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Representative Sandy Salmon filed House Concurrent Resolution 8 this legislative session. The resolution, which talks about the negative impacts of pornography, is yet to move in the House.
“This resolution declares that pornography is a public health crisis,” Salmon said. “This resolution is needed to bring awareness of the huge damage and destruction pornography inflicts on our society.”
The resolution reads in part:
- The General Assembly recognizes that pornography is creating a public health crisis and perpetuates a sexually toxic environment.
- Pornography contributes to the hyper-sexualization of teens and prepubescent children in our society.
- Due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, children are frequently exposed to what used to be referred to as hard-core pornography but is now considered mainstream pornography.
- Because pornography treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use, it teachers girls they are to be used and teaches boys to be users.
- Pornography often depicts rape and abuse as being harmless.
- Pornography increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution and child sexual abuse images.
The resolution refers to a study of university students that found 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls have viewed pornography during adolescence.
“This exposure leads to low self-esteem and body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages and a greater likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior such as the transmission of sexually explicit images, hookups, multiple sex partners, group sex and the use of substances during adolescent sex.”
Salmon said she is very troubled at the long-term, life-changing effects pornography can have on individuals.
“It can actually rewire a brain,” Salmon said. “They need more in order to be satisfied. It can actually change the physical make-up of the brain, especially for young people. It is ruining marriages and families.”
And the resolution points to that as well.
- Potential detrimental effects on users of pornography can impact brain functions and development, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal and promote problematic or harmful sexual behaviors such as harmful child-on-child sexual behaviors that occur in school and homes and on playgrounds.
- Recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive. That addiction leads to an increased us of pornography and is linked to difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships, a lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage and infidelity.
- Overcoming the harm of pornography is beyond the capability of the afflicted individuals to address alone.
The resolution concludes that the General Assembly recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard, which leads to a broad spectrum of individual and societal harms, recognizes the need for education, prevention, research and policy changes at the local, state and national levels to address the pornography epidemic that is harming people in our state and country.
It calls for the Department of Justice and members of the federal, state and local criminal justice system to vigorously enforce federal and state obscenity laws against commercialized obscenity and upon Congress to address the crisis of easily accessible pornography on the Internet.
Lobbyists with The Family Leader, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles of Iowa, Concerned Women for America, Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, The Family Leader Foundation and the Iowa Catholic Conference support the resolution.
“Rep. Sandy Salmon’s Resolution is spot on in calling out one of the most concerning public health issues of our day,” said Tamara Scott, state director for Concerned Women for America of Iowa. “Once thought simply taboo is now prevalent online, in the classroom, the marketplace and on the personal devices in our pockets everyday. We continue to learn the harmful impact it has to society, to the individuals who suffer from its addiction and the many harmed by its repercussions, physically, psychologically, emotionally and mentally. Concerned Women for America of Iowa applauds Rep. Salmon for her leadership in highlighting this danger as governing bodies must take action to protect their communities.”