Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed two pieces of legislation — one resolution and one bill — this week in an attempt to combat what he has deemed a “sexually toxic environment” caused by pornography.

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Resolution:

 S.C.R. 9 Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis

This resolution states that pornography is “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”

It claims that Utah would be the first state in the nation to make this declaration, and this move is particularly significant because it may inspire other states and even nations to follow suit.

The resolution also cites what it says are the detrimental effects of porn, including the treatment of “women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use.” It also states that pornography “equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure which increases demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images and child pornography.”

View the entire resolution here.

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What Does The Resolution Hope To Accomplish?

While this resolution has absolutely no punitive powers, and it doesn’t even specifically ban pornography in Utah, it aims to raise awareness and promote education on the matter. Spokesman for the Republican governor, Jon Cox, said they “want Utah youths to understand the addictive habits of porn that are harmful to our society.”

Bill: 

H.B. 155 Reporting of Child Pornography

This is the name of the bill that was signed which is a bit more specific and has some enforcement muscle, requiring computer technicians who find child pornography during their work to report it to law enforcement officials. The bill also implies that “the willful failure to report the child pornography would be considered a class B misdemeanor.”

Read the reporting bill here.

More In Favor Of This Bill

In support of this bill is Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. In an interview in 2015, she argued that “pornography encourages viewers to view their sexual partners in a dehumanized way and it increases the acceptance and enjoyment of sexual violence and harmful beliefs about women, sex, and rape.”

In a video interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, State Senator Todd Weiler, chief sponsor of both pieces of legislation, likened the addictive qualities of pornography to tobacco, stating that “pornography today is like tobacco was 70 years ago.”

Pornography Is A Real Problem

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Brett and Kate McKay called “The Problem With Porn“:

Pornography is such a polarizing issue, that it’s easy for people to take extreme sides when approaching it. Oftentimes, religious people, while very sincere in their beliefs, brand porn as vile filth that turns good men into sexual perverts and unclean lepers. I’ve sat through plenty of church sermons where porn is approached this way. However, such a approach hardly helps men rationally think through the issue. Rather it transforms porn into an even more desirable forbidden fruit, pushes porn consumption into a secretive underground fetish,  and prevents men from being honest in their need for help.

The other extreme sees porn as just a healthy expression of sexuality. Pornography is heartily encouraged in order to help people discover what pleases them sexually, no matter how graphic or violent the material is. The people in this camp will argue that as long as consenting adults are involved and no one gets hurt, then anything goes. However, this approach fails to recognize the detrimental effects porn can have on an individual, on women, and on society.

And as mentioned above, frequent exposure to pornographic material desensitizes its viewers to sexual acts and images; before long, they must search for increasingly more intense images to achieve arousal, resulting in a demand for more ‘hardcore’ pornography. This includes pornography featuring violence, rape, and even pedophilia.

It is also noteworthy to mention that by watching porn you are supporting an industry which exploits young men and women, encouraging more people to choose that industry as a career. In a pornographic video these people may be seen as objects, but just imagine if they were your own daughter, mother, sister, brother — how would you feel about it then?

What About Love & Connection?

Sex is a truly intimate act and offers a unique way for couples to deeply bond, but pornography treats the act as just a means to an end, lacking real passion, love, and connectedness. This can create issues for both those already in relationships or those entering new ones with sexual partners, as they may not even know how to fully connect with their partners, or how to ensure that it is a mutual act of love.

For more information about pornography and addiction, click here.

Much Love


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