15 States Declare Pornography a Public Health Crisis, Adopt Measures to Prevent Addiction

From Idaho to Pennsylvania, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have adopted resolutions declaring pornography a public health crisis. 

This week the Arizona Senate approved a measure urging the state to prevent exposure and addiction to porn, drawing criticism from some experts who say the approach is misguided and poses risks.

At least one legislative chamber has adopted a similar measure in 15 states, including South Dakota, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia, and the Republican Party added it to its national platform in 2016.

Linking pornography to violence against women, sexual activity among teens and unplanned pregnancies, Republican Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen supported the measure.

“It is an epidemic in our society, and this makes a statement that we have a problem,” Allen said.

Some in the adult entertainment industry say blaming pornography for those social issues is “compete fear-mongering,” including Mark Kernes, a senior editor at the trade publication Adult Video News media network.

While the Arizona resolution does not ban pornography production or consumption, the number of resolutions calling it a public health crisis has trended upward since 2016.

Many resolutions are based on a model written by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an anti-porn group whose members argue individuals can’t fight porn-related problems alone.

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