Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Is Pornography a Public Health Crisis?

utahpolicy ksl 400 wide smaSen. Todd Weiler is getting plenty of attention for his proposed resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis.

Our “Political Insider” panel is not sure if he’s on the right track or not. A majority of the Republicans on our panel say Weiler’s proposal is the right thing to do while just 15% of the Democrats and 44% of our readers agree with the intention of SCR9.
45% of the Democrats who responded to our survey said the effort to declare pornography a public health crisis is a waste of time and makes Utah look silly. 18% of Republicans feel that way as do 36% of our readers.
Finally, 40% of Democrats, 27% of Republicans and 17% of our readers say they agree with Weiler’s intentions, but there are many other health problems that should be tackled first, including cancer, drug and alcohol addiction and even child abuse.

Selected anonymous comments:
“I’m proud of Senator Weiler for focusing on pornography, which kills and injures thousands of Utahns each year, as opposed to guns, which is a harmless recreational tool for many adults.”
“Porn affects more families than cancer or drug addiction and causes things like sexual abuse of children. It is definitely a crisis.”
“The fruits of pornography are just a tragic and serious as are the effects of more widely recognized health problems.”
“Pornography seems to be a serious problem for one specific religious group in Utah; it does not seem to be a problem for the rest of the population who are not part of that religious group.”
“Pornography is not a health epidemic. While it is a problem, the resolution treats it like a disease rather than as an addiction.”
“Pornography means different things to different people. In one form or another, it has been around for thousands of years. Not possible for a legislator to define it or deem it a public health crisis.”
“How about Utah’s record high STD rate? You know, an ACTUAL HEALTH CRISIS! Todd should be ashamed of himself.”
“This is where churches and parents come into play. Porn is a scourge on society, but values are taught at home and church and neighborhoods.”
“What is the evidence that pornography is a public health crisis?”
“This needs the same attention that drug and alcohol addiction get. Families fall apart because of it and crime and violence increase because of it. If we are serious about public safety, we need to educate about the dangers of porn and then treat those who get addicted. (Because the First Amendment won’t let us ban it)”
“Find a real health crisis to rail against. We don’t need Sen. Weiler looking over our shoulders and tut-tutting our choice of internet viewing. This resolution is concern trolling writ large.”
“I hate this resolution. I hate it with a passion! This only serves to make our legislature look busy. They will all bow their heads to say ‘aye’ while ignoring or punting on healthcare, education, clean air, transportation, etc.”
“When in worry, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout! Todd Weiler is a talented and capable legislator who unfortunately has diminished his stature in my eyes by pandering to the popular drumbeat about pornography. Of course, an addiction to pornography is an emotionally, morally, and spiritually debilitating weakness. Public health crises? I think NOT!”
“When you consider the deep reaching effects of pornography, it’s not difficult to come to the conclusion that it is in fact a public health crisis.”
“It is a serious problem. I don’t know if calling public health issue is the correct term. It may be more accurately described differently. It is worth dealing with but calling it a health issue may hurt more than help.”
“Pornography is considered a moral issue by many Utahns – NOT just by Mormons. Nevertheless, it is hardly a public health crisis.”
“Another example of our ‘small government’ legislature stepping in to replace family.”
“Treat people like responsible grown-ups who don’t need a nanny state and that’s how they’ll behave.”
“Look, pornography is pernicious and pervasive. It is addictive and has destroyed marriages and families. And porn is too readily accessible given today’s ubiquitous technology. So, it is a huge societal issue. But a public health issue? That seems a weird characterization.”
“The legislature should be passing Medicaid expansion instead of wasting time on moral message bills.”
“If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”
“Please. Utah is the ‘porn capital’ of the U.S.”
“Not having health insurance is a public health crisis.”
“Not a crisis. I’m a fan of Senator Weiler, but this is just embarrassing for Utah.”