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Utah Governor: 'Porn Is a Public Health Crisis' (cnet.com) 822

An anonymous reader writes: Utah Governor Gary Herbert said on his Facebook page: "Pornography is a public health crisis. The problem is rampant, yet it thrives in secrecy and silence." He emitted this thought on signing a resolution which says porn is "a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms." In addition, it "perpetuates a sexually toxic environment." The resolution doesn't just stop there. It goes on to say "due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, young children are exposed to what used to be referred to as hard core, but is now considered mainstream, pornography at an alarming rate." The resolution says pornography "equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography." It requests "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." In the words of Gov. Gary Herbert, "Today's bills will start an open discussion." I couldn't agree more...
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Utah Governor: 'Porn Is a Public Health Crisis'

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  • slippery slope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:10AM (#51945709)

    This is just the continuation of the "public health crisis" excuse to ban something people don't agree with. Smoking, Sugary drinks, guns, etc. The slippery slope continues.

    • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:05AM (#51946491) Journal

      Holy crap! /. has handed you a perfectly good opportunity to talk about porn and you guys decided to talk about smoking?
      What is wrong with you?

    • This is just the continuation of the "public health crisis" excuse to ban something people don't agree with. Smoking, Sugary drinks, guns, etc. The slippery slope continues.

      I have to disagree that porn falls into public health crisis for many reasons. First of all, there is detailed scientific and medical evidence that smoking and too much sugar is bad for you. As for guns, the rising number of death by guns in the US speaks for itself. Now for porn, I don't see anything other than the word of a state governor that it is a serious problem. At best it's a personal issue but doesn't rise to "public health crisis". Does anyone find it irony that a state is deeply religious has a

  • Proof? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    That's a bold statement... If he's got proof, I'd like to see it (for free, obviously)

    • No control group (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:17AM (#51945745)

      That's a bold statement... If he's got proof, I'd like to see it (for free, obviously)

      Science would be great here, although any limitations are going to be severely limited by both the first amendment.

      I remember hearing a few years ago that the effects of internet pornography were difficult to study because it is too difficult to find a control group.

    • Re: Proof? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:40AM (#51945823) Homepage Journal

      There's decent science on this:

      http://bigthink.com/dollars-an... [bigthink.com]

      • Re: Proof? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @07:57AM (#51946125)

        There is and from multiple sources. The problem is that it says what the prohibitionists are doing is actually quite harmful and increases rape and other problems. In addition, they often think they are on a mission from "God" (or against male dominance) and if they would admit the facts, it would not only look like they are exceptionally stupid, but outright malicious. Hence this evil and harmful crusade continues, like some other ones do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      since when does feminism require proof? to them only feelings matter...

    • Re: Proof? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe not the proof you were looking for, but porn damages the viewer. You guys should really look at the quiet epidemic of "The Great Porn Experiment" (TED Talk, free, 16 min): https://youtu.be/wSF82AwSDiU

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Nobody has proof for this, because it does not exist. Even the claim that pornography is harmful to children does not have proof because it is mostly wrong and primary fueled by dark and restrictive religious ideas. The only known harm is that they may feel inadequate, but that can be counteracted by explaining to them that what they see are athletes doing a performance and that what is displayed in bodies is not average at all and that normal sex is quite a bit different.

      The fact of the matter is that teen

      • Re:Proof? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gmack ( 197796 ) <gmack@@@innerfire...net> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:02AM (#51946469) Homepage Journal

        That is an interesting assumption on your part. On the other hand, from people I know who work at schools, there is an increasing problem of boys who don't seem to realize that girlfriends don't like being treated like porn starts and girls who think it's normal for sex to be all about the man's sexual gratification and not the woman's.

        At the very least, we have a problem with porn being the only sexual education some of these kids are getting.

  • If only... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:14AM (#51945725)

    If only we had a way to instruct these children about responsible sexual practices. If only we could gather children together 5 days a week in public buildings and teach them sexual education along with math, science and history to demystify sex so that porn isn't their only reference.

    If only...

  • https://virtuoussociety.com/20... [virtuoussociety.com]

    A well-known example: in 2009, a study found that Utah had the highest rate of online porn subscriptions of any state in the US. Latter-day Saints, who form a majority of Utahâ(TM)s population, profess a belief in avoiding pornography.

    Can't they just let it go and get over themselves?

  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:15AM (#51945729)

    Another attempt by the far right to legislate its religious morality. Maybe we should call religion a public health crisis. It damages people's ability to think rationally. Porn is like any other film; it's staged. Of course, the right doesn't call action movies a public health crisis, even though they tend to contain plenty of violence; action movies don't violate their religion's morals.

    • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:50AM (#51945861) Homepage

      which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography

      When I look at porn, I don't feel a need to abuse children. And I think most people don't either.
      If this governor feels the need to abuse children when watching porn, then by all means he SHOULD stop watching porn.
      In fact I strongly believe that anybody who feels watching adult sex leads to wanting sex with children should seek help and should absolutely stop watching porn.
      But please governor, stop projecting your own feelings on the rest of humanity.

    • Actually, quite a lot of religious conservatives do protest against the staged violence in TV and movies and say that it should be censored to protect children.

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        Actually, quite a lot of religious conservatives do protest...

        And by quite a lot, I presume you mean a very small number of extremely vocal groups such as the Parents Television Council that roboform generate 99.8% of the complaints [arstechnica.com] for obscenity, indecency, and/or profanity.

  • He sounds like some sort of fusion between a tumblr socjus and a bible nut, using several "power words" from both sides.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:31AM (#51945789) Homepage

    Exposure to politicians and their desires to push their own ideals on others is a public health crisis.

    WE should outlaw politicians at once!

  • by quintessencesluglord ( 652360 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:37AM (#51945803)

    Utah has the highest consumption rate of porn, and there really hasn't been a good explanation for it.

    On the plus side, it's nice to see the religious right taking on the mantle of anti-porn crusaders again from feminist, as the you can only get so far with claims of misogyny.. Erototoxins are where its at.

    Unfortunately for him, this discussion already took place in 1969 (snark), via the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Thus far, I haven't heard much in the way to contradict their findings.

    And then there is that pesky free speech issue, which regardless of public health problems, the courts haven't seen fit to abridge.

    I'll be the first to admit I'm dismayed at the prevalence of porn now, but simply asking people to use more discretion isn't nearly as headline grabbing as claiming porn is a health crisis.

    Maybe he can look into why there is such a problem in his own state and get back to us?

  • Opinion stated as fact.
  • He's Right! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @06:48AM (#51945853)

    And not only Porn! Also:

    - Videogames
    - Role playing games
    - Rock
    - Divorces
    - Sodomy
    - Being black
    - Heresy
    - Witchcraft
    - Barbarian..ism?

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @07:03AM (#51945893) Homepage

    Utah Governor: 'Porn Is a Public Health Crisis'

    Why would porn cause a pubi-

    Oh, public. Never mind.

  • by mnemotronic ( 586021 ) <mnemotronic@@@netscape...net> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @08:02AM (#51946153) Homepage Journal
    He's purdy much right. In fact, one of my wives swears up & down she'll be taking me to porn addicts anonymous meetings. As soon as she's old enough to drive. In about 3 years. Provided she is pregnant. Again.
  • by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @08:31AM (#51946313) Homepage

    When I hear the word crisis my BS detector goes up. Almost nothing that is described as a crisis nowadays isn't.

    In fact to the contrary, the use of hyperbole instead of just-the-facts-madam arguments to make the point betrays that even for the proponent the situation isn't that serious and hence the overreach.

     

  • Religion is worse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @08:33AM (#51946329)

    All indications I have show that religion in various forms is a lot worse for your health than porn will ever be. It kills every day, and if it doesn't kill you today, at least causes serious lack of judgement and deformed perception of reality.

    Perhaps the Senator should reset his priorities and fix the religion issue first? The world will be a better place without religion, thank you.

  • Dear governor (Score:4, Informative)

    by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @08:35AM (#51946345) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure if you are Mormon or Protestant, but either way I presume you hold the Bible sacred. My Bible says in I Peter 4:15-16 not to be a busybody or meddler in other people's decisions. It's sort of a well known passage because it's one of only three places that the Bible uses the word "Christian," but somehow I think a lot of people have missed what it says not to do.

    Being extremely religious, I take the Bible and this passage extremely seriously. I suggest you do start doing so as well. You're making things difficult for the rest of us.

  • ...equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure...

    Implying....men are the perpetrators, amirite?

    I am tired of the implication that all men, everywhere, are just busting at the seams to violate and hurt women and children ( no one seems to imply or care if they hurt each other, after all ), only we don't out of some fear of punishment. That's incredibly disrespectful and sexist towards men AND it infantilizes women. As if neither gender has any agency of self.

    It's still sexism if it's against men. Hell, it's sexism even if the men are white.

  • by 101percent ( 589072 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:38AM (#51946703)
    Honestly this is something ISIS would say.
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:50AM (#51946789)

    Conservatives used to declare things to be "immoral" and they could mess with people's lives to their hearts' content. That doesn't work anymore. But the left came up with something much better: declare something a "health crisis", and all of a sudden anything goes. As a bonus, many feminists [wikipedia.org] have the same screwed up views [wikipedia.org] of pornography as Mormons.

  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @10:17AM (#51947017)

    The resolution says pornography "equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography."

    I don't know which sites the Governor has been sampling, but my tastes are much more tame.

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