Utah Governor Declares Porn a Health Hazard

I fancy you have your personal habits and quirks. I fancy, too, that you wouldn't think too many of them contribute greatly to a public health hazard. I'd like you, though, to focus on the words of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

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On his Facebook page, he made this declaration on Tuesday: "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 that declares porn a public health hazard in his state.

The resolution says that porn is "a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms."

It also says it "perpetuates a sexually toxic environment." Yes, in Utah.

It's hard to understand how the governor knows there's a sexually toxic environment if pornography thrives in secrecy and silence. Does the governor have special access to Utahan minds, souls and habits?

The resolution doesn't stop there, however. It says that "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."

It's not clear what the evidence is for this and for the alleged harmful effects to the public's health. The governor's office declined comment, referring me to the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The resolution does, though, reach for some profound conclusions. For example, pornography apparently "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."

You might find humor in the resolution having 69 sentences.

I prefer to focus on its insistence that "recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive, which means the user requires more novelty, often in the form of more shocking material, in order to be satisfied."

The research isn't specifically annotated in this document, but evidence for porn's addictive qualities is scant or even non-existent. Although a man did allegedly break into a house once purely in order to view porn.

Read the full CNET article here: http://goo.gl/lt69Xw