The state of Utah made headlines early last year when lawmakers declared pornography a public health crisis — a move that brought increased attention to the array of individual and social issues that many experts say porn is ushering in.
And now politicians in three additional states have joined Utah officials in attempting to label porn a public health crisis: Tennessee, Virginia and South Dakota, as Relevant reported.
Following in the footsteps of Utah officials, who called smut “evil, degrading, addictive, harmful,” South Dakota overwhelmingly passed a resolution last month that concluded that porn “is a public health crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”
The resolution goes on to say that children are exposed to smut at an “alarming rate,” considering the proliferation of technology, and that the age of first consumption has also become troublingly young on average.
“Pornography often serves as children and youths’ sex education and shapes their sexual templates,” the resolution reads. “Because pornography generally treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use, that generally teaches girls they are to be used and generally teaches boys to be users.”
Lawmakers propose efforts to educate families and people about the harms of porn and to develop programs that can help individuals recover from rampant use, arguing that smut has “potential detrimental effects” on excessive users, citing mental, medical and emotional illness as well as “deviant sexual arousals” and relational problems. Read the entire document here.
Lawmakers in Virginia are also tackling porn, with the state’s House of Representatives earlier this month overwhelmingly passing a resolution detailing the “harms of pornography,” according to the National Center on Exploitation. The bill — HJ 549 — which passed the House on Feb. 2, sees porn as causing individual and societal harm.
“This resolution is similar to the one Utah passed last year in that it would not require any funding or new legislation,” the organization explained. “This resolution would publicly recognize the harms of pornography, which then paves the way for greater awareness and national dialogue on the issue.”
Tennessee lawmakers are also currently considering Senate resolution SJR0035, which would similarly label porn a “public health hazard” and would push the state to offer education on the matter, proclaiming that “pornography is contributing to the hyper-sexualization of teens, and even prepubescent children, in our society.”
Debate persists about porn addiction, though the issue has certainly captured a lot of attention in recent years. As Faithwire previously reported, numerous studies have found that porn can have a negative impact on individuals and marriages, alike. One recent study claims porn consumption can double one’s chances of divorce, and another — conducted by Josh McDowell Ministry — found that nearly half of young people watch porn at least weekly, according to Deseret News.
Other Must-Read Stories: