History was made last Friday. The first ever Resolution in the U.S. (possibly the world!) that declares Pornography as a Public Health Crisis passed a Utah Senate Committee — without a single word of opposition — and in the words of the committee chair, “more than unanimously!”
This is a resolution, not a bill, so contrary to the claims of critics, it will not ban anything. It is a simply a statement that the Legislature “recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.”
The resolution clearly outlines many of the harms of pornography including, “contributing to the hypersexualization of teens, and even prepubescent children,” and how “pornography treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use [and] normalizes violence and abuse of women and children.”
It also points out the “potential detrimental effects on pornography’s users can impact brain development and functioning, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal, and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships.”
Finally, it states that “pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity; this link demonstrates that pornography has a detrimental effect on the family unit.”
Why A Resolution?
“The reason I’m running this resolution,” explained Senator Todd Weiler to the Senate committee, “is that there are a lot of people who don’t know or don’t believe that pornography is addictive, and don’t know or don’t believe that it’s harmful.”
He continued, “The reason I think that this resolution is significant is because when we talk to people about protecting their children from pornography, all we usually hear back is that pornography is legal… and the reality is tobacco is also legal. But when I was a kid (and I grew up outside of Utah) there were vending machines everywhere where you could put a few coins in, and pull the knob, and get cigarettes.
“You don’t see those anymore. You don’t see tobacco advertised on television because we’ve recognized as a society that tobacco products are addictive and that they are harmful. That was something that the country didn’t recognize 50 years ago, then the public opinion changed on that. And I believe that the public opinion needs to change on pornography.
“So I think that the resolution is a first step. A lot of people have accused me of trying to ban pornography, but I’m not trying to ban anything. I’m trying to bring education to an important topic that is destroying relationships and destroying families and undermining many of the important fabrics of our society.
“And by the way, I had no idea, zero idea, that this would get the media attention it has, not only in the state, and in the country, but internationally. And I’m glad in one respect that it has, because the whole purpose of this is to educate and to start a national discussion, and I think that’s happened.
“I think if we pass this resolution in Utah this year, and if we get 10 or 15 other states to do it, that will send a clear message to Washington D.C. that that’s a direction we should go as a country.”
United Families wholeheartedly supports this initiative, and we submitted a public statement in support of the resolution. (See Below)
Since our organization began in 1978, we have observed the damage that pornography does to individuals, families, and societies. In fact, on our website we have published a “Guide to Family Issues” with 352 research studies and commentary showing pornography’s devastation to individuals, families, and societies.
In addition, a brand new 2016 study assessing 22 different studies from seven different countries around the world shows that pornography is linked to aggression and violence: “Internationally, the consumption of pornography was associated significantly with both verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike….This study adds to the growing evidence that porn harms. If we want to tackle sexual violence, we must first admit the role that pornography plays and the harm that it does to attitudes and actions.”
Private behavior can have public consequences! Pornography is degrading, dehumanizing, and devastating, and we are all paying the price.
Be a part of history! Join the fast-growing movement to raise awareness of the harms of pornography by:
• Forwarding this email to others
• Signing a petition supporting Resolution SCR 9 at the Utah Legislature
• Asking your elected officials to sponsor this initiative in your state or country. Click here for a revised version of the resolution they can use. You can do this! If not you, then who?
It’s time for all of us to stand up and call pornography what it is: a Public Health Crisis.
Faithfully for Families,
United Families International, President
UNITED FAMILIES INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF SCR 9
We at United Families International (UFI) believe that strong families make strong nations. Because we have observed the great damage that pornography does to individuals, families, and societies, we oppose pornography in all its forms, and we heartily support Utah Senator Todd Weiler’s SCR 9 Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis.
Since the arrival of the internet, cell phones, and the DVD and video industries, pornography has become the most pervasive and immediate threat to marriages and families – adults and children. Addiction and divorce are the most recognizable social costs of pornography, but the costs run much deeper. Private behavior can have public consequences.
Lacking in socially redeeming value, pornography represents a significant and growing menace to families, individuals, employers and communities. The price tag of pornography is crime, exploitation, sexual assault, child abuse, fractured marriages and families, addiction, distracted and uprooted lives and tremendous social costs for the communities, employers, and government agencies.
In addition, pornography contributes to the demographic decline of nations. Research by Dr. Donald L. Hilton concludes that “Pornography is the fabric used to weave the tapestry of sexual permissiveness that undermines the very foundation of society. Biologically, it destroys the ability of a population to sustain itself. It is a demographic disaster.” Author Tom Wolfe concurs, “The bigger pornography gets, the lower the birthrate becomes.”
United Families International has published an online resource with 352 research studies and quotes from experts, documenting the dangers of pornography to individuals, families, and societies. The following are a just a few excerpts from our UFI “Guide to Family Issues: The Harms of Pornography,” showing the high social costs of pornography to communities, states, and nations:
• The FBI has reported that 81 percent of sexually-oriented murderers and serial killers listed pornography as their primary sexual interest.
Pornography tied to Green River Killer, American Family Association Journal, January 2004. Green River Killer Confesses, 5 November 2003, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Cliff Kincaid, The Reason for the Killing Spree, Accuracy in Media, (24 November 2003).
• Former New York City police detective Raymond Pierce, who investigated nearly 1,000 criminal cases, said, “It’s expected that they [the suspects] read pornographic literature and magazines. Anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of the cases, if I were looking for it, I would have found it. But realistically, well over 80 percent.”
The Sexual Criminal’s Relationship to Porn, Morality in Media, (2000, August 31).
• A study by Darrell Pope, a former Michigan State police officer, found that of 38,000 cases of sexual assault on file in Michigan over a 20-year period, 41 percent involved the use of pornography just prior to or during the act.
Michael Craven, Pornography: The Deconstruction of Human Society, (2004, 10 October): 21.
• Users of pornography were more likely to engage in illegal behavior. Those who used pornography were more likely to go to prostitutes and engage in domestic violence, stranger rape, date rape and incest. “These behaviors should not be surprising since pornographic videos containing all of these themes are readily available.”
Dr. Mary Anne Layden, testimony at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space hearing on The Science Behind Pornography Addiction, (2004, 18 November).
• A U.S. House of Representatives committee found that exposing children to pornographic material causes harm to children and is a dangerous influence in their development. Neuroscientist Dr. Gary Lynch said, “[A]n event which lasts half a second[,] within five to 10 minutes has produced a structural change that is in some ways as profound as the structural changes … in [brain]damage … [and] can … leave a trace that will last for years.”
Dr. Gary Lynch, Study conducted for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
• A review of 81 original peer-reviewed research studies (35 using aggressive stimuli and 46 using non-aggressive stimuli), concluded that “the empirical research on the effects of aggressive pornography shows, with fairly impressive consistency, that exposure to these materials has a negative effect on attitudes toward women and the perceived likelihood to rape.”
Lyons, J.S., Anderson, R.L. and Larsen, D., A Systematic Review of the Effects of Aggressive and Nonaggressive Pornography. Cited in: Zillman, Bryant & Huston (eds.), Media, Children & the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perpectives, Hillsdale, N.J., J. Erlbaum Associates, 305.
United Families International, President
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