Pornography

Utah Governor Signs Resolution Declaring Porn a 'Public Health Crisis'

Drafted by the group formerly known as Morality in Media, the measure was passed unanimously by Utah lawmakers.

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert went along with the silliness handed to him by state legislators, signing a resolution Tuesday to declare pornography a "public health crisis." The measure, drafted by the group formerly known as Morality in Media, was passed unanimously by Utah senators and representatives. 

Morality in Media hopes to bring measures like this to other states, seeing Utah as just the start. "Utah is on the cutting edge of addressing the public health crisis of pornography," said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the morals group, which recently rebranded as the National Center for Sexual Exploitation. Emphasizing the supposed health crisis caused by porn, rather than its wickedness, is part of a general re-justification for why the group exists and reframing of why sex work and adult entertainment are bad news. It's no longer that you'll go to hell but that you'll become a impotent, rapey recluse. 

"Resolutions like the one in Utah are vital for the sexual health of future generations," claims Hawkins. "For instance, research shows that pornography use is linked to increased verbal and physical sexual aggression, acceptance of rape myths, decreased brain matter, reduced impulse control and decision making, risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, higher incidence of STIs, and increased sexual dysfunction."

I've blogged about many of these ideas before. The short of it is that the more credible research on porn consumption shows nothing like the things Hawkins claims. For instance, research from Nicole Prause, a researcher in UCLA's division for neuroscience and human behavior, found no significant link between watching porn and sexual dysfunction. There's also no evidence that porn can be "addictive" in any sort of biological sense. And studies on porn and aggression show, at best, that people who watch the most porn may also shows signs of aggression, not that porn somehow triggers problematic anger—it could just as well be that watching porn serves to stop some individuals from acting on aggression more in the real world. A rise in the easy availability of free porn online has, at any rate, coincided with a decrease in all manner of sex crimes. 

But Hawkin's statements show her aims go beyond just declaring porn a crisis. She hopes the Utah resolution "serves as a guidepost for leaders about future policy decisions such as requiring libraries and schools to install filtering software." And that's not all…

"I believe pornography will follow the trend of the tobacco industry in public perception," she continued. "Pornography today is pervasive and popular, similar to smoking in the 1950s, but as the harms become apparent, both the general public and elected officials will demand that a multi-disciplinary public health approach be implemented across the country to address it."

If you need a chaser after that, check out some of my coverage from this year's AVN Adult Entertainment Expo and Awards: 

For more on the new anti-porn movement, see this Atlantic piece: "Inside the Movement to Declare Pornography a Public Health Crisis." 

NEXT: Sanders Called Out for His Incoherent "War on Clean Energy" by the Washington Post

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  1. Isn’t it fun how “public health” can be cleverly applied to anything?

    1. It’s UTAH, peoplios! Can’t you see what happened? You can’t cuss there. They took the *ell out of public!

  2. “Public health crisis” might be the most abstract euphemism yet.

    1. Everyone’s going nuts over it.

  3. That dress with that bag? So gauche.

    1. “An anorexic brunette and a saggy-titted blonde walk into a bar…”

    2. Like you know anything about high fashion.

      1. Low fashion is my raison d’etat.

        1. Raison d’?tre. Pas raison d’Etat…

  4. When I lived in Utah some years ago, the controversy was about 7-11 selling Penthouse. I was extremely amused to see them picketed simultaneously by blue-nosed Mormons and hairy-pitted college feminists. It was a formative moment for me, seeing that there really was no difference.

    1. One smells better than the other.

        1. Let your gardens grow, ladies.

          1. Gives new meaning to the term carpet munching?

    2. …there really was no difference…

      Someone gets it.

      Broheim. *fistchest* *peace sign*

  5. What constitutes sexual dysfunction?

    1. when I am not getting some?

    2. I can think of only three things:

      1) Do you have a sexual compulsion that you want to stop but cannot?
      2) Are you causing harm to someone else against their will?
      3) Are you attracted to hairy armpits?

