The Kansas Senate condemned pornography on Tuesday, citing a host of problems including infidelity, objectification of women and erectile dysfunction.
Senators passed a resolution in a 35-4 vote after little debate. The resolution, which has no legal effect, comes a year after the House approved a similar measure.
“Pornography exploits and humiliates those being used and it dehumanizes the user at the same time,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee.
No other senators spoke in support or opposition, though a number of senators co-sponsored the resolution and a handful voted against the measure.
“Seriously? We’ll see how excited they are about public health when it comes to guns,” Sen. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, said after the vote.
The resolution says that pornography is potentially biologically addictive and is linked to lessened desire. It also cited dissatisfaction in marriage and infidelity, and said its effects are “extremely difficult for the afflicted individual to address alone.”
Exposure to porn often serves as sex education for children and teenagers and shapes their sexual understanding, the resolution says. The resolution draws a connection between porn and sex trafficking.
“Sexually explicit movies have found to be significantly related to beliefs that women are sex objects,” Pilcher-Cook said.
Opponents raised concerns about freedom of expression. Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, said he holds the First Amendment sacrosanct.
“Even though just a resolution, the danger in this language being affirmed by the majority in this chamber…I fear it could lead to unintended consequences in many ways,” Haley said.
The resolution also notes that porn “has contributed to a rise in the occurrence of erectile dysfunction in young men.”
Similar language appeared in the House’s resolution. Joshua Broghammer, a physician, urogenital surgeon and KU Medical School associate professor, told The Eagle at the time that most medical research and his own practice experience show no solid link between porn and ED.
A University of Zagreb, Croatia, study found little evidence of an association between pornography use and sexual health difficulties among men. A study from the Reward Foundation, a British anti-pornography group, found that terminating porn use is sometimes sufficient to reverse negative effects, however.