Re: Pornography legislation
Recent letters in The Sheridan Press contend that Rep. Mark Jennings “doesn’t care about his constituents” and is wrong to claim that “pornography and its availability via the internet causes societal harm….”
Opposition to proposed legislation can be healthy in a democracy, but to castigate Jennings with the kind of hyperbolic rhetoric used in these letters misses the mark of reasonable and civil discourse in a time when our nation could use a good dose of both reasonableness and civility.
Jennings is belittled for proposing legislation of the “cookie cutter” variety, but it makes sense that wording of proposed legislation in Wyoming would parallel legislation in Virginia since the effects of pornography are as devastating in Wyoming as in Virginia and a host of other states considering legislation with similar wording.
Attempts to trivialize the pernicious effects of pornography addiction using loaded language like “puritanical balderdash” are unfortunate. The individual who wrote those words (and those who concur) should make that declaration to the victim of sex slave trafficking who was forced to appear in a video where her back was lashed until it was bleeding.
Please read “15 Scientifically Explained Reasons Why Porn Isn’t Healthy For Viewers Or Society” (https://fightthenewdrug.org/3-reasons-why-watching-porn-is-harmful/). Conclusions from scores of scientific studies are cited. Here is a small sampling:
• Online porn is more addictive than online gambling, gaming and social networking.
• Porn users are more likely to get a sexually transmitted infection.
• Porn viewers “have higher rates of infidelity….”
NPR reports on a meta-analysis of 46 published studies’ findings that “Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, used MRI scans to analyze the brain activity of men viewing pornography. She found that after viewing porn, men looked at women more as objects than as human beings.”
NPR also reports a recent study’s findings that “married Americans who began pornography were roughly twice as likely to be divorced.”
In a recent New York Post article, Paul J. Wright, an Indiana University researcher on the effects of pornography, sums up well the rationale behind the legislation proposed by Jennings: “Is there enough suggestive evidence of harm in terms of…behaviors that most people perceive as antisocial that scientists should support policy efforts calling for further research…and programs aimed at the prevention of harmful effects? I think the majority of scientists familiar with the research in this area would say, ‘Yes.’”