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Sexploitation

The Sexploitation podcast decodes sexual harms and provides you with active solutions. We address the full spectrum of sexual exploitation, from sex trafficking to sexual violence, to rape culture, to pornography, and more. And better yet, we give you the tools to make a difference!
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Sep 22, 2016

This is episode #2 of the Sexploitation podcast, I’m here today with Dawn Hawkins from NCOSE, and today we’re talking about the question “Is Porn Really a Public Health Crisis?”

This question has been everywhere lately.

Utah passed a formal state resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis in the summer of 2016, then that fall the RNC added the same language to its official republican platform, and presidential nominee at the time of this recording wrote a letter to the organization Enough is Enough stating that she is supportive of protecting children against the harms of pornography. All of this has happened within the last year! Heck, Time magazine had a cover story on the harms of pornography to men. This sudden burst of discussion on this topic has a lot of people scratching their heads and wondering “where this came from.”

 

Dawn Hawkins shares with us that this problem has grabbed the public's attention because of the number of people who've been harmed by pornography and who are now speaking up, and also the rising amount of research. 

What is a public health crisis?

There is no commonly agreed upon definition. The World Health Organization vaguely defines a crisis as a “situation that is perceived as difficult” and in 2012 the CDC said a crisis tends to occur when “an unexpected and threatening event requires an immediate response.”

I think we can raise the bar even higher and say “A serious, harmful, problem that affects individuals or groups beyond their capacity alone to correct.”

Pornography is definitely pervasive. Families can't protect themselves, even kids as young as 10 years old are being exposed to pornography and then begin using it.

 

Porn has serious harms to a range of categories:

  • Childhood sexual development
  • The brain
  • Sexual dysfunctions like ED
  • Increased risk of STDs
  • Sexual violence, and more.

 Dawn discussed how she believes porn today will follow the trend of the tobacco industry in public perception.

Pornography is pervasive and popular, similar to smoking in the 1950s, but as the harms become apparent, both the general public and elected officials will demand that a multidisciplinary public health approach be implemented across the country to address it.

Call to Action: Write your representative and ask them to address this public health crisis: http://pornharmsaction.com/pornharms/app/write-a-letter?6&engagementId=100413

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