Utah declares porn a “public health crisis”

Utah governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution yesterday declaring pornography a “public health crisis.”

The resolution, introduced in order to, in Republican State Senator Todd Weller’s words, battle the “pornography epidemic” spreading through the state and country, calls for “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level” in order to push back against porn production and consumption.

According to USA Today, “Weller maintains that the resolution is not a ban on porn or an attack on masturbation, but the first steps toward creating a plan to protect children and families from it,” which sounds a whole lot like an attack on masturbation to me.

As USA Today continues:

Utah governor Gary Herbert, via Wikimedia Commons

Utah governor Gary Herbert, via Wikimedia Commons

Ian Kerner, a psychotherapist and sex expert, says the anti-pornography movement is rooted in a long history of stigmatizing sex and masturbation.

“So much of the anti-porn movement is based on a sense of alarmism,” Kerner said, adding that the anti-pornography movement has blurred the line between child and adult access to pornography. “In this country, we really bundle together children and teens with consenting adults, and the issues are not the same for children and teens as they are for consenting adults.”

Utah’s anti-porn resolution comes at a time when there are a whole lot of actual public health crises in the state. Gun violence and  heroin overdose come immediately to mind. Amidst these actual crises, however, Utah’s leaders have chosen to focus on porn.

For what it’s worth, Utah ranked second-to-last in the United States in time spent per visit to Pornhub.com in 2015. The site didn’t publish data for visits per capita by state, although a 2009 study did indicate that Utah has the highest rate of paid online porn subscriptions in the country. Taken together, this suggests that Utahans are watching a lot of porn…and finishing quickly.

It’s also worth noting that Utah’s arguments against porn bear a passing resemblance to the arguments Ted Cruz used in his 2007 defense of a Texas law banning the sale of “obscene devices,” including dildos. Utah argues that their interest in restricting access to porn is to protect minors; so did Cruz. Utah argues porn is linked to “lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity;” Cruz argued that Texas’s ban on the sale of dildos was based on a government interest in promoting marriage.

All this is to say that when social conservatives pass laws and resolutions designed to discourage orgasms, all while insisting that they aren’t anti-orgasm, they’re only serious about the former.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

Share This Post

  • 1jetpackangel

    I once heard a quote, something along the lines of, “If we put as much money into space exploration as we did into penis enlargment, we’d have hot dog stands on Mars by now.”

  • Hue-Man

    It’s already happening!

    “Utah’s liquor control authority is threatening to yank the liquor
    license of a movie theater for showing “Deadpool” and serving alcohol.”

    “This isn’t supposed to be the Taliban,” Brewvies lawyer Rocky Anderson
    told FOX 13 on Monday. “This is supposed to be a state agency!”

    http://fox13now.com/2016/04/18/utah-movie-theaters-liquor-license-threatened-for-showing-deadpool/

  • keirmeister

    Strange…I don’t know of many (if any) deaths caused by porn. Guns, on the other hand…

    Tell you what: fix the gun problem first, then (maybe) we’ll talk about porn. Until then, STFU.

  • Carolrsalazar1

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!ca879ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !ca879n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsDocGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!ca879n….,….

  • crazymonkeylady

    Ohhhh, squat cobbler! THAT IS HILARIOUS! You win the internet!

  • The_Fixer

    Good grief, this is stupid.

    It’s always starts with the children, doesn’t it? They’ve added this thing about “lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity.”

    Maybe young people are less inclined to marry because they want to put it off due to financial pressures? Maybe they simply don’t consider themselves monogamous, or maybe they are concerned that they’ll make the wrong choice of partners, and don’t want to go through all of the complications that entails?

    People not getting married is not a problem, I see plenty of people doing so. Some prominent Republicans like it so much that they do it more than once.

    If pornography were such a public health crisis, how come nobody has died from masturbation? This is just a stupid attempt to impose religious doctrine on people who don’t want it. It’s a desperate move to continue the influence that religion has over society, when it’s clear that people are just not into it the way their ancestors were.

    I hope this gets all of the negative attention that it deserves, and that this idiot is laughed out of the public discourse.

  • Those who complain loudest about porn being evil and terrible nearly always have the largest personal collections of the most kinkiest squiks possible.

    I’m guessing Utah’s Republican state rep, Todd Weller, is a squat cobbler.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I get really pissed at the fact that people who have hissy fits when their religion is ridiculed start making policy proposals on the basis of said religion.

    Mormonism was founded by a pedophile who decided polygamy was OK after his wife caught him at it with another woman. But that does make it somewhat better off than Christianity, a religion based on the claim that a person whose life was so utterly inconsequential when he was alive that nobody outside the church bothered to mention him first hand. Even odder, even Paul doesn’t mention a single thing Jesus did on earth and refers to the deeds of a man who was allegedly a contemporary of his according to the reports ‘in scripture’.

    When you start to look skeptically at the New Testament, it is rather clear that Jesus was not a historical figure any more than Moses, Noah or Adam were. There is

    Oh, never mind, the governor has turned the porn feeds back on.

  • emjayay

    We wouldn’t have all those awesome churches though.

  • hiker_sf

    I agree that there is a porn crisis. It is the same old shit over and over again.

    Can’t anybody creative get involved?

  • I often wonder how far humanity would have progressed if it were not for religion and the dark ages it spawned…

© 2017 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS
CLOSE
CLOSE