Statement presented by Stan Rasmussen, Sutherland Institute director of public affairs, on Feb. 5, 2016, before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee of the Utah Legislature regarding SCR 9:
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and good afternoon, senators. Stan Rasmussen, representing Sutherland Institute.
Sutherland supports SCR 9 because the resolution communicates a clear and proper perspective of the plague of pornography addiction. Pornography breaks strong families, as we have heard today, and as illustrated by the fact that 61 percent of attendees at a meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported it as a cause of one or more of the divorces they handled during the year. Pornography also reduces economic productivity, as shown by a survey of the Employment Law Alliance that reported that 25 percent of employees spend time on pornographic websites during work hours. Additionally, pornography jeopardizes public safety, as the chief psychiatrist for the Philadelphia Municipal Court captured when he said, “Antisocial, delinquent and criminal activities frequently result from sexual stimulation by pornography.”
While some hold the opinion that pornography is a good thing for individuals and society at large, here in Utah we have a more reasonable understanding of the realities of pornography addiction. Substances like pornography that impair healthy brain functioning and rational thought – as illustrated by modern neuroscience – undermine human freedom, as human beings were designed to be free. Because of its prevalence and harmful, addictive impacts, pornography has well-earned the title of “public health hazard” that it would be given under SCR 9.
We encourage you to support this proposed resolution.