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Arizona Is Considering Categorizing Porn As A Public Health Crisis

An Arizona state representative is trying to rank porn as a public health crisis. The law would have no direct legal effects but it would state that porn “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society.”

This measure was introduced by Republican state representative Michelle Udall, who argues that porn is very much like the tobacco industry and that something must be done in order to control its damages.. She claims  that porn, when viewed by minors, can affect their self-esteem, create body images, lead to eating disorders and perpetuate problematic sexual activity from a young age.

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“Potential detrimental effects on pornography users include toxic sexual behaviors, emotional, mental and medical illnesses and difficulty forming or maintaining intimate relationships,” explains the measure. Udall also emphasized porn’s effect on women, and how society treats them.

According to Yahoo News, the measure passed out of the House Committee on Health & Human Services with Republican support.

While some Democrats agreed that porn addiction has become a serious problem, others believe that there’s not enough evidence to support the measure’s claims. Different democratic state representatives say considering porn a public health issue is a stretch, and these efforts should instead be focused on improving sex education on schools.

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“If we really want to look at this, we should start with education. It’s embarrassing that we are one of the states that does not have medically accurate sex education. In testimony, they were trying to blame everything on pornography. That is a stretch,” says state Rep. Pamela Powers Hanley.

For this measure to pass it must first face a vote in the House and finally be approved by the Senate.

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