January 26, 2017

STATEMENT: South Dakota Senate Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington, DC – South Dakota senators have unanimously passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. This non-binding resolution was based on the model resolution written by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“The term ‘public health crisis’ is used to broadly define both physical and social problems—from cigarette smoking to bullying—and it unequivocally applies to pornography, because pornography is a serious, harmful problem that affects individuals and groups beyond their capacity to correct alone,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “The research on pornography clearly links it to damages to the brain, body, and rates of sexual violence in our society. Since 2009 there have been 24 major studies that support the reality of compulsive porn use and the negative impacts of pornography on the users’ brain structure and function. Pornography is also linked to decreased erectile function, as revealed by a 2015 study of young men that also found that pornography use was linked to lower sexual satisfaction with a partner.”

“In addition to these physiological harms, pornography teaches that women enjoy sexual violence, and unfortunately this lesson is being heard loud and clear. A meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of pornography use are “clear and consistent,” and put one at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths—such as that women enjoy rape, and that rapists can’t control their urges.”

“The National Center on Sexual Exploitation commends the South Dakota senators for their leadership in recognizing the harms of pornography,” Hawkins concluded.

To learn more about the harms of pornography visit: http://endsexualexploitation.org/publichealth/

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