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Kat’s Blog: Pornography: A Public Health Crisis?

They are at it again-

Lawmakers across the country declaring pornography a “”public health crisis”.

This isn’t new by any means, several years ago lawmakers were calling pornography an “epidemic”.

This week lawmakers in the Arizona state government approved a measure urging the state to prevent “exposure & addiction” to porn.  15 other states legislative chambers have adopted similar measures.

Is it true? Is pornography an epidemic, a public health crisis?  I thought those scare tactics were supposed to be used for real “population panic” like the plague.

According to lawmakers, they are just looking out for the public’s best interest, of course they do this by linking pornography to human trafficking, teenage pregnancies and violence against women. The Arizona legislature even goes so far as to say “pornography poison’s minds.”

I have to equate this kind of governmental craziness with the same governmental craziness that labels all registrants as “sex offenders” regardless of whether or not your offense had anything to do with sex. There’s not a lot of empirical evidence or scientific studies to back up any of their claims, but throw “public health crisis” into the mix and you’re sure to catch the public’s attention.

Now, let’s be clear, when we’re talking pornography, we’re talking, legal, adult age entertainment, not anything having to do with exploiting children or anyone else for that matter.

There are so many current issues that may very well deserve the “public health crisis” label, the new measles outbreak, alcohol and opioid addictions, depression, PTSD among veterans.  These are on- going problems that seem to be reaching proportions that we need to get under control pretty quickly, these are the problems lawmakers should be working on.  It just doesn’t seem that adults who are capable of making adult choices to view adult entertainment should have their pastime labeled a public health crisis so that the government can control it.

Lawmakers would like the public to believe that pornography is a societal evil that will surely lead to a pornography addiction if we don’t let “big brother” take control of what we can and can’t view. Again, any evidence to back up their claims is sorely lacking, in fact, to the contrary, sex therapists have been suggesting pornography as a healthy adjunct to treatment in couples- therapy for years.

To suggest that viewing pornography will cause adults to become addicted to porn is as ridiculous as suggesting that all adults that drink alcohol are destined to become alcoholics. While some of us may have inherited a gene that unfortunately gives us the propensity for addictive behavior, that’s simply not true of everyone.

Our lawmakers have always had a flare for the dramatic, but calling pornography a “public health crisis” is a bit of a stretch, even for them.

Join the discussion

  1. D

    I think the thing you are missing here is that it may be fine for an adult to look at pornography, but for minors who’s brains are still developing, it can be a bad thing and lead to addiction and disfunctional ideas about sex and relationships. I know this from experience. I started looking at porn at a young age and it took over my life, every girl was a sex object not a person who deserved to be treated with respect.

    So when they talk about it being a “public health crisis” I don’t think they mean that it should be banned,just that there needs to be more education and knowledge of how it affects younger brains that are still developing.

    Personally, I wish that I could go to young men (maybe high school age) and talk to them about how devastating going down the road of pornography can be. How I made many seemingly unimportant decisions over the years that further isolated myself and brought me closer to the rock bottom of being arrested.

    • TS

      A male’s brain still is developing until 25ish acc. to science. While starting in high school is good, traditional college age needs what you offer too.

      • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

        Oh, you need to read up on the theory that the undeveloped adolescent brain is that way to allow for social maturation through experience, not cotton-wooling. The undeveloped brain is a FEATURE, not a flaw. An epigenetic triumph that provides critical culture-specific maturation through exposure to the real, messy world!

    • Tim Lawver

      Some city folk think that watching animals fornicate is abnormal!
      Some horse “owners” refuse to clean the penis sheath of their geldings!
      Nude humans are offensive? Pornography is hard to define in itself exactly.
      The goal is to prevent ” pain” or measurable harm. Hurting human feelings can not be felonious!
      Stupid as I sound, SOR was far more about the ” use of” the machine databases AND not the man. Proof enough in the observation that kids themselves are required to upkeep the database. The parties are not so much interested in your kids as their pocket book will do for now.

  2. Political Prisoner

    You could add Drunk Driving to that public health crisis.

  3. Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

    Wouldn’t it be great if criminal justice had at least a nodding acquaintance with science and its findings? The data on pornography really doesn’t support the continuous hysteria surrounding it. But then, the data doesn’t support the rest of the sex offender non-stop shriekfest, either.

  4. TS

    Nice write up, Kat. You nail it here. For all who are curious, the definition of a public health crisis (Wikipedia):

    A health crisis or public health crisis is a difficult situation or complex health system that affects humans in one or more geographic areas (mainly occurred in natural hazards), from a particular locality to encompass the entire planet. Health crises generally have significant impacts on community health, loss of life, and on the economy. They may result from disease, industrial processes or poor policy.[1][2]

    “There are so many current issues that may very well deserve the “public health crisis” label, the new measles outbreak, alcohol and opioid addictions, depression, PTSD among veterans.” Add to this what I recall from the last 30 years: eggs, fatty foods, red meat, sugary drinks, sugar and now any fake sweetener, obesity, lack of exercise (or just going outside), crack, texting while driving, driving while distracted, crossing the street while distracted, prescription drug abuse, illicit drug abuse, mental health issues (more than just depression), veteran suicide, video game addiction, social media and internet consumption, and the list goes on.

    For AZ specifically, the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis as they declared in 2017. I do wonder how many elderly (or even politicians) in AZ are viewers of such nudity in their lives.

    A declaration like this is only a feel good measure to keep the politicians in the public eye and draw a short term peak interest. I’d declare mixing it up with a cactus, drug trafficking, and other hot state political topics are public health crises in AZ too, but you can’t have everything.

  5. mark

    Whats next ? will they call masturbation a public health crisis ? maybe a tissue shortage yea ahahha

  6. Facts should matter

    Lawmakers (mostly Republicans), in their well-spring of idiocy, Florida, LOVE fabricating “threats” and saber rattling as a deflection from doing their jobs. They’ve been controlling the narrative for years in order to tell us who, and what to be afraid of.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/374816-florida-house-votes-to-declare-porn-a-public-health-risk-within-an-hour

    Flawed GOP ideology:

    Abortion = Bad!

    Caravans = Be very afraid!

    Porn = Henny Penny!

    Guns = Benign and harmless.

  7. Eric

    I’m not going to make light of the porn industry and porn. I do believe the reason I got in trouble for a CP offense is from the progression of pornography. As I look back I see I started out with mainstream over the counter mags, but as time went by I became desensitized to them. They no longer stimulated me so I progressed to more graphic images and later videos. This continued on until the internet age. I began looking for “something new” and found sites from other countries which was my downfall. As well, adult porn is very degrading to the people involved. There isn’t a lot of wholesome porn out there. Drug and alcohol addiction is rampant in the industry as well as suicide. You can’t feel good about yourself knowing you are being exploited and degraded. I don’t care how much money a few of them make or how advertising tries to normalize it, degrading yourself publicly and watching people do it can’t be healthy. I’m not calling for the banning of it, I’m just stating my personal experience with it.

  8. David

    Garbage lawmakers, just pandering and fear-mongering! If they’re going to identify threats to public health, let’s be more realistic…. viewing porn can lead to lack of proper sleep, can lead to overeating high calories at-hand junk food, can lead to exceeding one’s allotted Internet provider’s gigabytes per month limit, can lead to tendonitis, chaffing, callouses, etc. 🤣 Those are realistic … will lead to purchasing an assault rifle and shooting up a church…. umm, not so much!

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