      1. I’m not exactly repelled by shaved ones, but hairy armpits do look more grown up to me, hence more attractive in a lady.

        1. Also hairy legs. But not mustaches.

      2. Well I am safe then. **Heads back to the hamster cages**

  6. Alt text win.

  7. Maybe it is a public health crisis in Utah. Bunch of fucking perverts there.

  8. “You’ll go blind if you don’t stop that!”

    Fresh take on an old classic.

  9. Utah values.

  10. It’s no longer that you’ll go to hell but that you’ll become a impotent, rapey recluse.

    “(He) called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse’. I’m not a recluse.” – Mike Tyson

  11. Well I have had some chafing problems.

  12. “I believe pornography will follow the trend of the tobacco industry in public perception,” she continued. “Pornography today is pervasive and popular, similar to smoking in the 1950s, but as the harms become apparent, both the general public and elected officials will demand that a multi-disciplinary public health approach be implemented across the country to address it.”

    Well, let’s see. Tobacco: Gives you cancer. Porn: Doesn’t.

    So, don’t hold your breath for that change in public perception, is my advice to this lady.

    1. I think he means the part where a Baptist and Bootlegger style coalition extort billions of dollars from the industry before it collapses under the weight of its parasites.

    2. There’s no point in having just one crazy belief, people will just think you’re crazy. Better to have a whole bunch of crazy beliefs, then you can create an organization with built-in scope-creep.

    3. So sexbots with holographic skins will be the vaping of porn?

  13. “It’s no longer that you’ll go to hell but that you’ll become a impotent, rapey recluse. ”

    You’d think the first and last things would more than counter the second thing.

  14. “I believe pornography will follow the trend of the tobacco industry in public perception,” she [Dawn Hawkins] continued.

    The difference is that no one is really bothered by the smoke coming from the heads of perverts fapping over XXX videos, Ms. Hawkins.

    “Pornography today is pervasive and popular,

    Most popular things are pervasive, Ms. Hawkins.

    […] similar to smoking in the 1950s, but as the harms become apparent, both the general public and elected officials will demand that a multi-disciplinary public health approach be implemented across the country to address it.”

    You can prove harms from smoking. What possible harms can you prove emanate from porn? And porn has existed for far much longer than smoking, Ms. Hawkins.

    1. “Pornography today is pervasive and popular”

      One of my favorite episodes from the Bush Administration was when John Ashcroft demanded that nude-statuary be made more-modest.

      1. There is more to the Ashcroft story. Photographers would lie on their bellies and shimmy up to the right spot to take that famous photograph. It was very disruptive.

        Ashcroft told the staff to cover the statues so that the photographers would stop disrupting the new conferences

        As I remember any way

        1. Sounds like there was nothing more to the Ashcroft story.

          1. From the link above:

            In the past, snagging a photo of the attorney general in front of the statues has been something of a sport for photographers.

            When former Attorney General Edwin Meese released a report on pornography in the 1980s, photographers dived to the floor to capture the image of him raising the report in the air, with the partially nude female statue behind him.

            1. It seems to me the added context makes no difference to the core point.

              If he thought the imagery was unflattering, and the photographers behavior annoying, then move the podium, bozo.

              or move Lady Justice’s titties to the flanks where she isn’t framing you in every shot

              But trying to ‘dress’ greek-statues is simply giving the critics who tried to make you look ridiculous with their photos even more fodder for mocking you.

    2. More women die of radon induced pung cancer than tobacco induced lung cancer. I’m sure mouth cancer from smokeless tobacco remains a danger to women in many parts of Utah, but it’s pretty much a non-issue where dentistry reaches a population.

      1. More women die of radon induced pung cancer

        How do women die from cancer of the scrotum?

        1. Many more now that gender is fluid. Should be Lung cancer.

          1. I was admiring your John-esque typo.

  15. you’ll become a impotent, rapey recluse.

    That’s an amazing collections of contradictions there.

