An opinion piece in a major U.S. publication expressed support for a Utah resolution declaring pornography a public health hazard, a measure that had previously received mostly ridicule.
Sociology professor Gail Dines referenced the Utah resolution in a Washington Post column titled "Is porn immoral? That doesn't matter: It's a public health crisis."
"The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it's harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there," Dines wrote. "After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse. By taking a health-focused view of porn and recognizing its radiating impact not only on consumers but also on society at large, Utah's resolution simply reflects the latest research."
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, was criticized on social media after he introduced resolution SCR9 during the recent state legislative session.
The resolution called for education, prevention, research and policy changes to address the "pornography epidemic."
He compared pornography to the use of cigarettes or drugs in its addictive quality, citing new research on the topic. He wanted pornography declared a public health crisis.
One of Weiler's more poignant comments was, "Everything in the resolution is supported by science and research. It's not just a kooky thing that some politician from Mormon Utah came up with. It's bigger than that."
It turns out, Weiler may have been ahead of his time.
Deseret News columnist Jay Evensen said as much in his recent opinion piece.
In it, Evensen opined that Weiler's efforts were somewhat harmless without the force of law. That it was like "dropping a Mentos into a Coke bottle for a nation awash in sex and increasingly unable to accept limits."
And, Evensen isn't the only writer giving the issue attention. Time Magazine took on the issue in its latest cover issue with the headline: "Porn: Why young men who grew up with Internet porn are becoming advocates for turning it off" (subscription required).
Marriage experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman also posted a letter on the Gottman Institute website titled: "An open Letter on Porn." You can read it here.
And finally, many were moved by the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who offered the following quote during his keynote address at the 14th annual Utah Coalition Against Pornography conference on March 12.
"I can't tell you, really, much you don't already know about the evils of pornography," Elder Holland said. "I'll tell you that pornography is steadily, inexorably, unendingly present, that there is more of it, that it's easier for everyone, including children, to access, and that it continues to rend the very moral fabric of our society whether that be the family, or the community, or the very state or the nation. That is because in every case, it rends the moral fabric of the individual."