We all love a good headline, one that wakes us up to a social wrong and bends us back to moral stability. Civil rights causes, unfair labor practices, deaths due to irresponsible manufacturers. Anti-smoking campaigns and legislation have lowered the death rates of smoking related diseases. Same with Alcohol. #MeToo has made all of us double-check our vocabulary, our behavior, our core attitudes about human respect.
Now, another health crisis needs our attention. And the remedy won’t come easy because there is resistance to regulating it. Online Pornography is the health crisis of our day. You’ll hear the moral argument against pornography in just about any church. And that’s the problem. Defenders of freedom of speech decry censorship based on morals. And frankly, we should not try to regulate based on morals, but on principles that protect the public health. It’s illegal to sell unregulated alcohol, prescriptions, automobiles, cleaning supplies, and packaged food because if those products don’t meet a certain standard the consumer’s safety and life are put at risk.
Study after scientific study shows that excessive viewing of pornography comes with myriad health issues: from depression, anxiety and social isolation to diminished reproductive health. And new studies are linking pornography abuse to relationship and marital issues, and to a higher proclivity of prostitution engagement and involvement with child pornography.
Human trafficking has multiplied dramatically, following the increase of available online pornography. While not every pornography abuser engages in child trafficking, every child trafficker engages in pornography. There’s a clear relationship. And it all adds up to a health crisis.
Perhaps the scariest part is how it is affecting our children. Low self-esteem problems, poor performance in school, trouble forming relationships, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all now commonly reported by students in middle-school who view excessive porn. Middle school. That’s a 13-year-old boy or girl. And the age is creeping younger, the same problems are being reported in elementary school.
It’s time to regulate online pornography the way we do physical products. Porn magazine have to have a cover on them in convenience stores, and can’t be sold within a certain distance of a school. Cigarettes are behind the counter and liquor is sold at a liquor store. Yet any 12-year-old can access hardcore porn on a smartphone. Tobacco causes lung cancer and heart disease. Alcohol causes liver disease. Pornography causes mental health issues. So we make consumers prove they are adults to buy these products and prevent their sell to minors.
It’s exactly what the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevent Act addresses. Learn about it here: