Utah becomes first state to declare pornography a public health crisis

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  • Mayfair City, Ut
    April 23, 2016 7:31 a.m.

    "Some...people belong to peer groups in which there is an almost constant celebration of the senses... people who had celebrated the senses so much that they had lost their capacity to feel... people who had become sufficiently encrusted in their excesses that they killed their capacity to feel.
    The very capacity to feel which they celebrated was lost in the process of celebration. They were in a situation in which increasingly stronger stimulants were needed to feel anything, and finally no dose was large enough to appease their appetites." Neal A. Maxwell

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 22, 2016 10:25 p.m.

    The harm is scientifically proven. It breaks up families and denies children their right to be raised by loving, committed parents. Don't distracted by pointing to other problems. From just one study of young men and women, ages 18-26, roughly two thirds (67% ) of young men and one half (49%) of young women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable, whereas nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) young men and nearly one third (31%) of young women reported using pornography.

    See Generation XXX, Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults, Journal of Adolescent Research, January 2008 vol. 23 no. 1 6-30.

    Please notice that with roughly two thirds of men thinking that porn is acceptable while 87% use it, that a significant number of users know it is wrong but can't stop. That defines an epidemic of an addiction that causes permanent damage to a part of that brain that should be a force for marital bonding, but leads instead to isolation, marital breakup, and selfish preoccupation.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 21, 2016 8:55 a.m.

    Pornography is highly advertised on television, movies, and is sexual permissiveness. When presented in a comical fashion, folks find it as a normal, (part of life) thing to do.

    Yet, it is a very destructive thing. Much of life's emotional problems, distrust, bitterness, and stress stem from it.

    For many folks, it leads to lying, lack of empathy, vulgarity, and selfishness.

    The evidence is all around us, and easy for any observer to find. It is effecting our country, and the world.

    The permissiveness of pornography is a public health crisis.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 21, 2016 7:22 a.m.

    Grandstanding. Why don't they just continue to ignore the air pollution until it is no longer possible to see your computer screen? Protect kids from the poisonous effects of porn while they are breathing and exhaling the poisonous effects of the air that you refuse to address.

  • k483 Atlanta, GA
    April 20, 2016 5:46 p.m.

    @ Meter. How about lunch the next time I'm in SLC?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    April 20, 2016 5:25 p.m.

    Utah's declaration that "pornography" is a "public health crisis" makes too little sense to criticize...or praise.

    Consider: increased mortality from lung cancer among Americans who could not quit smoking cigarettes due to nicotine addiction is a "public health crisis". Same with diabetes/obesity. Likewise, if research shows a causal connection behavioral problems among growing numbers of pre-adolescents and access/viewing of pornography, that is a "public health crisis".

    However, applying the label of "public health crisis" to a carton of cigarettes, a box of doughnuts, or pornographic video MP3 file makes as much sense as a meteorologist declaring hydrogen and oxygen are both "tornadoes". It does not follow that oxygen/hydrogen should be classified as tornados simply because every tornado contains and depends upon some amount oxygen/hydrogen.

    Cigarettes, doughnuts, and pornographic videos are inert products, incapable of helping or harming public health, unless and until a human decides to consume them.

    Even mere consumption is insufficient to create a "public health crisis" -- that depends on enough people engaging in harmful types of consumption, which might correlated to the age of the consumer, the volume and frequency, etc.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2016 12:34 p.m.

    I wonder where the GOP leadership lost track of the main issues facing this state such as the expansion of Medicaid to tens of thousands of citizens? There are real quantifiable results there. Deaths, lost income and health issues causing families to lose homes and savings. All real issues to thousands of Utah Citizens that the GOP has ignored. Yet they tell us porn is the problem?

    Citizens in this state have literally died while Herbert gets free healthcare through PEHP.

    Get women equal wages, clean up our air, expand healthcare and stop using taxpayer funds for useless coal and land grabs. Even let our vote count.

    If and when the GOP gets out from behind this smokescreen of "pornography" and actually do something to benefit Utah citizens we need to hold them up the real daylight. The GOP really doesn't get much done without these needless diversions.

    Utah consumes a lot of porn. Make it taboo and more will follow. We want what we can't have.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 20, 2016 12:19 p.m.

    It is ironic how many commenters obviously didn’t bother to read the article but criticize, scorn or mock those who enacted this legislation. This action bans nothing and is not an infringement on the 1st amendment. Many of you have not read what the bill does and does not do you just want to criticize and mock any attempt to address this problem. Others want to detract from what was done by saying what about this or that other problem. The Governor and Legislature who were united in this effort should be commended

    Those who say it is not a problem have no idea what they are saying. Having been in situations to see and counsel with those who are devastated by this crisis, I have seen the sorrow, the tears and broken families. Yes, there is a heavy economic cost to society and an even heavier emotional cost. So go ahead and mock or criticize OR become like some who try to alleviate tragedy and fight the new drug in meaningful and effective ways, this legislation is a start in encouraging that.

  • Meter Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2016 12:14 p.m.

    OK K

    What are you proposing then? How much?

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2016 11:22 a.m.

    You want to know what public health problem dominates this state? The unnatural obsession that permeates almost everyone and everything, with the sex lives of others! I am serious! Who needs pornography? Your vivid imaginations seem to be doing a great job! Look at all the time and money and hate and destruction comes from obsessing about what two gay men do sexually! You don't think it is a health problem? Tell that to the young gay boys who are pushed into suicide! How much do you want to bet that the health issues related to sexuality are as much or more prevalent among all those Christian church goers who Have all this obsession within themselves and no way to relieve it. It is funny, my doctor(therapist), when talking about the issue of sex, suggested that I go out and get a few pornos! Dealing with being gay has taught me a great deal! All that pain, experienced because of the unnatural obsession to control other's sexuality! You know what, sex is great! Pornography has done little, to most men anyway, including 90% of Mormon men! Try thinking about love instead of sex!

  • k483 Atlanta, GA
    April 20, 2016 11:08 a.m.

    @ Meter. Well, first, let's bet. I need the money.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    April 20, 2016 10:14 a.m.

    This is all well-intended, but misguided. Porn use has some very weird neurological effects, granted, but even if they managed to rid all "pornography" (naked pictures) withing the boundaries of the Big Beehive of Zion, they are not going to stop the actual *problem* because they don't even realize what it is.

    Porn is a pacifier. If you take away the newborn's pacifier, it's not going to get him to start nursing, if the mother still doesn't want to nurse. Likewise, shutting down the only used car lot in town is not going to help the struggling no-finance Cadillac dealership because people who bought used cars still can't afford the Cadillac. they'll just start walking. Same with porn: if you take it away from young men, they'll start using department store catalogs with bathing suits.

    None of the porn users choose that in lieu of the real thing - the issue is that they can't get the real thing. Why? Because girls are taught never to "settle" and hold out for the top 20% of guys in attractiveness, and more young men than ever are shut out. THAT is the actual "problem".

  • Meter Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2016 10:03 a.m.


    Do you have any actual data to back this up? All I know is that if we start enacting laws against the first amendment protections for porn, churches will quickly start losing tax exemptions. We need not be playing in this fire.

    It is already illegal to film somebody without their consent, it is already illegal to use children in pornographic films, plus all the sexual assault charges we have. What more are we going to do?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 20, 2016 7:54 a.m.

    The conservative mind at work: Overwhelming evidence that Climate Change is happening by the majority of the science world, and conservatives cry conspiracy and lies.

    But a couple of non-peer reviewed opinion papers and the evidence is overwhelming that Porn causes ____ insert fear here.

    Stay inside your sphere of ignorance conservatives and you'll continue to see your numbers decline, the boogie man is out there and only we can protect you isn't convincing the next generation, because they can look it up instead of relying one elders tales.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    April 20, 2016 1:18 a.m.

    Good for Utah, although controlling the deep core addictive realm of the brains of the population is very difficult to do. Is Utah going to do the ultimate strict control of the human mind? The only permanent solution for that is to lobotomized people which I don't think would be a good idea. Is Utah going to sponsor an educational program statewide to educate people about the addictive effects of pornography? Pornography is going to be with us for a very long time and educating people about the addictive nature of it is the key but despite that, it is in the deep core of human thinking and who can control that? The individual himself or herself through non denial self admission about the addiction and the will power and the desire to want to overcome it with the aid of available resources which include, family support and counselling. It is not a sign of weakness to seek the help of the trained professionals who deals with this issue.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    April 19, 2016 10:45 p.m.

    If a natural disaster were to ravage us, the damage would be acknowledged by declaring it a national disaster area. I like it that we are taking a similar approach with the harm of pornography. Kudos to the Legislature and the governor for doing this.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 19, 2016 9:29 p.m.

    "Utah becomes first state to declare pornography a public health crisis"

    It's also first in consumption.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 19, 2016 9:06 p.m.

    Big Whoop!
    So, they declared it a public health issue.

    Now what?
    -- like heart disease, cancer, and emphysema -- do NOTHING about it.

    BTW --
    Since when is it:
    BIG Government B-A-D,
    turned BIG Government G-O-O-D?

    Not that I'm pro-porn.
    I hate it.
    Just making a "freedom" observation,
    because I'm liberal.

    BTW part II --
    Socialist countries also regulate porn.
    But then again -- that's what makes the Socialist.

    So do Muslim countries,
    just saying...

  • DaveRL Bayfield, CO
    April 19, 2016 8:46 p.m.

    Yawn, grandstanding at best, there way more deadly health concerns we should be focusing on.

  • wrz Provo, UT
    April 19, 2016 8:11 p.m.

    "We live in a society that pleads on a daily basis for women to be treated as equals, love themselves for who they are, and then turns around and plasters provocative images of women all over magazines available at any grocery store checkout aisle."

    This would never happen without the consent of women... the ones in the pics.

    "It implies to women that their body is all they have to offer..."

    The implication seems to be the goal of the women in the pics.

  • wrz Provo, UT
    April 19, 2016 7:57 p.m.

    "So what do they plan to do next? What is the next step?"

    The next step seems to be to arrest the ladies who sit for porn pics/act in movies.

    But, isn't porn production/consumption protected under the 1st Amendment?

    @Fitness Freak:
    "What IS porn?"

    Good question... Apparently, Utah's kids won't be allowed to go to Florence, Italy and view the giant (nekkid) statue of David created by Michelangelo. Too bad. And what about the statue of Venus de Milo?

    @BYU Track Star:
    "Last Week I read the Time cover story on Porn. It was eye-opening and shocking."

    Porn might be damaging. But the reason... people (churches, etc.) have declared it verboten and damaging. If they would quit preaching against it, it would be just another segment of human activity.

    If law makers wanna do something constructive... stop the production of movies, videos, etc., of fighting, death, and destruction.

  • illuminated Kansas City, MO
    April 19, 2016 7:03 p.m.

    Yay! So when do we start getting free government health care to treat our medical porn illness and disability?

    Seriously. The only public health crisis I can see is the millions of migrants crossing the borders, getting sold into sex trafficking, carrying with them terrorists and cartels gang members, causing our children to become addicted to life debilitating drugs and crime. Does anyone realize that the Mexican drug cartels basically owns the southern part of this country? Did anyone know how many people, entire villages of people, are being gruesomely murdered next to our own border?

    What are the leaders of Utah doing to stop this health crisis?

    I read today that the Methodist church is receiving millions from the Fed to relocate illegal immigrants. I wonder how many other churches are involved in this racket?

  • netsrik Draper, UT
    April 19, 2016 6:18 p.m.

    I just hope they don't put anything like "opting in" for porn. Because as a couple of commenters said above, porn is different things to different people. I know I don't want to have to "opt in" for porn if I want to buy lingerie online, and I don't want to have to "opt in" for porn if I want to look up the works of Michelangelo. It's beyond absurd.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    April 19, 2016 5:55 p.m.

    Anyone who doubts that porn is a problem needs to pull his or her head out of the sand. We live in a society that pleads on a daily basis for women to be treated as equals, love themselves for who they are, and then turns around and plasters provocative images of women all over magazines available at any grocery store checkout aisle. It implies to women that their body is all they have to offer and suggests to men that sex is a fantasy designed to please them. It ruins self-esteem, destroys families, and cheapens life's beauties. If you doubt any of this, you have never talked to a porn addict, let alone read numerous scientific studies that suggest the same things.

    In any case, the law is not outlawing porn. It is, however, a catalyst for public awareness campaigns and increased funding to counseling services, additional scientific studies, etc. It is similar to alcohol and cigarettes: they are not outright banned, but there are several ads, programs, and restrictions created to dissuade use. If you want to go mess up your mind in your own delusional fantasy, be my guest. Just consider the consequences next time.

  • 4Freedom Columbus, OH
    April 19, 2016 5:50 p.m.

