Florida Declares Pornography a ‘Public Health Risk’

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Newport, Oregon. Anti porn sign outside adult video store. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

(Screenshot: YouTube, HuffPost)

By Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews, March 7, 2018

(CNSNews.com) –– The Florida House of Represenatives recently passed a resolution declaring pornograpjy a “public health risk” and acknowledging “the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens” of Florida from the dangers of pornography.

The resolution was introduced by Republican House member Ross Spano (59th District) and passed by a voice vote on Feb. 20.

The resolution, HR 157, in part reads:

“WHEREAS, pornography is creating a public health risk and contributing to the hyper-sexualization of children and teens, and

“WHEREAS, efforts to prevent exposure to pornography, to educate individuals and families concerning pornography’s potential harmful effects, and to develop pornography recovery programs should be systematic, and

“WHEREAS, due to advances in technology and the widespread  availability of the Internet, children are exposed to pornography at an alarming rate and it can serve as their main source of education regarding human sexuality, and

“WHEREAS, twenty-seven percent of young adults between the ages of 25 and 30 report that they first viewed pornography before the onset of puberty, and

“WHEREAS, pornography depicts children and young people in a hyper-sexualized manner and a child who views such images is at a higher risk of developing low self-esteem, an eating disorder, and a desire to engage in dangerous sexual behavior, and

“WHEREAS, pornography objectifies women, normalizes violence and the abuse of women and children, depicts rape and abuse as harmless, and is related to the increased demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, and child pornography, and

“WHEREAS, pornography has potential detrimental effects on the user, and research has found correlations between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses; difficulty forming or maintaining intimate relationships; unhealthy brain development and cognitive function; and deviant, problematic, or dangerous sexual behaviors, and

“WHEREAS, recent research indicates that one can develop a compulsive disorder in which excessive amounts of pornography are consumed, resulting in the user consuming increasingly more shocking material or withdrawing from daily life functions to satisfy the compulsion, and

“WHEREAS, pornography can have a detrimental effect on families, including a reluctance to enter into marriage,  dissatisfaction in marriage, and marital infidelity,

“NOW THEREFORE, the State of Florida recognizes the public health risk created by pornography and acknowledges the need for education,  prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.”

Florida House Rep. Ross Spano (R-59th District).  (YouTube)

Florida House Rep. Carlos G. Smith, a Democrat (49th District) and openly homosexual legislator, criticized Spano’s resolution against pornography. He tweeted on Feb. 20: “19 pp in Parkland were just murdered w/an AR-15, + the FL House just passed @RossSpano’s HR 157 declaring PORN as a public health risk. No, GUN VIOLENCE is a public health crisis + Spano blocked HB 219 banning assault weapons in his committee for 2 yrs. #GOPpriorities #Sayfie.”

There are many articles that debate the effects of pornography on individuals and society. A March 2016 article on Psychology Today listed numerous ways in which pornography is harmful.

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, PH.D., reported. “Some people can watch porn occasionally and not suffer significant side effects; however, plenty of people out there, including teens and pre-teens with highly plastic brains, find they are compulsively using high-speed Internet porn with their porn tastes becoming out of sync with their real-life sexuality.”

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University,
during one of his TED Talks.  (YouTube) 

“Just visit the sites YourBrainOnPorn and Reddit’s No Fap (no masturbating to online porn) forum to see stories from thousands of young people struggling to overcome what they feel is an escalating addiction,” said Dr. Zimbardo.  (See Zimbardo’s TED Talk here.)

He concluded, “Regardless of how one might feel about porn’s value, more and more studies suggest porn users suffer detrimental effects. Ultimately, more research needs to be conducted.

“However, if in the meantime we continue to deny that porn can be a problem for some people, we are effectively denying these people, many of them underage, help and guidance.”