The Arizona Senate this month joined legislative bodies in 15 other states in declaring pornography a public health crisis. “It is an epidemic in our society, and this makes a statement that we have a problem,” said Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican.
Studies have shown pornography consumption is an addictive, escalating behavior that affects the brain like drug use, changes sexual taste, and damages consumers’ sex lives, according to the anti-porn group Fight the New Drug. Pornography use has also been linked to negative attitudes toward women, decreased empathy for victims of sexual violence, and increased behavioral aggression.
Utah passed the first anti-pornography resolution in the country in 2016, and other states quickly began jumping on board. Many of the resolutions are based on language written by the National Center for Sexual Exploitation. “We think these resolutions are really powerful, although they’re nonbinding, because they raise awareness and educate the public and hopefully can lay the groundwork to make more resources available to those people who potentially struggle with pornography,” the center’s Haley Halverson said. —K.C.