“A Sexually Toxic Environment”: Utah Governor to Sign Resolution Declaring Porn a “Public Health Hazard”

 

Pornography has been around for decades. But what some guys might dismiss as a harmless habit has now turned into a potentially addictive, life-controlling, and dangerous facet of society.

That’s according to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, anyway.

Herbert, the Republican leader of one of America’s most morally conservative states, is set to sign two pieces of legislation Tuesday that take a strong stance against pornography.

The first, Resolution S.C.R. 9, will label porn a “public health hazard” that “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment” and is even “contributing to the hypersexualization of teens.” The resolution also says porn “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.” (We’re not making this up—you can read the full resolution here.)

The resolution doesn’t criminalize porn. It’s essentially just the state of Utah publicly declaring that porn is bad. But Herbert is also set to sign bill H.B. 155, which requires that computer technicians must report child pornography if they find it in the course of their work.

“We want Utah youths to understand the addictive habits” of porn that are “harmful to our society,” Jon Cox, a spokesman for the governor, told CNN. And State Sen. Todd Weiler, who sponsored both the resolution and the bill, told the Salt Lake Tribune in February that “pornography today is like tobacco was 70 years ago.”

That’s extreme—porn has not been conclusively shown to cause cancer—but they do have a point: Though it flies under the radar, porn addiction is a problem that some guys face. Even Terry Crews wrestled with porn addiction before eventually finding help and coming clean publicly in a series of Facebook videos he called “Dirty Little Secret.”

“Some people denied it,” Crews said in a video. “They’d say, ‘Hey, man, you can’t be addicted to pornography.’ But let me tell you something: If day turns into night, and you’re still watching, you’ve probably got a problem. And that was me.”

For more on the Utah legislation, see CNN.

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