DAILY MAIL: Utah Senator claims pornography is so dangerous it is a ‘public health crisis’
Original Source: Daily Mail UK
A U.S. Senator has declared that pornography is creating a state-wide ‘public health crisis’ in Utah.
The conservative state has one of the highest rate of porn use across the Unites States, according to a 2009 study.
Now Senator Todd Weiler has filed the resolution, SCR. 9 Concurrent Resolution, warning that X-rated materials were so dangerous he wants it ruled as a public health crisis, The Independent reports.
His resolution, filed on Friday, claims that pornography is leading to unhappy marriages, addiction, hypersexualisation of teenagers and even prostitution.
The motion goes onto warn that porn use makes young men more likely to cheat and less likely to settle down and get married.
‘Legislature and the Governor [must] recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.’
However, the move has come under criticism by experts who claimed the motion was ‘based on hyperbole and morality, ignoring much of what is known about pornography and its effects’.
Psychology Today said the resolution’s pseudoscience ‘has no place in governmental action.’
There have been numerous studies into pornography extolling both its virtues and dangers.
For many, X-rated images are an easy way to explore sexual fantasies, boost their libidos and even improve relationships.
PORN SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE DRINK DRIVING, EXPERTS ARGUE
America is in the grip of a pornography pandemic that has become so serious it should be treated the same way as teenage smoking or drink driving, activists have warned.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media said porn must be tackled no differently than any major public health crisis. Speaking ahead of a two-day conference on sexual exploitation earlier this month, she said, if left untreated, addiction to pornography can leave users with psychological damage.
‘There’s a lot of science now proving that pornography is harmful,’ Hawkins said at the National Press Club in Washington. Porn sites get more visitors per month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined, a third of all downloads contain porn and the Internet now hosts 4.2 million porn websites.
But for some, it can have a more sinister effect on their brains – from releasing mood-boosting hormones to triggering addictive tendencies.
German researchers found that excessive of use of porn may even shrink the brain of some users over time – although researchers noted that is possible that people who spend more time looking at pornography are born with a certain type of brain.
Some people can also become ‘addicted’ to porn in a similar way to drug addicts or alcoholics.
When porn addicts watch X-rated material, the ‘addiction’ part of the brain ‘lit up like Christmas trees’ on scans, Cambridge University researchers discovered in 2013.
A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2014 found regularly viewing pornography seemed to dull the response to sexual stimulation over time meaning – like drug users – people needed more over time.
And a 2011 study, published in Psychology Today, found that these dopamine spikes mean porn-users start needing increasingly extreme experiences to become sexually aroused.
After being exposed to so many lurid images in films, men have become de-sensitised and are increasingly unable to become excited by ordinary sexual encounters.
But for the average American male, another study refutes claims adult videos and images make men so desensitised to sexual images that they struggle to perform with their partners.
Research by Nicole Prause at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour, and Jim Pfaus, a professor in Concordia’s Department of Psychology, found watching sexual films makes men more aroused generally.
‘Many clinicians claim that watching erotica makes men unable to respond sexually to ‘normal’ sexual situations with a partner,’ Ms Prause continued. ‘That was not the case in our sample.’
‘While many people think easy access to porn leads to problems in the bedroom, our study suggests the opposite: that erectile dysfunction is most likely caused by the same issues that have been known for some time, such as performance anxiety, poor cardiovascular health, or side-effects from substance abuse,’ added Professor Pfaus.
A larger issue concerns recent assertions that watching porn causes addiction and ruins relationships.
Professor Pfaus said their data disputes those claims: ‘The study participants represent a good cross-section of men that view porn on a regular basis.
‘The fact that doing so increased their arousal to the erotic stimuli should cause clinicians and sex therapists to rethink their attributions.’
More than three quarters of American men and women, aged between 18 and 30, watch porn at least once a month, Covenant Eyes – a site that filters pornography sites – reports.
Senator Weiler has also proposed SB 227 Exposure of Children to Pornography, which means that a district court should consider whether a parent has intentionally exposed their child to pornography, when determining child custody.