This summer, Louisiana joined Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Arkansas in formally recognizing the public health harms of pornography.
Louisiana passed a state resolution declaring pornography a public health hazard for children. This resolution differs in language from the model resolution the National Center on Sexual Exploitation produced yet it maintains important themes recognizing pornography’s harmful effects on the brain, relationships, rates of violence against women, and more.
Both chambers of the legislature overwhelmingly passed statements calling for the legislature to pursue every possible course of action “to prevent accidental exposure and deliberate access to pornography by those under eighteen years of age.”
They also called for the president of the Louisiana Senate and speaker of the LA House of Representatives to join the governor “in an aggressive public campaign to protect children from exposure to pornography” and to “address the pornography epidemic by encouraging education, prevention, research, and policy changes to address the proliferation of pornography on the internet in particular, and … to ensure compliance with obscenity laws of the state.”
As more states formally recognize the harms of pornography, communities, parents, and individuals are learning about the research and resources available to them.
Research shows that pornography has serious negative effects in numerous areas.
Pornography Use Shrinks Brain: A 2014 study found that increased pornography use is linked to decreased brain matter in the areas of motivation and decision-making, impaired impulse control, and desensitization to sexual reward.
Pornography Is Linked to Increased Sexual Violence: A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike
Pornography Is Linked to Dissatisfaction with Partners: Research has demonstrated that the more pornography a man watches, the more likely he is to deliberately conjure images of pornography during sex to maintain arousal, and to experienced decreased enjoyment intimate behaviors with a partner.
For an overview of representative research on the harms of pornography visit: endsexualexploitation.org/
If you or a loved one struggles with pornography, visit our Resource Center for a list of tools and communities that can help.