    Impotent, but so overwhelmed by sexual urges that they want to force their always-ready member into unwilling bodies.

    And reclusive, but somehow an ever-present public danger

  16. “For instance, research shows that pornography use is linked to increased verbal and physical sexual aggression, acceptance of rape myths, decreased brain matter, reduced impulse control and decision making, risky sexual behaviors among adolescents, higher incidence of STIs, and increased sexual dysfunction.”

    I’d love to see the dataset and methods behind that bullshit claim (and the rest of them for that matter).

  17. But you should see the hand-eye coordination tests. Off the chart!

  18. Pic alt-text: Stay tuned for this season of “Sister Wives”

  19. I suppose it is not a far jump from believing in Magic Underwear to believing porn is a “Public Health Crisis”.

  20. *SIGHHHHHHHHH….*

    Can’t these people ever go away? The lone voice on the right calling for a abridgement of free expression….

    And so fucking juvenile. These are fucking immature puritans that never said to themselves, “You don’t have to feel guilty after pleasuring yourself. It’s just fine…”

  21. What about the right to privacy ? (heads for bunk)

  22. How is this possible? John and Eddie keep telling me it’s ridiculous to suggest socons want to use state violence to enforce their religious views on others.

    1. it’s ridiculous to suggest socons want to use state violence to enforce their religious views on others.

      If you want to suggest religious prudishness in Utah is representative of some national problem, I think that’s pretty-obviously ridiculous.

      You can certainly pivot and pretend that the latest bout of tranny-bathroom-spats in the South is better-evidence of such a claim….except for the fact that many states – including California – have had building-code regulations requiring segregated toilets for decades, and somehow no one thought it particularly draconian.

      its would be a little odd to claim that ‘codifying norms that exist almost everywhere already’ is the best evidence of some kind of nascent SoCon Totalitarianism.

      1. I shake people’s hands because it is a norm that exists almost everywhere already. I’d still be upset at a law that made it illegal to refuse to shake someone’s hand.

  23. So, Utah has essentially repealed portions of the federal First Amendment and article 1 of their state constitution?

    1. It’s all for your own good.

  24. Wrong! Utah Governor. Porn is a symptom of the real public health crisis – lack of clean, freely available and cooperative poontang (to use the parlance of your time) in Utah. Your State averages close to a 2:1 female to male ratio, and still has the highest porn consumption rate in the ENTIRE U.S. of motherfuckin’ A!

  25. These people are working their way to ban guns as a health issue…..More Treason….

  26. Something in the water perhaps?

  27. Public health is very dangerous. Please see http://object.cato.org/sites/c…..38n3-4.pdf

  28. Is it the “National Center for Sexual Exploitation” or is it the “National Center [against] Sexual Exploitation”?!?

  29. The people who want to stop porn need to read the book “Sex at Dawn”, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethra. It explains and documents why humans evolved to be a multi-sexual partner species, not a monogamous pair-bonding species nor, for the Mormons, a polygamist species. This is why the religious-political meme of monogamy leads to nearly a 50% divorce rate and cheating by both men and women. Porn helps ease the anti-human-nature message that the religious-political-do-gooder-moralist are constantly putting out.

    I’ve watched porn for decades. My wife and I would have a porn tape (back in the VCR days) running while we made love. I’m not a rapist, nor a child molester, nor living in my parents basement constantly masturbating. I do try to masturbate daily, since I have no sexual partner at the moment for reasons not related to porn. It has been proven that regular sex, even solo sex, for men leads to more healthy testosterone production which is good for building and keeping muscle mass and for the heart. (I call it my Testosterone Production Therapy :-D) and I watch porn while doing it. I’m an old man now and I can’t get an erection merely by looking at a fully dressed woman like I could when I was a young man. 😀

    In any case, I hate these ignorant do-gooders who don’t understand the first thing about true human nature and have their heads stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine in hopes that they will find the truth there.

  30. “Yep, ya’ll go blind and grow hair on ya palms, dem is da facts.”-Morality in the Media.

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