Porn in US ‘a public health crisis’

by Robert Macpherson

Pornography now is so widespread in the United States that it deserves to be addressed seriously as a major public health crisis, a panel of activists said Thursday.

On the eve of a two-day conference on , they suggested that  be tackled in the same manner as teenage smoking or drunk driving.

“There’s an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media, which has campaigned against pornography since 1962.

“There’s a lot of science now proving that pornography is harmful,” Hawkins told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington. “We know now that almost every family in America has been touched by the harm of pornography.”

The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation summit that opens Friday in the Washington suburb of Tysons Corner aims to look at pornography as a complex social problem that needs to be framed as a public health issue.

Participants include , social workers, academics, feminists, faith leaders, campaigners against human trafficking and former members of the multibillion-dollar adult entertainment industry.

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