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Why America's Porn Problem Is a Public Health Crisis

05-10-2019
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A growing number of states in the US are stepping up the fight against pornography.

This week, Arizona joined 15 states from Tennessee to Montana where at least one legislative body has adopted a resolution declaring porn a health crisis. Even the Republican Party has added an anti-porn statement to its national platform.

"It is an epidemic in our society, and this makes a statement that we have a problem," said Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen. She says pornography contributes to violence against women as well as a host of issues like teen sexual activity and unintended pregnancies.

The state resolutions are based on a model by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which says research shows a link to porn and a range of social problems.

They don't carry the force of law but have led to new laws blocking access to porn in places like public libraries.

"We think these resolutions are really powerful, although they're non-binding, because they raise awareness and educate the public, and hopefully can lay the groundwork to make more resources available to those people who potentially struggle with pornography," said Haley Halverson with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Critics say the threat of porn is exaggerated and limiting access is a threat to free speech. But opponents of porn say it damages the nation by destroying marriages and conditioning people to become sexual predators.

Luke Gibbons from KingdomWorks tells CBN News it's clear that porn is also closely linked to sex trafficking, even in the United States.

In an op-ed titled, "'The Porn Industry Is Modern-Day Slavery': How Pornography and Sex Trafficking Are Linked," Gibbons cites evidence from sources like journalist John-Henry Westen who says, "As long as America's men are being trained to think that violent, disturbing pornography is sexually acceptable, an enormous clientele for sex traffickers is being created every day in homes, college dorms, and apartments across the nation."

And Dr. Mahri Irvine from American University said, "I really wish that people who watch porn knew more about that. Because I think they believe that they're engaging in this activity in a very passive way. And they're like, 'Oh, I'm doing it in the privacy of my own home and this is just a video that I'm watching'. And they're not associating it with the fact that pornography is very often the filmed rape of sex trafficking victims."
 

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