States are Teaming Up to Protect Minors From Pornography
The topic of pornography has been one of the more heated social discussions in recent times due to the nearly ubiquitous nature of the content owing to technology. While showing pornography to children is illegal under federal law, federal regulations don’t mandate porn websites to verify users’ age.
However, bipartisan campaigns in state legislatures have taken steps to protect children from porn. Therapist Jon Uhler and psychologist Amy Sousa asserted that watching violent porn negatively impacts children.
“Being shown violence alongside a reward system is incredibly problematic because it is sending the body a signal that this violence is pleasurable,” Sousa stated.
Porn gets more yearly “watch hours” than all Hollywood, Netflix, and Viacom programming combined,” Sousa added.
“Eighty-eight percent of porn videos contain violence against women, which basically translates to 5.1 billion of those visits per month,” Sousa observed.
“Porn represents a massive propaganda arm that is normalizing and desensitizing violence against women.”
Despite the dangers of porn, the federal government has taken little action to prevent children from gaining access to online porn, Sousa, Uhler, and other elected officials said.
“The federal law [banning pornography access for children] is not enforced,” Utah Senator Todd Weiler said to The Epoch Times.
Due to the federal government’s perceived inaction, elected officials in several states are working to amend state legislation so that children are barred from viewing porn.
Some states have already passed legislation that restricts minors’ access to porn. Back in May, Utah passed a law mandating pornographic websites to verify users in the state are at least 18 years of age. Louisiana passed a similar law in 2022. It was the first state to impose age-verification measures to gain access to pornographic websites.
“We made a few minor tweaks, but we basically copied Louisiana’s” law in Utah, he noted.
The Louisiana law mandates porn websites to carry out “reasonable age-verification methods” for Louisiana users.
Five states have accompanied Utah and Louisiana in enacting age-verification laws for porn websites.
Arizona, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and South Carolina currently have age verification legislative proposals being considered, per data collected by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC).
Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have introduced legislation requiring age verification for porn users, but none of these bills actually passed.
Ultimately, states should be crafting their own measures to protect children’s minds from destructive content such as porn. Adults can consume whatever content they want, but minors who can barely separate right from wrong and who are very impressionable. So it stands to reason that elected officials put forward legislation to protect them from such content.