Which governor is declaring porn to be a “public health crisis?”

United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously declared how he identified pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Now a governor has gone several steps further to declare porn is “a public health crisis.”

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Vintage photo from The Daily Mail article on "saucy album covers"

Vintage photo from The Daily Mail article on “saucy album covers

 

 

Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis following its passage in the state legislature.

Last month, Utah became the first state to declare pornography ‘a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms,’” the governor’s office said in a statement.

A 2009 Harvard study found Utah was tops in online porn site subscriptions.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation announced drafted the resolution.

“Utah is on the cutting edge of addressing the public health crisis of pornography,” said Executive Director NCOSE Dawn Hawkins said in a statement. “The harms of pornography are becoming clear in light of overwhelming scientific and social research—research which demonstrates that resolutions like the one in Utah are vital for the sexual health of future generations. For instance, research shows that pornography use is linked to increased verbal and physical sexual aggression, acceptance of rape myths, decreased brain matter, reduced impulse control and decision making, risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, higher incidence of STIs, and increased sexual dysfunction. Utah’s resolution not only raises awareness about these harms and the need to protect children from early exposure, but also serves as a guidepost for leaders about future policy decisions such as requiring libraries and schools to install filtering software.”

“I believe pornography will follow the trend of the tobacco industry in public perception,” Hawkins continued. “Pornography today is pervasive and popular, similar to smoking in the 1950s, but as the harms become apparent, both the general public and elected officials will demand that a multi-disciplinary public health approach be implemented across the country to address it.”

 

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