A Utah senator is taking a pronounced stand against pornography and is aiming to have the adult entertainment medium dubbed a ‘public health crisis.’ According to Senator Todd Weiler, pornography creates a “sexually toxic environment” in America and likens its addictive qualities to that of cocaine.
Last Friday, Sen. Weiler introduced his legislation to the state, asking Utah to recognize that porn is causing a public health hazard, both statewide and nationwide. Finally, the senator called for a reform, in order to tackle the “pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation.”
In a recent interview with the Daily News, the politician told the publication that porn was more powerful and addictive than cocaine and that the public needs to recognize pornography as a serious health hazard.
“I have read books and I have experts tell me pornography is more difficult to overcome than cocaine,” he said
He goes on to compare porn’s current public perception to that of cigarettes in the early 20th century. While doctors and celebrities may have openly endorsed cigarettes at one point, the public’s perception of them has drastically shifted. Similarly, Sen. Weiler hopes that pornography meets the same fate.
Weiler feels that the rapid advances in technology have directly contributed to this “epidemic,” making pornography easily accessible to anyone. He worries that potential exposure to porn at a young age can give children the wrong idea about sex.
The senator also blamed pornography for contributing to divorce rates and rapidly diminishing family values. Currently, the divorce rate is at 42%.
This is not Weiler’s first time speaking out against porn. In 2013, the senator passed a bill that condemned “gateway pornography” — namely, any sexualized images portrayed in advertising.
And when it comes to porn, Utah has had its fair share of issues. In fact, a recent study showed that more than 5 out of every 1,000 households were purchasing porn in Utah.