I Agree with Utah Legislation that Porn is a “Public Health Crisis”

Senator Todd Weiler of Utah's 23rd Senate District

Senator Todd Weiler of Utah’s 23rd Senate District

I support Utah state Senator Todd Weiler’s proposed bill that declares pornography a “public health crisis.”

In an article by Lisa Eldred, Covenant Eyes President Ron DeHaas says, “Designating pornography as a public health crisis accurately describes what porn is doing to our society and culture.  A recent, ground-breaking survey, The Porn Phenomenon, showed most teens and young adults believe ‘not recycling’ is worse than viewing pornography and that nearly half of young adults thought that forced or violent sex acts in pornography were not immoral. At a time when nearly every family has been touched by the harms of pornography, this designation of a health crisis treats the problem the way it should be.”

nearly half of young adults thought that forced or violent sex acts in pornography were not immoral

Starting around the mid-to-late 90’s when home internet began to become commonplace, pornography has been raising generations of children.  It did me.  I was a good church kid who genuinely loved Jesus, but my family happened to get home internet when I was in 7th grade.  I would have never dared to go buy a Playboy magazine, but knowing what was just a click away in my living room was too much to resist.  I got ensnared in an Internet pornography addiction that lasted until I was in college, when I finally reached out for some help.  Did porn turn me into a rapist or sex offender?  No.  But it definitely contorted the way I view women; how could it not?  I was at the peak of my formative adolescent years ingesting image after image of nudity and sex.  Conditioning (e.g. Pavlov’s dogs) in and of itself is a proven scientific fact that no one argues with, so how can anyone argue that porn doesn’t condition us to look at sex in unhealthy ways?  Of course it does.  That sad reality is that so many people look at porn that there’s very little chance of legislation working against it.  There’s a good chance many of the politicians or judges themselves look at it and enjoy it, let alone the majority of voters.  The more people praising pornography, the more everyone can feel good about their own vice with it.  There is so much hypocrisy in our culture.  We demonize child molesters more than anyone else on the planet, yet we allow and even encourage rampant exposure to pornographic images in print, online and in our favorite TV shows and movies–as if the two have zero connection.  What is the mindset behind this?  That a little bit of porn is okay, just don’t get carried away?  No, porn is not like alcohol.  Porn is a professor that teaches you false reality about sex and about other human beings.  It changes your brain.  If you want a society where humans are objectified and dehumanized, then endorse porn all you can because that is what it teaches.  If you want a society where people understand love, human dignity, worth and respect, then porn needs to identified and dealt with as a public health crisis.  Mental health is just as real as physical health.  If we feel it’s important that people know what they’re getting into with cigarettes or alcohol, the same needs to be true for pornography, which destroys lives and decays the very fabric of our society.

I applaud Senator Weiler for having the courage to make a public stand against pornography.

A selection from Senator Todd Weiler's proposed bill. Click to view entire bill.

A selection from Senator Todd Weiler’s proposed bill. Click to view entire bill.

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4 responses to I Agree with Utah Legislation that Porn is a “Public Health Crisis”


  1. This is where you lose me “We demonize child molesters more than anyone else on the planet, yet we allow and even encourage rampant exposure to pornographic images in print, online and in our favorite TV shows and movies–as if the two have zero connection.”

    They do have zero causal connection. At least as far as watching and then doing. I know that with sex offenders and serial killers they find tons of pornography on their harddrives but I think it’s their insane sex addiction/compulsion/whatever that causes BOTH the pornography addiction and the overt acts against others.

    I have watched porn and haven’t raped anyone, haven’t touched any kids and NEVER wanted to do either. And as a side note, during my worst pornographic phase was when I WAS MOST NEVEROUS TO TALK TO REAL WOMEN. Despite my frequent use, they were still these mythical creatures I put on a pedestal to such a degree that I froze up anytime I felt like I ought to make a move.

    Regarding child molestation, people seem to think it is a new thing, it’s not. We’re just talking about it more. One of my great grandmothers was molested by the uncle who raised her. I doubt he was inspired by pornographic films. I can’t imagine there were too many to go around in the late 19th century/early 20th century.

    If you want to say that there is a new and more detrimental effect that children today are getting from pornography because they have access to hardcore pornography at a young age whereas my generation and the ones before it had much tamer stuff like Dad’s Playboys or a softcore porn on a pay cable channel, then yeah I can buy that.


    • Thank you for the comment Anonymous. Your last two paragraphs are very sound. But you can’t use the sentence, “I have watched porn and haven’t raped anyone, haven’t touched any kids and NEVER wanted to do either” as a justifier that the two aren’t related. I said the same thing about myself in the post. Of course I’m not saying that every person who looks at porn then rapes someone. That was never my point. My point is that porn messes with the way we view women and sex, and rapists and molesters also have a messed up view of women and sex. These two things are related in that they both have messed up mindsets. This is a connection. While it can be argued that one causes the other, that wasn’t actually my point either. I was just saying that they both exist in the same twisted sphere of distortion so we are okay with one but hate the other.


  2. Very interesting article. I don’t think there’s a causal connection being drawn between child molestation (or rape) and pornography use, as much as it’s a “if we think this is so awful, then why do we glorify this?” question being asked. And it’s a question that deserves thinking about. Porn makes objects of women and children, objects to be used at the user’s convenience and for the user’s purposes with no regard for them as human beings. Plus it creates an out-of-kilter sense of sexuality and women’s bodies; those air-brushed photos and carefully lit and edited films aren’t real life, yet a lot of boys grow into teens and men who think they are.
    Thanks, Noah, for continuing to tell us like it is.

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