    @ the Real Maverick and others

    What has Utah done to deprive you of your right to ingest pornography into your mind? Also, we are at a point of being well beyond "if you just want to look at it, go find it." The people in the pornography industry, including in mainstream advertising thrust this on the public everywhere. It is beyond intrusive.

    Please do some research and look at the science of it. It destroys people. It destroys families. It destroys communities and nations. It is also immoral. Yep, it is. If you want it, go get. Keep it out of my face. Just like cigarette smoke.

  • Fashion Police Olympus Cove, Utah
    April 19, 2016 4:56 p.m.

    Despite the naysayers claiming all is well in Zion, pornography is a far worse health crisis than dirty air or dirty water.

    It poisons the mind and spirit.

  • BHC Bountiful, UT
    April 19, 2016 4:50 p.m.

    You can't build strong character by banning things. I can buy alcohol anytime I want too. I can buy Marijuana, cocaine and heroin anytime I want too. I choose not too, because I have values, standards and the character to say no.

    Just because some people overindulge, does not make censorship and prohibition good ideas for a healthy society.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 19, 2016 4:49 p.m.

    I've never seen what I would have defined as pornography that was violent. Does it have to be violent to be defined as pornography?

  • k483 Atlanta, GA
    April 19, 2016 4:43 p.m.

    @Meter And you would lose that bet.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 19, 2016 4:38 p.m.


    What is the proper role of government, if you're a "conservative"?


    Both sides, Liberal and Conservative will tell you they want to be able to live their lives as they see fit. They will both cry foul when they view one side encroach, and applaud as their side does the encroaching.

  • twelvestringsam Orem, UT
    April 19, 2016 4:21 p.m.

    I am glad Utah is taking a stand against pornography. Hopefully others will follow. I believe that if we can save only one child from this epidemic it would be worth it.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 19, 2016 4:19 p.m.

    @Red Corvette

    this is nothing more than political porn.


    Which has just been declared a public health crisis! Utah Legislator = bad for health

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 19, 2016 4:16 p.m.

    "Utah became the first state in the country to declare pornography a public health crisis...."

    Without presenting hard data as supportive evidence, Utah is taking a public position that only an extremely biased minority will applaud. That may be triumph enough for some but it’s about as good as it’s going to get.

  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    April 19, 2016 3:58 p.m.

    so please explain what good does such a resolution achieve except make the legislature feel good? In my opinion, this is nothing more than political porn.

  • Aerospace Pioneer Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 19, 2016 3:52 p.m.

    The Utah Legislature has had the courage to take a stand against this pernicious epidemic. Several years ago, I urged the city council of my hometown to pass a resolution discouraging exposure of children to age-inappropriate materials, but to no avail. I pointed out then that they would have been quick to take action if an open sewage ditch had opened up, but were quite willing to bury their collective heads in the sand over the threat posed by porn. It is a public health hazard, and no amount of prating about First Amendment rights will change this fact.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    April 19, 2016 3:30 p.m.

    Addiction to ANYTHING isn't healthy. And I believe people can be addicted to porn, to the detriment of their families and other relationships. But I'm not sure what the government can do. The notion of making liquor illegal, because it destroys lives, was a failure.

    People have varying notions of what constitutes "porn." I knew a happily-married couple in which the wife gave the husband a subscription to "Penthouse" every year as a Christmas present. He must've enjoyed it... for them, at least, there wasn't a lot of psychological baggage associated with it. I've also known people whose relationships were torn apart on account of it.

    What is the proper role of government, if you're a "conservative"?

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    April 19, 2016 3:30 p.m.

    The last days of Rome.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    April 19, 2016 3:21 p.m.

    @ Mom of Six

    Driving is hazardous to your health. So is smoking. Guns can be hazardous too! Should we ban all of that?

    Why not let the free market decide? Why is it that our nanny Utah government insists on intruding into everything? If people don't want to look at porn then they can use their free agency to refuse to look at it. But I fail to see more laws more government is going to help things.

    Government isn't the solution, it's the problem, right?

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    April 19, 2016 3:11 p.m.

    I'm a bit surprised and dismayed by the reactions to this. There is substantial research to support this resolution. Porn is a serious problem. But because there are other problems still in the world, the legislature should just leave this one alone?

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    April 19, 2016 3:11 p.m.

    Last Week I read the Time cover story on Porn. It was eye-opening and shocking. If what the article's studies show are correct: 1.) Porn Messes up the pleasure centers of our male brains. 2.) Men should avoid PORN because living with the fantasy long-term eventually interferes with your ability to enjoy the real thing in your arms.

    Read the article yourself.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2016 3:03 p.m.

    What IS porn?

    Ask 5 different people, and you'll get 5 different answers.

    Myself, I consider "porn" to be people blasting, or hacking, the daylights out of someone, usually sadistically.

    Are my porn aversions covered, or should I ask the Guv. to declare violent video games and movies verboten also??

    "Nekkid" people don't bother me much.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:54 p.m.

    There are far worse public health crisis's that are completely ignored by these guys.
    Why is that?

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:54 p.m.

    Those who want to mock Utah for this I say go ahead - I could not care less. Governor Herbert and the legislature did the right thing and I support them 100%.

    I personally know several children who have a porn addicted dad and they don't think this is a minor issue. One of my daughters friends is planning on becoming a lawyer in part to attack the porn industry for the devastation that it has had on his now dysfunctional family.

    You think there are no victims in this? Think again. Neglect, abuse, divorce, abandonment are just some of the wonderful fruits of pornography addiction on innocent children.

  • Kaotic USA, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:38 p.m.

    The majority religion seems to have alot of power in Utah. Let's see them start treating women who are victims of sexual assault with compassion and not like second class citizens and liars. I would gain alot more respect for this suspect institution.

  • Meter Bountiful, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:37 p.m.

    No mom of six,

    Time magazine needs to sell magazines, so they come up with interesting topics to discuss. I'll bet porn is right in line with normal trends, and doesn't affect people as near as much as you think it does.

  • patjan Flower Mound, TX
    April 19, 2016 2:36 p.m.

    @Hunt "Utah looks like an absolute joke to the outside world".

    Utah looks like an absolute joke to the worldLY. But there are many outside of Utah of many faiths who also believe that porn is bad for people and that children should be protected from it. I don't believe that those behind this declaration are concerned about what the worldLY think. They are concerned with what will help families to raise healthy standard based citizens. Let the worldLY laugh! Utahns are very aware of the great and spacious building. I'm glad Utah is doing this.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:36 p.m.

    OK the grandstand show is over. Now can we move on to public health crises, such as air pollution or gun violence? You know, the REAL public health issues.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:25 p.m.

    Those who think this is only a "Utah Thing" or a joke must have their head in the sand. Have you checked out the latest issue of Time Magazine, which addresses this very issue? Porn is indeed a public health crisis and many in the scientific and health community agree. I would encourage you to read the article, because it is eye opening to say the least.

    April 19, 2016 2:24 p.m.

    So what do they plan to do next? What is the next step? Now that they have decalred this a public health crisis, what laws are they passing next?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 19, 2016 2:09 p.m.

    Pornography is HUGE in Utah, more so then anywhere else . . . Right?

    Apparently, a substantial number of citizens WANT pornography.

    How does Utah address that dilemma?

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 19, 2016 2:01 p.m.

    So...what does this change? Or is just grandstanding?

  • Meter Bountiful, UT
    April 19, 2016 1:59 p.m.

    And the farce continues, so which portions of the first amendment will we be banning? Let's all be very careful because this could have lasting consequences for all of us. Especially for churches.

  • Hunt Spanish Fork, UT
    April 19, 2016 1:45 p.m.

    What a complete waste of time. Utah looks like an absolute joke to the outside world. But I'm sure the powers that be will pat themselves on their proverbial backs and state that they are the standard for the world. Show me an addictive substance that can be taxed and I will show you a legislature that will turn a blind eye to the "crisis" it may or may not cause.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    April 19, 2016 1:41 p.m.

    Great News!

    So what have they done to alleviate the health crisis of having the worst air in the western hemisphere? Or the worst education funding in the nation? Are Utah schools not in crisis?

  • SMS Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2016 1:22 p.m.

    Has the legislature declared opioid abuse a public health crisis yet?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 19, 2016 1:11 p.m.

    Good for Utah. The peddlers of porn have done damage that is hard to quantify. Trillions spent in divorce and child care and wrecked lives as well as rape and other sexual assault all across the US. I would like to see MANDITORY state by state sensoring of porn on the internet and force you to apply to have porn added to your site list. This would model the old days where you had to reveive your porn in a brown paper wrapper in the mail box. Make it harder to get and perhaps add some shame to those with the brown paper wrappers in their mail boxes. Porn destroys lives.