Porn and Your Health

When you hear “public health hazard,” what typically comes to mind? Communicable diseases? Safe drinking water? Well, a Virginia legislator wants you to think about something else when you think “public health hazard.” Porn.

From CBS News:

A lawmaker in Virginia has filed a bill that would declare pornography a public health hazard in the state, CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR reports.

Del. Robert G. Marshall of Prince William County proposed the bill, which says pornography leads to problems including the hypersexualization of teenagers and the normalization of abuse of women and children.

While not calling for a ban on porn, the proposed bill says a “pornography epidemic” needs to be addressed, and that there is a need for research, education and policy change regarding what it calls a “public health crisis.” 

According to the Washington Post, “The legislation frames pornography not just as a moral scourge that leads to infidelity, the “hypersexualization of teenagers” and “deviant sexual arousal,” but as a weapon against women. The measure blames pornography for “low self-esteem and body image disorders” and devotes a lot of attention to the objectification of women and girls.”

The bill’s author compares the attention surrounding the language of the legislation to the warnings made about the effects of smoking in the early 1960s.

“We’ve got to say, ‘This is a problem,’,” added (Del. Robert G.) Marshall. “Before smoking was identified as a problem, at least the recognition that it led to certain pathologies was a starting point to put restrictions on it. … If you recognize it as a problem, then you’re going to try to find ways to solve it within the framework of the statutes we can pass and the institutions we have.”

Virginia is not alone. Utah’s Governor declared porn a public health crisis early last year and two South Carolina representatives are proposing that the state block porn on newly purchased computers, tablets, and phones capable of accessing the internet.

We’d love to hear what you think about porn being deemed a public health hazard. Is it? Should Arizona pursue similar legislation or do you believe this is an area where the government should not be involved? Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines will not only help us better understand what our members and partners are thinking – it will also help us take another step toward our long-term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

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