Statement: Groundbreaking Research – Pornography is Causing a Public Health Crisis

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Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

A groundbreaking new study, “The Porn Phenomenon,” conducted by Barna Group is the most comprehensive survey to date on pornography consumption in the United States. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) points to the findings of this study as further evidence for why pornography ought to be considered a public health crisis.

“America is suffering a public health crisis due to pornography,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This latest research reveals that there is a dropping age of exposure to pornography, increased desensitization to the extremity of the material, and that usage is escalating. According to the survey, nearly half of young people (ages 13-24) actively seek our porn weekly or more. This fact builds upon an existing body of research that indicates pornography is a societal ill that needs to be addressed. Previous research shows that pornography use decreases brain matter in areas of decision-making and motivation, increases rates of sexual aggression, and that it is causing increasing cases of sexual dysfunction. When so many individuals in America are consuming material shown to have such harmful neurological, psychological, and sociological effects then it is clear that we are dealing with a public health crisis.”

“Further, this study reports that more than a quarter of young adults (ages 25-30) first viewed pornography before puberty,” Hawkins continued. “Since we know that adolescents are especially vulnerable to addictions, this early exposure is a potentially dangerous precursor to porn and sex addictions. Early exposure to explicit material shapes the sexual templates of children, which could have unforeseen consequences on risky sexual behavior at a later age.”

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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