CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Utah governor declares porn a health hazard

Technically Incorrect: Gary Herbert signs a resolution that declares porn has terrible public health impacts.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Once VR porn is ubiquitous, will Utah's attempts at controlling it be a lost cause?

CNET

I fancy you have your personal habits and quirks.

I fancy, too, that you wouldn't think too many of them contribute greatly to a public health hazard.

I'd like you, though, to focus on the words of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

On his Facebook page, he made this declaration on Tuesday: "Pornography is a public health crisis. The problem is rampant, yet it thrives in secrecy and silence."

He emitted this thought on signing a resolution that declares porn a public health hazard in his state.

The resolution says that porn is "a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms."

It also says it "perpetuates a sexually toxic environment." Yes, in Utah.

It's hard to understand how the governor knows there's a sexually toxic environment if pornography thrives in secrecy and silence. Does the governor have special access to Utahan minds, souls and habits?

The resolution doesn't stop there, however. It says that "due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, young children are exposed to what used to be referred to as hard core, but is now considered mainstream, pornography at an alarming rate."

It's not clear what the evidence is for this and for the alleged harmful effects to the public's health. The governor's office declined comment, referring me to the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The resolution does, though, reach for some profound conclusions. For example, pornography apparently "equates violence toward women and children with sex and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography."

You might find humor in the resolution having 69 sentences.

I prefer to focus on its insistence that "recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive, which means the user requires more novelty, often in the form of more shocking material, in order to be satisfied."

The research isn't specifically annotated in this document, but evidence for porn's addictive qualities is scant or even non-existent. Although a man did allegedly break into a house once purely in order to view porn.


The Utah resolution doesn't insist on sanctions to counteract the sweeping emotional Ebola that's apparently infesting Utah because of porn.

Instead, it requests "the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation."

On the governor's Facebook page, many of the reactions to the resolution aren't entirely supportive.

"'The problem is rampant, yet it thrives in secrecy and silence,'" wrote Bradley Jordan. "Maybe because of the culture of moral crusading and sexual repression that exists in your state?"

"Public health crisis.............., air quality, medicaid expansion, climate change, opiate addiction, for profit health care," offered Brent Hanks. "Oh and the dementia epidemic among tired old white legislators!"

Close
Drag
Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF