Washington, D.C. – The Republican Party’s Platform Committee is considering language that recognizes pornography as a “public health crisis.” Concerned Women for America (CWA) President and CEO Penny Nance had this to say:
On behalf of the half-a-million members of CWA, we want to applaud the Republican National Committee delegates’ serious consideration of what has become an enormous problem for our society. Many of the thousands of mom’s I represent bear the scars of seeing their children struggle with significant physical and psychological problems of an addiction to porn that started even before they were able to recognize or fully understand the consequences of the material they were accessing on the Internet. (The Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire says that 42 percent of online users ages 10 to 17 have seen pornography, and that 66 percent of those saw it unwittingly.)
We also stand with women who have been the victims of this predatory industry that objectifies and demeans women by treating them as commodities.
The research showing that pornography is significantly linked to increases in sexual violence and aggression continues to grow. One study reported that 88% of the top-watched porn films contain aggressive acts, while another study shows a disturbingly noticeable uptick in male aggression towards women after watching a 10-minute clip from such a film. As the nation’s largest public policy organization for women, we must face the facts we are being presented and deal with the situation with utmost urgency.
Studies now suggest the horrible depictions of rape and violence depicted on these types of material (which is not very difficult for children to access online) have a significant effect on a person’s brain matter and that it may be addictive. That means that with continued use, more impactful material would be needed to achieve the same level of satisfaction.
We commend the Republican Platform committee, even as we must make clear that this is not a partisan issue in any way, shape, or form. We have and will continue to work with Democrats who recognize the warning signs we are seeing, and we hope the same serious treatment of this issue is adopted in the Democratic Platform.
This is a family issue, it is a children’s safety issue, and it is a women’s issue. CWA is committed to fight against sexual exploitation in any form.