This place just made watching adult films a ‘public health crisis’ – can you guess where?
A state in the US has just declared that watching pornographic material equates to a “public health crisis”.
The Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, has said he would sign a resolution which attempts to combat the “pornography epidemic”. It claims that the watching of porn is “harming” the state, and the US as a whole.
Passed a month ago, the resolution was introduced by Utah Senator Todd Wieler last January.
It calls for “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level,” to tackle the “harm” caused by pornography.
The Utah Coalition Against Pornography, which campaigns against adult entertainment, posted that the fact that the resolution being signed represents a “time to celebrate and recognise this historic moment.”
According to Weiler, the resolution does not ban pornography, and it is not about masturbation.
He claims it is intended to stop children from being able to access adult material.
“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,” reads the bill.
But opponents of the bill say it is about more than that.
Ian Kerner, a psychotherapist and sex expert, told USA Today that it was part of a long-term plan to stigmatise sex and masturbation.
He said: “So much of the anti-porn movement is based on a sense of alarmism.
“In this country, we really bundle together children and teens with consenting adults, and the issues are not the same for children and teens as they are for consenting adults.”
Going on, Kerner says that instead of trying to shield children and adults from porn with blanket legislation, we should “learn to live in a world” where porn exists.
“We live in a world where just the porn site Pornhub has 60 million viewers a day,” he said.
“It is a world in which porn exists, the Internet exists, and we need to show our kids how to live in it, and first we need to live in it ourselves, make porn a healthy part of our communication or communicate why we don’t want it in our relationship.
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Weiler has said he hopes other legislation will be passed in other US states, adding that he thinks people get addicted to pornography.
He also claims it is a threat to marriage and monogamous relationships.
“If you start with meth or heroin, everyone knows that’s addictive,” Weiler told The Atlantic.
“A lot of people will get kind of lured into pornography, and they don’t know it may actually consume their life.”
Meanwhile in Utah, a street in Salt Lake City near the Mormon church’s headquarters will be named after gay rights hero Harvey Milk – after a unanimous council vote.