Ethics & Religion
January 5, 2017
Pornography: "A Public Health Hazard"
By Mike McManus
the Utah Legislature declared that "Pornography is a Public Health
Hazard." Canada passed a version of it and other states are considering
similar action: Virginia, Arizona, Texas, Florida, West Virginia and
Alabama, according to Pat Trueman, President of the National Center on
Sexual Exploitation, which drafted the resolution.
What has been the result in Utah or Canada? I asked two newspaper
editors in Utah. Charles McCollum of the Logan Herald Journal told me,
"I have seen no impact at all."
Similarly, Steve Kiggins, Executive Editor of The Spectrum in St.
George, told me "Nothing is apparent. I am the father of an 11-year-old
daughter, and I am thinking what kind of a world will she live in."
The resolution passed in Utah cited 45 pieces of evidence documenting
the harm of pornography. First, it "has contributed to the
hypersexualization of teens." For example, the Barna Group reported last
year that "Most teens are sexting' - either on the receiving or sending
end of sexually explicit images" of themselves or their friends! Nearly
two-thirds (62%) of teens and young adults have received a sexually
explicit image and 41% have sent one - usually to their boy/girlfriend."
"The average age of exposure to pornography is now 11 to 12 years of
age. This early exposure is leading to low self-esteem and boy image
disorders and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky
sexual behavior," Utah stated.
So, why haven't PTAs in Utah become active in helping parents block
these images on their teenager's cell phones? Perhaps they don't know
that Apple offers "Parental Controls" to block sexual images from
phones. Why not buy Apple rather than another brand without Parental
Controls? Similarly, the American Family Association offers a blocking
mechanism to keep porn off of computers. Go to AFO.net/filtering.php for
a TotalWebGuard filter to protect your family.
Virginia Rep. Bob Marshall is introducing legislation to declare porn a
"health hazard." Why? He recalled that Dr. Luther Terry, then Surgeon
General, made a declaration in 1964 that smoking was a hazard to health,
increasing the odds of lung cancer by 9-10 fold. Result: "There was a
marked increase in public consciousness," he said.
Correct. In 1958 only 44% felt that smoking was a danger to health, but
by 1968. Congress passed a law in 1965 requiring all cigarette packs to
carry a health warning and cigarette advertising was banned in 1970.
Result: the percentage of people who smoke has fallen from 42% of the
population in 1955 to only 18% in 2013. Yet it is still responsible for
480,000 deaths a year, a fifth of all deaths!
Rep. Marshall says the first step to reduce pornography "is to recognize
that there is a problem. I want to get the consent of my colleagues that
it is a problem. We can then decide is making pornography prostitution?
If so, we can go after it criminally."
"If a wife learns her husband has been looking at porn by seeing XXX on
a credit card charge, she can complain," he added.
Users of porn are 300 times more likely to have an affair, according to
one study. Divorce attorneys report that 56% of divorces involve one
person being addicted to pornography.
Proverbs 6:27 warns: "Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his
clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being
scorched. So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her
will go unpunished."
Research indicates porn alters the pathways of the brain and actually
reduces grey matter, or intelligence! A 2014 survey reported that young
men aged 21-31 did not want to marry because pornography was meeting
their sexual needs.
However, there is some good news. Last April TIME published a cover
story entitled: "PORN: Why Young Men Who Grew Up with Internet Porn Are
Becoming Advocates for Turning It Off."
Noah Church, 26, began looking at nude women on the Internet at age 9.
When streaming videos arrived at age 15 he watched them several hours a
day sparking masturbation. However, for six years he was unable to have
normal sex with a woman - no matter how attractive.
TIME reported, "A growing number of young men are convinced that their
sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually
marinated in porn when they were adolescents...So they're beginning to
push back, creating online community groups, smartphone apps and
educational videos to help men quit porn."
Declaring pornography is a hazard to health is the first step every
state must take.
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
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