March 11, 2016

STATEMENT: Utah Resolution Declaring Pornography a Public Health Crisis Passes the State House

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


Washington, DC – A resolution introduced into the Utah State Legislature declaring pornography a public health crisis has passed the Utah House of Representatives and will soon be presented to Governor Gary Herbert for his signature. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commends this historic resolution and calls for the governor to sign it swiftly in order to protect children, families, and society from the harmful effects of pornography.

“Over a quarter of young adults report that they were first exposed to pornography before puberty, according to the latest research,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This has dangerous ramifications, because pornography not only shrinks regions of the brain associated with motivation and decision-making, but it also shapes sexual templates to normalize violence and abuse. Pornography has become so pervasive in America, that it is essentially impossible for parents to protect their children from it. The combination of research demonstrating the harms of pornography, and its prevalence in our culture, clearly reveals that pornography is a public health crisis.”

“Experts have framed pornography as both a public health and social crisis for several years, due to pornography’s role in dissolving marriages, increasing sexual violence, normalizing child sexual abuse and more,” Hawkins continued. “We hope that this resolution will serve to inform and shape future elected officials in their policy efforts regarding pornography and the family.”

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