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Utah Governor Declares Porn a 'Health Hazard' and Signs Two Bills

Author: Shernide Delva

Back in February, we published an article on how Utah Republican State Senator Todd Weiler declared porn a public health crisis. Weiler came out in protest of pornography citing the destructive, addictive nature of porn. He introduced a legislature to Utah that would allow the state to closely monitor ]pornography usage and reduce child pornography.

Now, the state’s governor is coming out with support for those beliefs. Utah Gov. Gary R. Hubert recently said that porn is a “health hazard” and produces a “sexually toxic environment” for those who view it.  He signed two bills to raise awareness of the issue he feels strongly about:

“Pornography is a public health crisis. Today I signed two bills that will bring its dangers to light. S.C.R. 9 calls for additional research and education so that more individuals and families are aware of the harmful effects of pornography,” said Herbert on the governor’s Facebook page.

Of the two bills, one is technically a resolution that declares porn as an official health hazard to the state of Utah while the other bill proposes a solution. The first bill explains the reason why porn is such a huge problem. It lists the numerous detrimental effects of porn such as causing the treatment of women as “objects and commodities for the viewer’s use.” The bill continues to state that pornography “equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography.”

Still, the bill does not list any punishing powers. It does not explicitly ban pornography in the state, nor does it contain any consequences for those caught viewing pornography.

Jon Cox, the spokesperson for the Republican governor, explained the bill Monday stating the point of the bill is to declare a resolution to raise awareness and education of the dangers of porn:

“We want Utah youths to understand the addictive habits” of porn that are “harmful to our society,he said.

The second bill introduced does list some consequences for more specific porn usage, such as viewing child pornography. The second bill requires technicians who find child pornography during their work to report it to law enforcement. Any technician who fails to report findings of child pornography would face a class B misdemeanor.

Claims of Addiction

Porn addiction has been, and continues to be, a controversial manner. Some believe pornography has a place in society while others believe it is harmful. Some also believe pornography can be addictive while others find there is nothing addictive about it. Just like any addiction, some people are affected more by an action or behavior than others are.

Dawn Hawkins is the executive director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation in Washington, had spoken in the past how detrimental she feels porn can be.

“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.”

Pornography continues to be an interesting conversation had throughout the entire country. An interesting twist to the legislation is that in 2009, Utah was determined by Harvard Business School to have the highest pornography sales per capita than any other state in the United States.

Pornography exists, and people are watching it. That is a fact. Whether or not pornography should be banned or how addictive it can be remains a conversation to be had repetitively. However, as with any addiction, people respond differently. If you feel you have a problem, get help. Do not feel ashamed. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

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