Pornography is a Public Health Hazard

March 17

About 50 years ago, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, while indicating he would not try to define what is and isn’t pornography, stated simply “I know it when I see it.”

Stewart’s line has since become one of the most famous in American law. Its power stemming from its basis in the idea that there are universally shared truths accessible to anyone through reason and conscience. Kansans call this “common sense.”

Yesterday, the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas gave testimony in support of HR 6016, a resolution naming pornography a public health hazard. Our allies provided expert testimony citing peer-reviewed scientific sources from a range of fields, including neuroscience, psychology, and criminal justice.

The data show that pornography correlates with a wide range of negative public health outcomes including violence against women, child abuse, divorce, prostitution, sex trafficking and addiction. The scientific case against pornography is conclusive: pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.

But there’s another dimension to this issue that brings us back to Justice Stewart. We don’t need to rely on the weight of any scientific research to know that pornography is bad; we know it when we see it.

As a husband, I don’t have to ask my wife how she would feel if I started using pornography. I know the answer.

As the father of a daughter, I don’t have to do any research to know that I don’t want my little girl to become involved in pornography.

Pornography is harmful. The science says so, and so does common sense.

That’s what we told the members of House and Senate committees. Our job is often as simple as reminding elected officials about what God says is right and wrong.

Thank you for being part of that effort.



Save the date! The Benham Brothers are coming to Wichita on May 10th and Overland Park on May 11th as part of our gala celebrations! Learn more about the event and register to attend.