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Utah Senator Declares Porn Addiction a 'Public Health Crisis'

U.S. Senator Todd Weiler has declared that pornography is creating a statewide "public health crisis" in Utah. According to a 2009 study, Utah has one of the highest rates of porn use across the United States. Weiler has since filed the resolution, SCR. 9 Concurrent Resolution that warns X-rated materials are so dangerous, he wants it ruled as a public health crisis.

Filed on Friday, the resolution claims that pornography is leading to unhappy marriages, addiction, hypersexualization of teenagers and even prostitution. It then states that porn use makes young men more likely to cheat and less likely to settle down and get married.

He wrote, "Legislature and the Governor [must] recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation."

German researchers found that excessive use of porn may shrink the brains of some users over time. Furthermore, some people can become "addicted" to porn in a similar way to drug addicts and alcoholics. Cambridge University researchers discovered in 2013, that when porn addicts watch X-rated material, the "addiction" part of the brain "lit up like Christmas trees on scans.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2014 showed that regularly viewing pornography appeared to dull the response to sexual stimulation over time, meaning, like drug users, people need more over time.

A 2011 study published by Psychology Today wrote that the dopamine spikes means porn-users start needing more extreme experiences to get aroused. Covenant Eyes, a site that filters pornography sites, says that over three-quarters of American men and women--aged between 18 and 30--watch porn at least once a month.

Senator Weiler has also proposed SB 227 Exposure of Children to Pornography, which allows a district court to consider whether a parent has intentionally exposed their children to pornography when determining child custody.

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