POLITICS

Arizona Lawmakers Liken Porn To Poison, Declare It A Public Health Crisis

“Pornography is a crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts,” a resolution reads.
Republican Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen explains her opposition to a children’s health insurance bill that was heade
Republican Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen explains her opposition to a children’s health insurance bill that was headed to approval on Friday, May 6, 2016, at the Capitol in Phoenix. 

Republican lawmakers from Arizona have denounced pornography as a “public health crisis.” 

In a 16-13 vote, the Arizona State Senate passed a resolution which deems porn an epidemic that is poisoning the minds of children and adults across the country. The one-page measure, however, takes no further action other than denouncing pornography and calling for “recovery programs.”

“Pornography is a crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts,” the measure reads. It cites “toxic sexual behaviors, emotional, mental and medical illnesses” as well as low self-esteem and eating disorders as just a few of the consequences of watching porn.   

The measure, first introduced by Rep. Michelle Udall (R), also states that pornography normalizes violence against women and children, in addition to “increasing the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution and child pornography.”

The Arizona House passed the resolution in February with a 32-28 vote. 

State Sen. Sylvia Allen (R) said porn is the “root problem” of many other issues facing society today. 

“Billions of dollars worldwide are being made upon this industry that is poisoning the minds of our citizens,” Allen told Arizona Central.

State Sen. Victoria Steele (D) said the bill will have zero impact during her response on the Senate floor. 

“This bill, on its face, sounds like it might be a good idea, but it doesn’t have any teeth,” she said. “It won’t result in any changes. It is a way for people to check off that box and make it look like they’ve done something.”

Although pornography often depicts sexual violence, it does have its benefits. Porn is often used as a safe and accessible tool for people to test out different fantasies and sexual imagery. Pornography is especially important in the queer community because it represents LGBTQ sex in a way mainstream culture does not.  

Additionally, the glaring lack of science-based sex education in the U.S. forces most children and teens to learn about sex from porn. Psychology Today reports that nine out of 10 children between 8 and 16 years old get their initial sex education from pornography.  

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