JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – This week the Missouri State Senate passed Senate Concurring Resolution No. 52 recognizing “pornography as leading to individual and societal harms and recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level.”
The non-binding resolution passed with 31 votes in favor and none against, with two senators absent. It declares that pornography “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment” and “may contribute to the hypersexualization of teenagers, and even prepubescent children, in our society.”
It further warns that the internet is accelerating children’s exposure to increasingly “hardcore” material at younger ages. This “may serve as children’s and youth’s sex education and may shape their sexual templates,” which “can lead to low self-esteem and body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior,” as well as difficulties forming and keeping faithful relationships later in life.
The language of the bill follows suit with other states declaring pornography a public health crisis. This resolution still needs the Missouri House of Representatives to pass it, which would make Missouri the 10th state to take a similar bold stance against pornography. The most recent state to pass a similar resolution was Pennsylvania in January of this year.