Kansas lawmakers declare pornography public health hazard

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Senate passed a resolution denouncing pornography as a public health hazard Tuesday. The resolution said porn leads to health impacts and societal  harms.

The resolution also cites a 2016 Barna Group study. The study said 27 percent of people, between the ages of 25 and 30, said they first viewed pornography as pre-teens.

It states porn can lead to body image disorders, sexual performance issues and a normalization of violence and abuse. The resolution passed 35 to 4.

Democratic Senator David Haley was one of four lawmakers who voted against the resolution.  

“It’s almost laughable, but it’s kind of sad that any particular state government would waste its time and its energy on having this kind of legislation brought forward, but we’re in Kansas so nothing is beyond the pale,” Haley said.

Republican Senator Molly Baumgardner co-sponsored the resolution. She said the resolution codified lawmaker’s concerns about the effects of wide-spread porn usage.

“To ignore addressing that pornography, and all of the excessive exposure to it, impacts our society, impacts our children, impacts our families is folly,” Baumgardner said.

Many people outside the legislature are divided over the issue as well. Sarah Karns said porn has a negative effect on relationships.

“It’s very integral to why a lot of relationships are having issues, and the family structure, (sic)” Karns said. “It’s a big harmful mess.”

Charlie Blomstrom said it’s fine as long as it’s not consumed in excess.

“It’s absolutely not a health issue, and like anything that’s done recreationaly, as long as you use it in moderation it’s not going to hurt anybody,” Blomstrom said.

Sexual addiction therapist, Woody Houseman, told KSNT News today’s easy access to porn is leading to other issues such as child porn and human trafficking.

Senator Haley said those issues need to be addressed, but he doesn’t believe there is a strong connection between mainstream porn usage and those illegal deviations.

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