February 20, 2018
"The potential detrimental effects of pornography include emotional, mental, and medical illnesses, deviant sexual arousal, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, altered brain development and functioning, and problematic and harmful sexual behaviors."
That's just part of the text of House Joint Resolution 5, introduced in the Maryland General Assembly by Delegate Neil Parrott. If adopted, Maryland would become the sixth state to formally declare that "exposure to pornography is a public health crisis." This movement, backed by our friends at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), tries to raise awareness of the tangible harms associated with pornography, whether legal or illegal. FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg traveled to Annapolis yesterday to testify in favor of the resolution at a hearing. He cited a recent, long article in the New York Times Magazine under the headline, "What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn." As Peter described, the article "explains how the ever more extreme behavior depicted in today's pornographic films and videos -- much of it reflecting violent and misogynistic fantasies involving males coercing, degrading, and hurting females -- is being taken by both young men and young women as a model of how sex is done."
Also testifying were two professors who are experts in the field, Dr. Mary Anne Layden of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Joseph Prud'homme of Washington College in Maryland. Perhaps the most powerful testimony of the day, however, came from a father who testified about his former addiction to pornography -- and from his 13-year-old son, who spoke about how casually pornography is accessed on students' smart phones in his middle school cafeteria.
Arkansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have already passed resolutions warning of the public health crisis of pornography. If your state isn't on this list, contact your local legislators and urge them to help educate the public by introducing, co-sponsoring, and/or voting for such a resolution.
For more on the devastating effects of porn, including its influence on the latest sex-ed curriculums, don't miss this piece by FRC's Kelly Marcum in the Federalist, "Despite Leftist Outcry, Americans Don't want Federally-Funded Pornographic Sex Ed."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.