I met this chap and I liked him and we’d spent time together.” And she said, “And then when we got into anything intimate, he suddenly just changed. It was remarkable.” And we definitely hear that have heard that from other patients, but with this young woman she’s, it was striking.
And she was, I just, “He changed from being this lovely chap that I was, um, felt respected by. And I was happy to be with him to then suddenly when we were in the bedroom, it was completely different. And he turned into a different person and it was a rough and it was, um, horrible. And I, and I didn’t want any of it to happen. And then there’s the whole, you know, pressing me for anal sex.” And then she says, “And then after it was all finished, he turned back into the nice person that I had been talking to.” And I said to her, it was one of the times, cause you don’t get often a chance to talk about this. I said, “Well, what do you think that was about?” And she said, “I think it’s about pornography.” And then she, and I got to have a conversation about what she has experienced as a young woman in her twenties with, um, the men that with men of her age around pornography and the degree to which in her experience, the notion of consent is being eroded and that it isn’t, um, you know, it was a remarkable conversation to be having with her, you know, a week or so after this experience she’d had, and it was extremely rewarding because we could talk about it and she knew, and she was so relieved to be able to talk to somebody, myself, about and get validated for “That is actually what we’re seeing too.”
And she was just, I could see the relief on her face that she wasn’t crazy, that she really did think that, and it, it really does stand out for me.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s, that’s awesome.
Dr. Kim: The difference we got to make in that conversation. And I think the other one that I would say was actually when I got to have a conversation with, again, another girl in her twenties and she had been anally assaulted and she was, uh, she was at university as well, the two, um, uh, they were about the same age, these two women, um, and to be able to have the conversation that “Actually anal sex, isn’t something that all women want.” And I felt like a little bit like, Oh, I am going to say something to her because she was really questioning herself about the why she doesn’t like anal sex, or she didn’t want that.
And she’d, she had felt that that was really, uh, you know, her what’s wrong with her, that she didn’t want that. So it was able to have a conversation with her about “look, do you know that not all women like anal sex or even want anal sex. And for the most part often find it quite uncomfortable.”
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: And the re and on her face, she was just like, “Really?” And that’s when I thought, gosh, we aren’t equipping our young people. You know, if that’s an, and you know, that’s not to say that if people love anal sex and have consensual anal sex, go for it. Fabulous. Okay. Just that the understanding of, um, of how to navigate that and have consent for that and, and, or, um, is an important conversation that people need to have. And w in the research it’s, it’s not common. And I wouldn’t say it’s uncommon, but it’s not like that every woman loves anal sex and can’t wait to have anal sex.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Dr. Kim: And for her, she was questioning herself because that was how she felt.
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. That’s interesting. I think that your job is a very unique and very challenging, but I can totally see how it is rewarding. Um, I want to give you the opportunity Dr. Kim, to, um, leave us with the last word today, um, during this conversation, is there anything maybe that I should have asked that I didn’t ask or anything else that you would like to share?
Dr. Kim: I think what I, you know, I’m at the pointy end of where things have gone wrong. Like I’m a sexual assault physician and people come and see me when they have identified that they haven’t consented. And, um, I’m seeing what I’m seeing. I just want to say the medical community is not talking about it enough. All right. You know, I’ve talked at conferences and, uh, where, where, you know, they’ve, um, it’s been a surprise to the doctors, so we’re not talking about it enough as a medical community. And that is one place people might go and talk to their doctor about what’s happening or want advice. And so the medical community definitely need to be talking about it more. I think we need to really, and of course, we’re very keen to, in the sexual assault kind of area to be looking and researching into pornography and things like that and finding links.
But of course it is very challenging because we’re not talking to the people that are allegedly perpetrated this extra, so we’re talking to the victims. Um, so I think it’s just, uh, it is what I want to leave people with is, it’s time for us to open up this conversation, to start to really talk about pornography and its impact. And start to really find ways to teach people about consent. And, you know, it seems like a simple concept. Okay. No means no. And I have to say when I was a teenager, that was, um, you know, it was kind of drilled into us that no men, no. And I think that one of the impacts of pornography has been the eroding of that scent. That kind of idea. That no means no.
Garrett Jonsson: Right. Well, thanks for sharing
Dr. Kim: So I think that was my last word, even though it was a lot of last words there, Garrett. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for sharing. And, um, again, we appreciate you being with us today and for you sharing your knowledge and experience, uh, I know we are, we’re fortunate to have you.
Dr. Kim: Thanks.
Fight the New Drug Ad: Regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political persuasions, or any other diversifying factor, porn can impact anyone. If you’ve recognized the harmful effects of pornography in your life, or recognized the harms pornography can cause in society, we welcome you to become a Fighter and take the Fighter Pledge. As Fighters we strive to be bold, understanding, open-minded, and accepting. If you’re ready to become an official Fighter, we invite you to read the full Fighter Pledge and sign it at FTND.org/FighterPledge. That’s FTND.org/FighterPledge.
Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for joining on this episode of Consider Before Consuming.
Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug.
Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
If you’d like to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode.
Again, big thanks to you for listening to this conversation. As you go about your day, we invite you to increase your self-awareness, look both ways, check your blind spots, and consider before consuming.
MORE RESOURCES FROM FTND
A three-part documentary about porn’s impacts on consumers, relationships, and society.
Fifteen research-based articles detailing porns negatively impacts.
Tees to support the movement and change the conversation wherever you go.
Successfully navigate conversations about porn with your partner, child, or friend.
A database of the ever-growing body of research on the harmful effects of porn.
An interactive site with short videos highlighting porn’s proven negative effects.