Is Pornography a Public Health Hazard?

Is Pornography a Public Health Hazard?

porn-the new drugby Erin Weist

One legislator’s proposed resolution in Utah has been receiving national attention.  This resolution would declare pornography to be a public health hazard.  The summary of this resolution states  it “recognizes the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation.”

This proposal has received both positive and negative attention (as attested by this video from the day-time talk show ‘The View’) throughout the nation, but thankfully has been met with support by the Utah Senate committee assigned to oversee the resolution.  Many local leaders and citizens are agreeing that, even outside of a religious or conservative narrative, pornography has devastatingly harmful social effects.

One local non-profit organization, a global outreach called Operation Underground Rescue, has been created to combat human trafficking throughout the world, a horrendous crime that they say has been fueled by the pornography industry  “The porn industry fuels sex trafficking.”  This statement was made by a similar group, Fight the New Drug, a social-media run group intended to teach kids about the dangers of pornography by comparing it to a drug.  Indeed, there is research to support the claim that pornography is, in fact, more damaging to society than any other drug.

The Utah Senator that started it all admits his research is not right-wing in nature.  It has come purely from a scientific standpoint, particularly in light of the fact that the pornography available today is far more violent, degrading and brutal in nature than it has ever been before.  And it is getting worse.  The end result is that boys become desensitized to violence against women, and girls are learning to view themselves as sexual objects.”  This cannot be good news for any society interested in the health and well-being of its citizens.

I will be watching this legislation closely.  Admittedly it doesn’t outlaw anything or even change the law, but it may be an important step in moving toward protections against the dangers of pornography, particularly in regards to protecting children.  Wherever you live, please let your legislators know you are listening and interested in this conversation.

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